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How to choose warm clothes for cold days


Cognitive function is impaired when you lose as little as 2 degrees of body temperature. In low freezing temperatures, this can happen in just a few minutes if you are not properly dressed.

Proper clothing can literally be the difference between life and death when you are trapped outside in inclement weather.

Of course, keeping all your fingers and toes and not freezing to death is also helpful in choosing the right clothes in cold weather!

Today we're going to talk about the most important things to consider when choosing winter clothing. Your main goal is to stay warm and keep your body warm inside.

Dress in layers.

The first and most important step to staying warm is to dress in layers. This is useful in several ways.

First, it allows you to shed clothes when you get too warm. There is nothing worse than sweating so much that your clothes get wet and then being exposed to the cold. It is extremely important to stay dry if you plan to survive long enough to keep your toes warm around a campfire somewhere.

Layers also serve different functions. Your inner layer (or layers) should be made of something that wicks away sweat. The middle layer should be warm and insulating, and the outer layer should protect it from the wind. It is also good if this layer is waterproof.

Most people make the mistake of thinking only of coats. If you want to survive, you need to cover as much of your body as possible while remaining mobile. You lose most of your body heat through your head, arms, and legs, so make sure they are well insulated.

First layer.

The first layer, your long underwear, should wick away the sweat. There are a variety of synthetic and natural fibers, but the best material to whip up sweat is wool. Of course, it also itches. Merino wool is much softer than other types of wool, and wicks sweat well, but a little more expensive.

Sure, you can still jump into the project and raise your sheep and make wool yarn so you can knit your own long underwear, but that's not an option or preference for many people.

A cheaper and less labor intensive option might be to choose something other than wool.

Polypropylene does not absorb moisture, which makes it a great material for underwear, but it is flammable. Keep this in mind when sitting around a campfire in the evening.

Silk feels great, but it's not very moisturizing. Stay away from cotton and flannel as they retain moisture. This is bad when it comes to staying warm because the amazingly soft fabric that feels so good against your skin when it's dry turns into a sticky, heavy material that sucks out all your body heat when it's wet.

Oh, and anything that sucks the heat out of your body contributes to hypothermia, which, if you don't already know, is bad. It also creates a petri dish for bacteria.

By the way, there are some synthetic blends that actually contain compounds that inhibit bacterial growth. It's not a big deal if you only wear it for a day or two, but if you wear it for several days or more at a time, it's a problem.

Middle and outer layers

Your coat can serve as both a middle layer and an outer layer if it is filled with insulating material and has a windproof outer shell. The padding is the middle layer and the outer shell is the outer layer.

Jackets designed to keep you warm on your way from the car to the office often offer more aesthetic appeal than functional. They will keep you warm, but they are not designed to keep you warm for long, or really keep you out of the wind or keep you dry.

If you go for a coat that will really keep you warm in the great outdoors, go for one that has a baffling -- those little layers of pockets full of down that are sewn like a blanket.

This is a good thing because it helps hold in place and create what people call mantle a loft. We normal people would probably just call it fluffiness or puffiness. You don't need as much fill if your coat has a lot of loft.

Coats are great, especially if you choose a good one, and they are lightweight. Cheaper versions often use feathers instead of down, which is not as good an insulator. It depends on the density of the down that lets warm air in. You can determine how many feathers are in it by doing a squeeze test. If you can feel feathers, there are feathers present.

There are also good synthetic blends that provide good insulation, as well as breathable but waterproof shells that keep the wind out. Two common ones are polyester and nylon.

Since polyester is made mostly of plastic, it has great value as an insulator and windbreaker. Nylon is durable and doesn't absorb much water. What it does absorb, it doesn't hold. Instead, the moisture evaporates, making it a great material for an outer shell.


You definitely need gloves - think of them as a coat for your hands. With that in mind, you want your gloves to have the same properties as a coat.

Mittens are a better option because they keep all your fingers together in a warm little pocket, while gloves keep your fingers insulated. It is important that your gloves are well insulated if you choose to use them instead of mittens. Gloves offer much more freedom of movement than mittens.

The type of fabric you choose will depend on your activity. If you're going to be sweating, you want something breathable that will wick away moisture while keeping your hands warm. If you won't be active, you can opt for something with more insulation.

Socks and hats.

Cold feet are uncomfortable. Not only that, but they can be deadly. If you get frostbite, you also risk developing gangrene. Not fun. Wool socks, on the other hand, are best because of their moisture-regulating and insulating properties, while cotton socks are worst. As with coats, there are blends that work well.

You can always buy a coat with a hood if you want. However, there are some limitations when you wear a hood as opposed to a beanie. So if you decide to go with a beanie, follow the same rule as you would with socks. Wool is good because it's both insulating and moisture-managing.

Oh, and don't forget to cover your face. Your nose is one of the quickest appendages to get cold, so cover it! A good wool hat will keep your head, face and neck warm and cozy.

Choosing winter clothing that will keep you warm every day and alive in SHTF doesn't have to be complicated, but you should consider your environment and assess your needs (durability, flammability, etc.) before investing in good outdoor clothing.

Some things can be saved, but this probably shouldn't be one of them. Buy good stuff - your life may depend on it at some point.

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