Teva Tip 6 - Dressing for Cold Weather
Sooner or later, winter is going to set in and the temperatures will be dropping below freezing. The key to enjoying wintertime is to dress
properly for it.
You probably know already that wearing several layers of clothing is better than wearing a really heavy coat. Multiple layers give you the option of removing pieces to adjust to your changing body temperature. As you become more active, your body heats up and you will begin to sweat unless you have a way of releasing the heat. Many of the newer winter coats have "pit zips," zippers under the arms that can be opened to release the heat.
There are two objectives to keeping warm; insulating your body from the cold temperature and not sweating. Sweat is how our bodies cool
themselves. When water evaporates, it transfer heat; that is, it makes surfaces cooler.
To experience the cooling effect of evaporating water, try this experiment. Turn on a small fan and place both hands in front of it. Wet one hand first. In seconds, your wet hand will feel a lot cooler than your dry hand. The same thing happens when we sweat in the winter. In sub-zero temperatures, sweating is the first step in a process that could lead to illness or even death.
Insulated underwear, also known as "Long Johns," is a must for anyone who plans to spend any length of time outdoors in very cold temperatures. These
garments are made from a variety of materials with silk, wool and polypropolene (recycled plastic) being the most popular. Each of these offers advantages and each has limitations.
The major advantage to wool is that it allows a person to retain body heat even when wet. The disadvantage is that it tends to itch and some people even have allergic reactions to wool. The major advantage to polypropolene is that it wicks moisture from the body (like sweat) and it's filled with billions of air bubbles, making it a perfect insulator. Its big disadvantage is that it absorbs body odor and can really smell awful. Unless washed the right way, the odors can become "locked into" the material. The major advantage to silk is also that wicks body moisture away from the skin. It's disadvantage is that it does not offer the same degree of insulation as either wool or polypropolene.
You might be interested to know that studies have shown caribou hide to be the warmest natural material.
If you have been wondering what you could possibly give to the Director of the Jewish Nature Center for a Chanukah present, a good old caribou coat would probably make the perfect gift.