What to Wear!??
You need an inner layer that’s non-absorbent next to your skin, to avoid chilling your body when sweating. Synthetics such as acrylic, lycra or polyester or natural fibers like wool work just fine for your first layers. Synthetics are made of plastic, hollow fibres that won’t absorb moisture. Wool is nature’s best natural water resistant insulator. No need to buy special clothes, improvise with what you have at home! Workout tights, regular nylons, or leotards next to your skin can really help! (polar fleece pyjamas work too, lol) Check your material labels, looking for any materials that are sythetic and not NATURAL.
Whatever you do – don’t wear bluejeans!
DON’T wear cotton outside in winter – keep it for lounging by the fire. Cotton absorbs sweat and moisture and clings, robbing you of heat, and giving you the chills! If you want to be active year round, invest in polypropylene long underwear. Polypropylene is a great material that works well in ALL conditions. Fleece is a cheap layering material, thick pile is best! Polar Fleece is the BEST VALUE. Combine that with tights underneath, and stay warm!
Next, you’ll cover your thinner inner layers with one or more bulky layers. Think ‘insulation layer’ and you’re good. A loose fit will keep from restricting your movement once the final layer goes on. Choose this layer based on the conditions outside – add another layer when really cold! A Wool, or acrylic blend sweater, or better yet, thick and toasty POLAR FLEECE does the trick! Often you can buy a cozy polar fleece combo top/bottoms at department stores & it’s great because it’s non absorbent. Or try Value Village!
The key words four outerwear are WINDPROOF, WATERPROOF, BREATHABLE Gortex is FANTASTIC – but NOT CHEAP. For a cheaper alternative, think NYLON. A winter jacket over your layers is usually enough for your upper body. Thinsulate is cheaper now and stores have many cheap alternatives. Avoid rubberized ‘raincoat’ material, as moisture will quickly accumulate and chill, as it’s not breathable. Avoid Cotton outer shells, even those that are treated with water repellent material. Snow lands on you, and when it melts, it can soak you down through the layers and chill you to the bone. Nothing is completely waterproof, but you aren’t running in rain, you are running in snow so think ‘slide’ – use slick material so snow doesn’t stick & melt. *snowmobilers – we no longer supply outer clothing so please dress yourselves well*
A NOTE ABOUT GLASSES
If you wear glasses, and contacts are an option, wear your contacts. Glasses can be difficult due to fogging, if you have anti fog spray that’s also a good idea.
FOR YOUR HANDS
As above , thick polar fleece, polypropylene or thinsulate liners are excellent. ‘WINDSTOPPER’ gloves are fantastic, and don’t always need an outer shell. Quite amazing, and quite warm on their own, but can be expensive. No matter what, don’t use cotton! Add an outer shell of gortex or similar material over your inner glove, to keep snow off. Silver ‘reflectant’ glove liners work as an extra layer.
Remember, it doesn’t have to be fancy! Some of my own best gloves are cheap, and found at chain stores like Walmart. The dollar store carries many cheap synthetic gloves. In fact even Dollarama has some excellent gloves for the money. Choose from any one of a variety of great ‘all in one’ products on the market. Just be sure and try them out first – to avoid nasty surprises! Because for your activities, gloves are better than mitts, but you can always bring more than one pair in case the first pair gets wet. Read on for chemical solutions for warm hands when the thermometer plunges!
FOR YOUR FEET
Remember, just like your upper clothing, wool or synthetic blend socks will make you so much comfortable than cotton! You can also buy thin polypropylene socks to wear under an outer, wool pair. Don’t cram your feet into boots however! Layer, but don’t overdo it as you can impair circulation. Read on for chemical solutions on keeping feet warm, even when the thermometer plunges!
AVOID cotton, the worst choice for winter!
FINAL WINTER NOTES
Do you have CHRONIC COLD FEET & HANDS? There are also CHEMICAL solutions for those of us who have real problems with hands and feet (or if you want to be sure!) Head down to Canadian Tire and grab those fantastic packaged HAND or FOOT warmers. They cost a couple of bucks, you shake them, & put them in your gloves and boots, they’ll keep you toastey all day! It’s TWO different products, so be sure and check whether they are HAND, or are they FOOT warmers? The foot warmers are FLAT & rounded, and designed to stick into the bottom of your boot. Hand warmers, though GREAT in gloves, will NOT work in the absence of oxygen, in boots!
THROUGHOUT THE SUMMER HEAT, BUGS AND SUNSHINE NO need to hide out in bug season!! We are used to the schedule and habits of our pesky friends, and with planning, we can ride throughout bug season and enjoy the best of SPRING and SUMMER. Lightweight & Long sleeves for the bugs, or bring your favorite can of bug spray. Bug Jackets can also work well! When summer heat hits, if you MUST wear shorts, wear LONG shorts. If you don’t, you can get leather rubs on your legs. Also, bug spray will be required for arms, and legs in shorts. Coming from the cottage, wearing flip flops? We do have boots for our customers, but you will need SOCKS for this footwear, BYOS! During the FALL, lightweight outer jackets and inner synthetic layers do the trick. Remember, in the spring and fall, LAYERS, LAYERS! If it looks like rain, be sure to bring a lightweight waterproof jacket..