Proper Clothing

Examples of proper cold weather/mountain apparel

Severe cold and harsh winds can freeze unprotected flesh in minutes. Protect the whole body, hands and feet. Wear a hood – it should have a drawstring so that it can partly cover the face. Fur trimming will prevent moisture in the breath freezing on the face and injuring the skin.

Outer garments should be windproof, with a close enough weave to prevent snow compacting, but porous enough to allow water vapor to escape – NOT waterproof, which could create condensation inside. Base layers should trap air to provide heat insulation. Animal skins make ideal outer clothing as well.

Openings allow heat to escape; movement can drive air out through them. If clothing has no draw strings, tie something around sleeves above cuffs, tuck trousers into socks or boots. If you begin to sweat loosen some closures (collar, cuffs). If still too warm remove a layer. Do so when doing jobs like chopping wood or shelter-building.

Only a plane crash or forced landing is likely to leave someone in cold-regions unequipped. Try to improvise suitable clothing before leaving the plane.

Wear wool – it does not absorb water and is warm even when damp. Spaces between the knit trap body heat. It is best for inner garments.

Cotton acts like a wick, absorbing moisture. When wet, it can lose heat 240 times faster than when dry.

C.O.L.D. – Your Key to Staying Warm

C – Keep it CLEAN – Dirt and grease block air spaces!
O – Avoid OVERHEATING – Ventilate!
L – Wear it LOOSE – Allow air to circulate!
D – Keep it DRY – Outside and inside!