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How To Properly Dress In Layers

When practicing outdoor sports, you need to protect yourself from the elements (rain, wind, snow, cold temperatures etc.) by means of good perspiration management. The three-layer-system helps you choose the right clothes while taking into account the weather conditions and the sport practiced. Three layers of clothing will keep you dry and warm: a base layer for removing moisture, a mid-layer to keep you warm and an outer layer to protect you from the elements.

Synthetic materials like polyester or polyamide are water resistant: they don’t absorb water. Any moisture moves towards the outside of the clothing so it isn’t in contact with your skin. Wearing a t-shirt made from a synthetic material allows your body to regulate its temperature without feeling cold. These materials also dry very quickly.

There are also base layers that are made from merino wool. Wool can absorb up to 33% of its weight in water, so why do we use it as a base layer? This really absorbent material prevents perspiration from staying in contact with your skin and even wet wool is a good insulator.  Lastly, wool prevents odors from developing so you don’t have to wash your merino clothes after each wear. Base layers made from merino wool are therefore particularly useful for low-intensity exercise.

There are also materials that are a mix of synthetic fibers and wool. They allow you to make the most of their respective qualities combined in one outfit.

About The Author

Reese Brown

Reese Brown is Executive Director of U.S./Canadian trade group Cross Country Ski Areas Association, and a snow sports photographer. He has worked in the snow sports industry since 1981 as a coach, event manager, promotional marketer and in project-based strategic development. Considered an industry expert and insider, Brown operates internationally to support and promote the sport of cross country skiing, growing public awareness and participation.


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