December 22, 2008

Baby It’s Cold Outside

5 degrees this morning, Burr! It was 7 yesterday. The local weatherman suggested if a person didn’t have to get outside before noon, don’t! He also emphasized layering clothes. Layering is definitely the key to staying warm don’t ya know.
There is an art to layering according to experts, supposedly you just can’t go willy nilly layering any old thing.
Layering simply means wearing a combination of clothes (in layers) to help regulate your temperature and keep you warm and dry. There are essentially three layers to consider: base, mid and outer. Each layer has a specific function/purpose. The base layer should draw moisture & perspiration away from your skin to keep you warm. The mid layer is for insulation and keeping you warm. The outer layer allows moisture to escape while also blocking wind and repelling water.
The Base Layer is what has direct contact with your skin. A tight fitting and wicking material is best to keep you warm and dry. Silk, wool, polyester are good choices, though they say avoid cotton because it traps moisture, so it stays wet and draws heat from you.
The Mid Layer provides insulation. It should be a bit looser than the base layer, but to function properly it needs to maintain contact with the base layer. Mid layers also carry moisture away from the base layer to the outer layer. Common materials for mid layers include down, polyester, fleece, wool and newer synthetic or natural blends.
The Outer Layer is the wind blocker. It should allow moisture to escape. Outer layers should be tough enough to withstand tears and abrasions. Should also be wind resistant materials or water-resistant fabrics.
For me, layering starts with the old fashion thermal long johns. Remember Carter’s? Now a day they make Long Johns in all sorts of fun colors and prints. They can also serve as a good warm pj if needed. The mid layer is an every day run of the mill fleece or sweat pant and shirt. Hanes is a good inexpensive brand. The outer layer is an insulated overall or coverall. Carhartt is my favorite brand, though Key has proven to be more affordable. Around here you have farm stores, so Gore-Tex, Thinsulate and the newer high tech fabrics are not readily found. Add to that a ski mask, gloves, skid and waterproof boots and you are set to brave the elements. Basically nothing exposed other than your eyes.
Let me suggest you do 1 thing before layer dressing…go to the restroom. Never fails as soon as I have all umpteen layers of clothes on, I gotta go! Mom says I was like that as a child also. As soon as she would finish dressing me in my snowsuit I had to go. Guess some things never change.
I’ve probably mentioned this before, I don’t mind the cold due to having the proper clothing to keep me warm. Honestly, I stay warm. Almost to the point of sweating by the time I have accomplished the outside animal care routine.
The one thing I do have a problem with is range of motion while being cinched up in all the layers. Being a short pudgy person to begin with, layering adds more weight and puffiness …

Have a great day and stay warm!


Joanna said...

Your title - Baby. it's cold outside, read that blog, it's funny

Joanna said...

this link to it may be better

Goody said...

Ha! We all looked like marshmallow man yesterday with the -12 temperatures.

Our first stop was the the Orschelen's (do you have that chain?) to buy extra cold weather gear. L. finally gave in and bought a decent hat and splurged on earmuffs. You're right about the waffle weave cotton long johns-my dad worked outside his whole life and that was all he ever wore. When the newer materials became available we tried getting him to switch, but being a smoker he was leery about the flammability issues with polypropylene.

Can you believe Danny already has a preference for Key overalls? My goodness, I had no idea guys get so attached to their clothing choices this early on. I tried buying him some Osh Gosh and he flat out refused to even consider them. Sheesh, and they say women are bad!

Sharrie said...

I understand. I feel like a cross between the Michelin man and the Pillsbury doughboy when I go out in this below zero weather. The sheep are even a little scared of me because I look so funny.

Mary @ Annie's Goat Hill said...

Put it all on, and stiff as a board you walk! I guess I fared fairly well with the layers, wasn't sure how I would rate myself. An old pair of Long John's, next layer jeans and sweatshirt, coverall bib's, and an old barn coat (that has rips and tears all over it, but it is so warm I cannot part with it). The challenge comes in trying to walk, and forget about bending! Great article, Jama. Oh, and I have been stubborn enough to just do the jeans, sweatshirt and coat yet this year. :) Merry Christmas!

Grammy said...

Just stopped by to day hi.
And send a big hug.
Merry Christmas.