Monday, January 6, 2014

How to Dress in Arctic Air

Most of the country is dealing with uncommonly cold weather this week. The talking heads are saying if you are under 40 years old you have never experienced anything so frigid.  Our low was -11 degrees Fahrenheit last night, and the kids are off to school.  I'll be out and about this morning and off to the pool, without a second thought about the frigid weather.  It's just another January day in Bozeman and we know how to deal with it.

The key to protecting yourself in single digit and subzero weather is to dress for it. Yes, don't go outside unnecessarily (well, we will recreate outdoors in single digit temps here). But proper dress will allow you to survive, avoid frostbite and be reasonably comfortable. If you have ski pants or a snow suit wear it. On top wear multiple layers. At the max, I wear a t-shirt, a turtle neck, and a flannel shirt under a thick down filled hooded parka or ample Carhart coat zipped completely up to the chin. Wear long underwear, pantyhose or running tights under your pants or rain pants over. Wear thick socks in warm, snug, and insulated boots, preferably with a thick sole to maintain an insulated layer above the frigid ground.  Tie, clasp or snap the boots on with your pants securely tucked within to maintain an airlock.  

Heavyweight Carthart coat
Wear thick, insulated gloves or mittens (or thick on top of thin). Mittens are preffered. Tuck them into your sleeves. If you are wearing gloves and are outside for an extended period of time, pull your fingers into a ball inside of the glove whenever possible so they insulate one another.  Make sure your neck is covered by a scarf or balaclava.  You absolutely must cover your ears -- they are extremely vulnerable to frostbite and freezing. It is best to wear stocking hat under a tied parka hood.  Or wear a bomber hat. Have as little exposed face as possible. If you have ski goggles, bring them along.

Okay you guys, you can plan and do it now. Once you get in sync it only takes a few extra minutes to dress for the cold.  Have a great day and good luck to all.

Elementary school hallway in Bozeman, Montana

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