Getting ready to play outdoors but not sure what to wear? Here are some tips:
- Next to your Skin: Wear a base layer which will wick sweat away from your body to keep your skin dry. Long underwear pieces made from fabrics such as Thermion, polypropylene, Thermax, Thinsulate, and silk are appropriate. Cotton should not be used – save your t-shirts for other purposes.
- Insulating layer: This layer will keep you warm and can be shed once you warm up – Wool, fleece, pile, down in a jacket, shirt or vest.
- Outer layer: To protect you from the elements, wear a windproof and water resistant or waterproof and breathable jacket.
- Pants: If the weather is frigid, long underwear bottoms or tights underneath another pair of pants will keep you warm. Cotton and denim should be avoided. Running pants or running tights made of synthetics that wick moisture will keep you more comfortable in rain and snow.
- Hat: A hat is essential to keeping your body heat from escaping, as well as shedding rain or snow. A polar fleece hat with ear covering is ideal winter headgear. For those whose ears get cold, earbands are the answer.
- Gloves or mittens: Mittens will keep your hands the warmest as the fingers work together to build up warmth. Look for windproof mittens.
- Water bottle: You need water in winter as much as in summer, and drinking fountains may be turned off. Bring water along to stay hydrated.
- Scarf, neck gaiter, ski mask: Having a scarf or similar item along to wrap around your neck when the wind turns brutal can save your walking comfort. And you can pull your neck gaiter up over half of your face to keep it warm too.
- Sunscreen and lip protector: Protect your face and lips from the sun and wind and reflection from the snow.
- Waterproof shoes or boots: If your route is wet or snowy, invest in a pair of waterproof walking or hiking shoes. Coating shoes with a water repellent fabric treatment is another option. Don’t wear slick soled shoes if there will be wet or snowy pavement.
- Socks: Switch to heavier, wicking socks or wear two pairs for more insulation. Test your socks with your chosen shoes to make sure there is still room for your toes to wiggle.
- Bring your cell phone in case of emergency. Before you go, let someone know where you’re going and when you’re expected back, and afterward let them know when you’re safe. That way if something happens, they’ll know where to look for you.
Wear layers, be prepared for changing weather conditions and unexpected events and have fun outdoors this winter! The fresh air will make you feel great!