Layering for Winter Treks.
"By Wanderers India"
With winters approaching, we are getting more and more queries about “Layering” during the treks to deal with the dropping temperatures. Most of us are accustomed to warm climates and pretty much the only time we face harsh cold temperatures is when we are on trek.
To enjoy the trek, here are some pointers that will help you:
1. Basal metabolism is the primary source of heat for the body. This is what the body produces to keep all the organs working in tandem. Then come exercise metabolism, which is the heat that the body produces when you move \ exert. The primary principal of layering is to tap this heat and ensure that it is well preserved. The right kind of layering will be your “best friend” to ensure you are safe during the trek.
2. The secondary principle for layering is to that the clothes you were must help you to tap the heat and at the same time also ensure that you do not drown in your own sweat. You always have to be dry.
Keeping the above in mind, you have work on your layers and the materials of those layers.
1. While wool is a great insulator, but it is heavy and can easily get wet.
2. Synthetic material has the same properties of wool for insulation however its light, does not or retain moisture and is less expensive than Down Feather.
3. Down Feathers clothing is the best option however it is expensive.
Base Layer: This is the first layer after your essentials. Commonly known as “Warmers” in India, these are lightweight and stretchable. They stick to the body and retain all the warmth. These have different categories depending on the temperature - lightweight, middleweight and heavyweight. Choose wisely.
Middle Layer: These are your Jackets & pullovers etc. A layer of fleece is best suited for this layer. Try to get something that is front open (with a zipper to maintain temperatures) for this layer for the upper torso. For the lowers, you can get fleece pants or wear a thicker base layer. After this, a down feather jacket would be the best however some synthetic ones are very good as well.
Outer Layer: This last layer is also called the “Shell Layer”. This should ideally be waterproof (in case it rains \ snow falls) and windproof.