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Outdoor Clothing Layering Principle Explained

Outdoor clothing can be rather intimidating especially if you’re just trying out hiking or backpacking as a hobby. Hiking enthusiasts recommend that you should be prepared with your outdoor clothing because weather could be unpredictable. To make sure that hikers are protected from the harsh elements, the principle of layering was invented. Here we explain the basics of the layering principle which will prepare you for any weather.

The Layering Principle

The layering principle is customisable according to your insulation needs. Since not all people are created equal in terms of body size, temperature, and fitness, perfecting your layering technique may require several tries. However, a balance between keeping you warm and dry while allowing air to circulate must be met.

Base Layer

Since it is the closest to your body, the base layer’s main aim is to keep moisture away from your body while maintaining an even body temperature. The base layer consists of your underwear. Lightweight fabrics that allow for moisture wicking without being abrasive are the best. Some recommend polyester, wool, or silk depending on your comfort levels. Your decision on your base layers must rest on where you plan to hike and the kind of weather that you’re expecting.

Insulation Layer

Like the base layer, the insulation layer also keeps you warm while keeping the moisture away from your body. Depending on the location of your outdoor activity, you may have only one or more insulation layers. The insulation layer is composed of walking shirts, fleece jackets, or walking trousers or shorts. You should also have headgear that will keep you from losing body heat through the head. It also protects your face and head from the sun.

Weatherproof Outer Layer

The weatherproof outer layer is essential especially if you’re thinking of hiking or trekking for extended periods of time. The outer layer serves as your protection from the weather. You must wear your outer layer to shelter you from the wind, heat, or other elements.

Outdoor enthusiasts often have to look for the perfect combination of breathability and ability to repel water in their clothing. Waterproof fabrics are not the most breathable fabrics in the universe, but they do make a good job of helping you stay dry. If you want something that’s more breathable, another option is water-resistant outdoor clothing that will provide protection from the wind, but not the rain.

If you choose waterproof jackets or trousers, always remember that these fabrics do not allow for your perspiration to evaporate. Because of this, you must keep your physical activity to a minimum to avoid being drenched with sweat inside. You may also choose wearing a rain poncho which protects you from the rain and could be stored in your backpack until you need it.

Now that you know about the three layers of outdoor clothing, you’ll be more prepared to face whatever the outdoors have in store for you. Making sure that you have the base layer, insulation layer, and weather-proof outer layer will prepare you for any eventuality, be it a storm or the wind.

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