Coping with the Wind

Rooster on a weather vaneStaying warm in the winter can sometimes be tricky. What you need to wear to stay warm varies depending on the person and the type of activity you’re doing. If you’re camping in the cold, you will need heavier clothing than if you’re doing an aerobic activity like hiking or biking.

However, there is one great equalizer when it comes to winter cold. No matter who you are, or what you’re doing, a gust of icy wind can take you from comfortable to miserable in the blink of an eye.

Winter wind can blow through clothing like it was even there, wiggling its way through every seem and stitch, making you wish you had never left home. Wind can chap exposed skin, leaving your face and hands aching and itching. Wind can turn a cold but manageable day into and unbearable nightmare. OK, so wind in the winter is no good, but what can you do about it?

When it comes to keeping warm in the wind, the first thing you need to do is wear the right clothing. There are a few different materials that are designed to keep the wind at bay, which will make being outside much more enjoyable.

Softshell jackets and pants are designed to resist wind and moisture while still being breathable. This is the ideal fabric if you’re running, biking, or hiking in cold and windy weather.

Hardshell jackets and pants are waterproof, which basically makes them windproof. Since air molecules are smaller than water molecules, a waterproof jacket won’t technically mean windproof, but it will offer enough protection from the wind to keep you from freezing. However, since hardshells don’t breathe very well, they’re not ideal for aerobic activities.

Garments made with Windstopper or similar materials are completely windproof. This material can be used in jackets, pants, gloves, and hats, and is the way to go if you want maximum protection from cold winter winds.

What you wear makes a huge difference in how the wind affects you, so the next time you look out your window on a cold winter day, only to see the trees bending with the wind, be sure you grab the right gear!

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