In this, the last installment on layering your clothing, I briefly look at the outer layer and those for the heads, fingers and toes!
The outer layer is the barrier to wind, rain and snow. The basic waterproof achieves its waterproofness through lamination, with greater repellency being achieved by heavier lamination. This hampers the fabric’s ability to breath. Greater breathability generally means less waterproof. Modern laminates provide an excellent compromise between breathability and repellency. Any waterproof should have sealed seams. This reduces leakage at the seams through the needle holes where the thread passes through.
As your core body temperature begins to drop, the body naturally starts to shunt more blood to the vital organs, resulting in constriction of the blood vessels in the extremities ie hands and feet first, then arms and legs. So no matter how good your layering system is, you still need good hat, gloves and boots. Both gloves and boots are available with multiple layers of insulation, windproof and waterproof fabrics.
In an ideal world your hat should be insulated, windproof and waterproof. Approximately 30% of your body heat is lost through your head. So it is an incredibly important part of your layering system.
Using an effective layering system tailored to your own comfort needs and body type, will allow you to experience the great outdoors in comfort no matter what the weather throws at you. It also means you are stacking the odds in your favour when it comes to your own survival.