Be Prepared for Cold Weather

by Jason Johns in Camping, Pack

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Fall is here, and Pack 24 is gearing up for a season of fun outdoor gatherings.

Remember! Sign up is open for our Greene Valley camping trip. Please be sure to registered by Friday, October 15, 2021.

The correct clothing and gear can help your family enjoy being outside in almost any weather.  Here are some tips for staying comfortable in the cold:

FALL

-Layer a fleece, sweater, or sweatshirt over comfortable clothing.  Add a windbreaker or heavier jacket as needed.  You want to be able to add layers when you’re cold and remove them when you’re too warm (sweat means wet skin, and wet skin means cold and uncomfortable skin). 

-On chilly days, remember you can layer pants, too.  A base layer (first layer) of long underwear, snug pajamas, or leggings can help you stay comfortable longer. 

-Stick some gloves and hats in your bag, even if you think you won’t need them.  Better to be extra prepared than to have your fun ruined by freezing hands.  This is especially important if you’ll be out in the evening – temperatures can drop quickly when the sun starts to set. 

-For rain or wet ground, staying dry is the key to staying warm.  My family loves rain suits and rain pants.  If you don’t have rain-specific gear, layering can help the clothing closest to your skin stay as dry as possible.  If you’ll be out for a long time, bring extra clothes.       

-Footwear should be comfortable and something you’re ok with getting dirty.  For wet weather, rain boots are ideal.  If your shoes/boots aren’t weatherproof, be sure to bring an extra pair.  Wet feet are really unpleasant in chilly weather. 

-Wool socks are great for staying warm and feeling drier.  But socks are one item NOT to layer (unless your boots have room to spare).  Doubling socks makes boots fit tighter, and tighter boots restrict circulation, resulting in colder feet.  This can be a problem with snug-fitting boots and thick socks, too.  A boots/socks combo that allows you to move your toes around is a better bet. 

-Add scarves or neck warmers as needed.

WINTER

-Layers are essential in winter, too.  If you’re wondering about fabrics, a base layer of wool or synthetic fibers (like polyester) works better than cotton.  Cotton soaks up and retains moisture, leaving skin wet if you sweat or if rain or snow gets through your outer layers.  The type of fabric for that mid-layer (sweats, fleece, etc.) isn’t as important.

-Winter coats and snow pants (your outer layer) should be weatherproof.  Snow pants aren’t just for the snow.  You can stay outside longer and sit on the cold ground more comfortably with snow pants on.     

-Snow boots should be not too tight (as mentioned above) and not too loose (boots that are too large can cause blisters or make it harder to walk properly).  Most companies leave a little extra room in snow boots for thicker socks, so buy your size but try on first if possible.  Rain boots with wool socks are a good substitute if your snow boots are drying at home.   

-Bring hats and gloves.  Ski masks/balaclava are great for super cold weather, sledding, and/or staying out for a long time.  Waterproof gloves or mittens are the best in the snow.  They can be hard to maneuver in, so we like to keep some thinner gloves in our bag in case we need to use our hands.  

-Hand warmers can go a long way towards cheering up a child struggling with the cold.  (Please read the safety information on any warmers you use.)  Another secret weapon is a thermos of warm tea. 

Happy Scouting!  We look forward to adventuring with you all! 

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