DRESSING FOR SUCCESS
FOR CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING

 

There are two ways to become uncomfortably or even dangerously cold in the winter. Obviously, if you dress in only thin garments, you will feel cold. But, wearing too much heavy clothing can also make you cold. When you are engaged in vigorous activities such as cross‑country skiing your body generates heat and moisture. If you are overdressed, you will overheat and perspire. Excessive perspiration will rapidly cool your body when you stop to rest. To stay warmer and more comfortable, dress in only moderately warm clothing while cross‑country skiing. To avoid overheating, make small adjustments as you ski. For example, unzip your windbreaker or unbutton your collar. Carry an extra sweater or jacket to put on when you stop to rest. By following a few simple principles, you will stay warm and avoid overheating. The following is a quick guide about what to wear.
 SAMPLE OUTFIT
 
Two pairs of socks
Long underwear
Loose wool pants
Turtleneck or flannel shirt
Sweater or pile Jacket
Windbreaker
Knit cap
Bandanna
Sunglasses
Daypack
 
 
INNER LAYER
 
Long underwear--Serves both as an insulating layer and to wick away perspiration. Long underwear must be thin and flexible enough to allow easy movement. Tops with turtlenecks are effective. Turtlenecks that zip open at the neck allow you to make adjustments for comfort.

  

Best  Acceptable Poor
Polypropylene                         Nylon/lycra  "Waffle-knit"
Thermax                         Wool/cotton blend   Cotton
Wool                         Acrylic
Silk
 MIDDLE LAYER
 
The middle layer has to serve only one function, Insulation. Here you have more flexibility.. Almost any comfortable. lightweight top will serve. Two medium or thin layers are better than one thick one. Leave your heavy coat or down jacket in the lodge or your cabin while skiing.

Best                         Acceptable                         Poor
Sweater                         Almost any  lightweight garment                         Down jacket
Wool shirts    Heavy coat
Vest                         Waterproof garments
Pile jacket
OUTER LAYER
 
The outer layer should shed snow easily, be breathable to let body heat and moisture escape, and be wind resistant. Avoid garments. such as blue jeans that hold moisture. There is nothing so uncomfortable as wet clothes in winter. Pants should fit loose enough around the knee to permit easy movement. Better yet, use stretch fabrics or wear knickers. If you tend to get cold feet, you may want to bring a pair of leg warmers.

 

Tops:

Best                         Acceptable                         Poor
Windbreaker                         Acrylic                         Cotton
Gortex                         Poplin                         Waterproof materials
Nylon                         Blend fibers

Pants:

Best                         Acceptable                         Poor
Stretch nylon Corduroy                            Blue jeans
Tight-weave wool  Loose-weave wool Waterproof materials
Man-made fabrics  Poplin                         Tight-fitting, nonstretch materials
EXTREMITIES
 
HEAD--Bring a hat that will cover your ears. Knit caps or balaclavas work well. You will find several uses for a bandanna. You 'may want a scarf as well. And don't forget sunglasses.
 
HANDS--Mittens or warm gloves are a must. Mittens are more effective at keeping your fingers warm.. Optionally. you can follow the layering system here as well‑- liner gloves, mittens and mitten shells. Thin liner gloves keep your hands from freezing when you take off your mittens to adjust equipment or take a picture. Nylon or gortex mitten shells shed snow and help to keep your mittens dry.
 
FEET--Thin liner socks help prevent blisters and wick away moisture. Olefin, wool, or silk are good. One thick pair or two not-quite-so-thick pairs of wool or synthetic-fiber socks provide insulation. Too much thickness will cause your ski boots to fit poorly. (The secret to keeping your feet warm is to keep your legs warm.) Gaiters are optional; they help keep snow out of your boot, tops.
 
  Jessie Cohen 1988
 
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