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Cold Weather Walking Tips

“There is no bad weather, only bad clothing.” Not sure who said it, but I mostly agree. (There are a few days a year when it’s best to stay indoors.) Wearing the right clothes really does make a difference. Even in miserable conditions, you’ll feel more comfortable and enjoy your walk more if you’re dressed properly.

Nor snow…would stop me!
Nor snow…would stop me!

For cold weather walking, layering is key. This allows you to remove layers as you warm up and replace them as you cool down at the end of your walk. The goal is to stay dry by wicking sweat away from your skin to avoid becoming chilled. To do that, follow this 3-step layering system. (You may not always need all three layers on both your upper and lower body.)

• Bottom layer: Start with a light synthetic fabric such as CoolMax or polypropylene closest to your skin on top and bottom. It will pull sweat away from your skin and dry quickly

• Middle layer: This is your insulation. Look for a fleece, sweater, or sweatshirt made of a synthetic fabric like Polartec or a wool blend that provides warms while wicking away moisture. Depending on the temperature you may not need this layer on your lower body.

• Top layer: Here you need protection from wind, rain, or snow. A waterproof or water-resistant (depending on where you live), breathable jacket and pants such as those made of Gore-Tex will keep you warm and dry. Look for styles with vents that you can easily open and close to stay comfortable.

When choosing layers, dress for temperatures about 10 degrees higher than they are because you’ll be generating your own heat as you get moving. And, protect your extremities. Fingers are susceptible to frost bite so keep them covered. Wear a thin, moisture-wicking pair of gloves underneath heavier mittens or gloves. That way you can remove the outer layer without exposing your skin if your hands get sweaty. And don’t forget a hat!

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