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Your Layering Clothes Guide

Layering clothes is an advisable well known strategy to protect us from the cold and to provide comfort.

Doing this well will protect outdoor enthusiasts from the elements whilst keeping them comfortable, and combat loss of heat .

The Three Layer Approach

An easy to follow explanation of the three layer approach.

Base Layer: This is the layer next to the skin which can be anything from basic underwear to long underwear and quality under-layer garments made from the best fabrics that can insulate the body whilst being breathable. Breathability is an important factor to consider when wearing buying hiking clothes because of the sweat we produce from the hike.

This clothing is usually a thin but effective layer that should also wick moisture (draw moisture from body into to garment, then to the outside to evaporate).

Cotton shirts and other underwear that is commonly used will absorb moisture (sweat) from the body in to the fabric, but when the body heat cools down the material will become uncomfortable because these materials will retain moisture. Cotton has its place but its not the best Hiking clothes material for cold weather within the layering clothes approach.

The ideal fabrics to be used will retract and push moisture away from the skin and should dry much quicker.

Second or Mid Layer: This is the trousers (pants) and sweatshirt (jumper) to keep it simple. This layer when wearing Hiking clothes in colder climates may be made from materials like fleece for the top half of the body.

Fleece is a good insulator between the Base and outer shell and commonly used. Many will have wool as there choice of material because it's natural, produces heat and wicks well, although wool does not dry as quick as other materials used.

Outer Layer: We call the last layer the outer layer which needs to protects us from rain, wind or snow. This also needs to be able to offer ventilation to get rid of body moisture as well as being an insulator.

There is no end to quality jackets and trousers made from various materials to match all conditions available today that gives the outdoor enthusiast the opportunity to get full protection, come rain or shine.

Note about layering clothes: It's important we are able to remove a layer of clothing when we become very hot to prevent clothing from becoming damp and uncomfortable. Usually opening a jacket will suffice or a vent built into the Jacket if the first and second layer wicks easy enough.

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