Dressing up Properly for Winter

Salve Everybody!

With the first weekend of February rapidly approaching, I wanted to share with you some thoughts about keeping warm and healthy in this present climate.

Generally speaking, two layers (one underlayer and one outer layer) are sufficient for the lower body. Generally speaking, three layers are sufficient for the upper body.

It is important to note that COTTON does NOT make a good base layer. Perspiration can make a cotton base layer WET leading to loss of heat as COTTON does not retain heat when WET.

Also note that the trendy synthetic base layers which have become popular must be carefully selected. Thin polypropolene, for example, may help during intense physical activity, but as soon as you stop or cool down you will get cold very quickly. The thin version of these materials were developed for controlled competition situations where warm facilities were available to athletes before and after exertion.

The best inexpensive base layers are, in descending order:
1. Wool
2. Wool blended with nylon and cotton
3. Fleece

The purpose of the outer layer is to cut the wind. In winter conditions this layer should also feature insulation thick enough to both retain heat and aid in wind-breaking via THICKNESS. The outer part of the outer layer is the frontier between you and winter, so it has to be tough! The best outer layer is thick NYLON. Those of you who believe in Gore-Tex take note!

On the upper body the middle layer is for insulation and should feature a hood and be closed high around the neck. Good materials include fleece, wool and thick quilted cotton.

As for the feet, beware of boots rated to minus 40 etc, as these ratings are misleading and often based on the wearer doing intense physical activity. Once these boots become wet through perspiration they can get very cold. Socks should NOT be cotton but rather wool blended with acrylic or nylon.

As for the head, I prefer a double-layerd acrylic long Balaclava which covers the neck (tucked into the middle layer) and most of the face. Much more convenient, efficient and gives more freedom of movement than a scarf. Also does not impede the use of the high neck closure and HOOD of the middle and outer layers.

Home and car and metro heating systems dry you out, and you may not feel warm, but you need to DRINK MORE WATER.

Please note that lack of light at this time of year may contribute to feelings of fatigue or depression. If you feel down, reach out to friends or family members. Don’t be ashamed, many of us have experienced the same thing. Also AVOID drug use , especially ALCOHOL which is a depressant. I WOULD APPRECIATE IT VERY MUCH IF THE MONEY YOU CONSIDER SPENDING ON ALCOHOL WERE SPENT ON HEALTHY FOOD AND BEVERAGES (especially on the first weekend of February).

Sincerely from off the top of my head,
Contra-Mestre Comprido