Preparing for Polar Bear Weather

Getting outside consistently has proven to be healthy and can aid in feelings of renewal.

Unfortunately, it can be challenging to still feel passionate or even enjoy getting outside when it’s colder than the tush of a polar bear sitting on a glacier.

Nevertheless, getting outside, even at a minimum of 2 hours a week, can bring tremendous benefits to a person’s life. With proper gear and respect for nature, a person can both stay safe and enjoy the cold weather.

Find out more below!

Staying Safe While Enjoying the Cold Outdoors:

My personal tip is to turn yourself into a lasagna aka layers are your best friend.

Layers are always an important part of enjoying the outdoors in cold weather. They can ensure comfort and safety from hypothermia

There are plenty of ways a person can get hypothermia, even if they are wearing the thickest coat and the biggest socks possible. For instance, slipping on ice and falling bum first in a wet puddle of mud or sweating through that super heavy coat in the afternoon, knowing that the temperature is going to drop before you’re inside and your coat is dry.

Base layer: Why Cotton is a No No

When preparing to experience the outdoors in the cold, it may be best to layer up like a lasagna. The amount of layers depends on how cold it is outside and the activity you are choosing to do. The number one tip to follow for every person who wants to feel warm in the cold is NEVER EVER wear cotton as your base layer.

Cotton, a hydrophilic material, absorbs sweat making your first layer of clothing wet. This can become uncomfortable or even dangerous (activity and proximity to shelter dependent). When a base layer becomes wet, the wearer is at a higher risk for hypothermia.

Rather than cotton, opt for moisture wicking fabrics that are solely made from:

  • spandex
  • polypropylene
  • polyester
  • nylon
  • wool
  • bamboo

As an environmentalist, it’s hard to suggest using fabrics that are primarily made from plastic; however, there are many brands that are making moisture wicking clothing from recycled material. Moreover, one can opt for natural materials like wool and bamboo (these tend to be more expensive though). These fabrics will act as your base layer.

Insulating like a lamb

On top of your non-cotton base layer is your insulating layer. This means a cozy pullover or sweater made from wool, fleece, or recycled material that mimics down. Again, avoid cotton at all costs, especially if you’re planning on being out in the cold for longer than a couple of hours at a time or doing any winter sports (skiing, snowshoeing, hiking etc.).

The Shell

Lastly, the outerwear layer; however, this layer is optional because it depends on the weather conditions and the activity you plan on doing. If you’re like me and doing a precipitation free hike, I usually stop after the insulation layer and carry a rain coat in my backpack just in case.

Swipe to add my layers 🙂

Layering like a lasagna is unique to each person and their winter outdoor plans. However, whether you are filled with veggies, meat, or just pasta and sauce, say SEE YA to cotton!

Have a happy time on your winter adventures and I hope you stay warmer than a polar bear’s tush!


6 thoughts on “Preparing for Polar Bear Weather

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