The Four Layers Of Clothing You Absolutely Need For "Arctic" Winters

Looks like this winter is going to be another frigid one. So far, the snowfall is below expectations, but the days of harsh winds and frigid cold are bitter enough to give a bag of grapefruit a run for the money. If you love outdoor winter activities, or you have to go out into the cold when you do not want to, you need to dress in layers. Trips to the ER for frostbite are no laughing manner. Here are your layers of clothing, from closest to the skin to the outer shell.

Performance Long Sleeve Shirts

You put this type of shirt on before you put on anything else. (Ladies, you can wear a bra underneath.) The moisture-wicking technology keeps sweat off of your skin, which can actually cause you to get colder faster. By staying drier, you maintain body temperature better. Additionally, these shirts are made to keep body heat in, while wicking sweat away.

Long Underwear

Sure, laugh about it, but long underwear has come a long way from the red "woolies" your Grandpa wore way back when. Now long underwear can be as silky and/or as soft plush as you want it and still do what the "woolies" did. Pull on the long underwear pants and the long-sleeved long underwear top over the bottom and top of your performance wear. This is the next layer of warmth that will keep you from freezing. 

Flannel Shirts or a Sweater and Lined Jeans or Cords

Next up, pull on a heavy flannel shirt or a sweater. A heavy hooded sweatshirt works too. Then pull on jeans that are lined inside with flannel. (Yes, they do sell adult jeans like that; you have to shop a farm goods store to get them.) Heavy corduroy pants are a good substitute if you cannot find the lined jeans. Right about now, you are probably sweating to death, but once you get outside, you will be extremely glad that you are as toasty as you are. Do not forget warm socks! Fingers and toes are the first things to get frostbite in these subzero temperatures!

Snow Pants, Heavy Winter Coat, Lined Boots, and Warm Gloves/Mittens

Finally, you can pull on all of your snow gear. This includes snow pants, a lined coat (not that lightweight winter jacket!), warm gloves or mittens, and maybe a muffler, scarf and/or winter hat. By now, you should look like you are five hundred pounds, but you will not freeze outside, that is for sure! You are ready to brave the cold, not sweat, not freeze, and stay out for as long as you want, or as long as you have to (e.g., when you have to shovel snow).

Do Not Have Half This Gear? Time to Go Shopping!

If this is your first winter in the frozen north of the country, you probably lack more than half of the aforementioned items. That is normal. However, you will definitely have to go shopping. Here is where you can find all of the above items.

  1. Performance shirts, pants, jog shorts, and bike shorts can all be purchased from a sporting goods store. They may also be purchased online, just like everything else you can buy nowadays.
  2. Long underwear for winter is available in almost every brick and mortar store in the northern half of the U.S. this time of year. Hunters use it during hunting season, and there are only so many people that do not wear long underwear. Most department stores sell it in the underwear sections.
  3. Flannel-lined pants for adults are sold at farming goods stores. "Cords" are sold everywhere, as are sweaters and sweatshirts.
  4. Winter gear is also sold everywhere. You just have to know what to look for.

Now you are ready for the arctic cold that sweeps through this part of the country every year.