While throwing a final layer of ice melt before turning in for the evening I had to take my glove off so I could use my nails in order to open the can. In that short amount of time (approx. 30 seconds) my hand cramped up and started to hurt and my skin immediately became flush. Depending on the temperature and wind conditions you can experience frostbite within the afore-mentioned time frame. I will also point out that it can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 3 hours, again depending on wind and weather, for someone to die from hypothermia. That brief moment of discomfort brings me to my point(s) of explaining correct cold weather clothing. It’s more so if you are going to be outside for a prolonged amount of time.
So starting with your base layer will e underwear. Ladies thongs aren’t gonna cut it and gents neither is the banana hammock. I recommend a boxer style undergarment which allows your neither region to “breath”, but also be adequately covered. (Ladies I believe those are called boy shorts.) On your feet you could put a no-show sock on, but its optional.
For the next layer pay close attention. It is very important to have a layer that wicks away moisture (sweat) from the skin. Any sort of moisture near the skin despite how many layers you may have on is going to cause you to get cold. Something similar to the material the UnderArmor is made from will suffice. Don’t use cotton materials. It will hold water like a sponge. Everything I just said in the paragraph is very important. This is the part most people fail on and that’s how you get sick or worse.
Moving to the first thermal layer you have a few options. First off you could invest in a good set of thermal underwear, but if your like me and on a budget there’s other options. A long-sleeved shirt of some kind and a pair of pajama pants will do. Also a pair of cotton socks that reach up to your shins.
Your second thermal layer should include a regular t-shirt and jeans or whatever work pants you would normally use. I also suggest putting on your final set of socks here. Depending on your footwear you can either go with a second pair of cotton socks or kick it up to a thick pair of wool socks.
Before moving on I want to remind everyone that it is important to remain dry as possible especially your feet. Bring an extra pair of socks to change into. I can also suggest some talcum powder to aid in keeping your feet dry.
Depending on what you are doing outside you may just move onto boots and coat or it might require an extra layer of pants. Basically, if you are going to be working or playing in deep snow you will want to put on a pair of snow pants. This allow you to move around in knee-deep or higher snow without getting wet and stay warm.
When it comes to foot wear forget anything other than a good sturdy pair of boots. They will provide ample ankle support and should have enough for your foot with extra layers of socks. FYI: UGG’S DO NOT COUNT!!! Do consider the type of boot you wear though. A standard work boot will be ok for most things, but there are boots suited specifically for deep snow.
Moving to top body coverage. If you are wearing snow pants they are most likely an overall style and are at least covering part of your back and chest. Otherwise a heavy coat with a hood is suggested. The reason I suggest the hood is because it is easiest to cover up your head and neck with the hood. Otherwise you will need a scarf and ear muffs at the minimum. Depending on the weather conditions you may also consider is some sort of face covering and eye protection if weather is severe enough. Although I normally also have a hood of some kind I normally trade-off my scarf for a shemagh. That way if need be I can wrap my entire head in it and have negated needing ear muffs and face protection as well.
As the old saying goes most of the bodies heat escapes from the head. Always wear a hat.
Finally the hands. One trick I picked up from marching band is to wear a pair of medical gloves underneath my other gloves. This helps wick away moisture because of the powder most gloves have inside them, but also provides another layer of warmth. Once more depending on the weather conditions you might want to use a s then mitten as your net layer or you could jump right to the durable glove.
If you haven’t noticed I talked about layers a lot. When you start moving around and doing things your body will produce heat. This way as your warm up you could remove a layer or two allowing your body to breath. That way you don’t over heat or drown in sweat.