Man dressed in base layers, insulated overalls and jacket, knit cap and insulated gloves carries equipment over a snowy field.

HOW TO DRESS FOR THE COLD IN 4 EASY STEPS

Any day you’ll spend in the cold is a good day to layer. Layering is an important part of protecting yourself in cold temps, whether you work in a refrigerated warehouse or spend your winter weekends in a tent. Here are four easy steps when dressing for the cold using the right kind of layers and cold weather gear.

Step 1: Base Layer

Start with a layer against your skin. The key here is moisture management – fabric should wick moisture away from the skin to keep you dry and warm. Base layers range from briefs and sports bras to thick long underwear sets.

Activity level also affects how warm your base layer should be. If you won’t be moving around a lot, you’ll want something that provides extra warmth and comfort, like a long underwear set. An activity that involves a lot of movement, on the other hand, may need something light, like a moisture-wicking shirt.

And don’t forget – base layers aren’t just for your upper body; your lower half needs protection too.

Step 2: Mid Layer

The mid layer traps heat against the body to keep you warm. Fleece is the most common fabric for mid layer clothing. You’re looking for warmth, but not bulk.

It’s important to keep your core warm – the warmer your core is, the more blood gets to your extremities. Vests are versatile layer addition for a range of temperatures and activities to keep your core warm while retaining a full range of motion for your arms.

Step 3: Outer Layer

Your outer layer, or shell, is your weather protection. Depending on your activity, it should be wind-tight, waterproof and provide additional insulation if necessary. One of the more important factors of the outershell is that it’s breathable so moisture can escape from the base and mid layers through the outer layer.

Step 4: Insulated Gloves, Boots and Hats

Even with the perfect layers, you’ll still need gloves, boots and a hat to keep your extremities warm! Exposed skin is cold skin, so you want to keep everything covered. Just like with your layers, think about the job you’ll be doing and the temperatures you’ll be in.

When you’re dressing for the cold, you’ll want to look for insulated boots. Insulated work boots usually offer protective features, too, like a composite toe and no-slip soles to help with slippery conditions. For insulated gloves, performance work gloves are often the way to go for a combination of warmth and dexterity that will keep you comfortable but won’t get in the way of what you have to do.

There are no hard and fast rules for layering. Sometimes you might need less than three layers, other times you’ll need more than three! Just remember to be like the best kind of cake—layer up.