Webmaster note: this is a guest post from James Royce.
Don’t let the cold weather scare you away–the Grand Marais area has fantastic outdoor opportunities amid the snow flurries. You can share the company of Mother Nature while ice fishing, dog sledding, snow shoeing, skijoring, backcountry skiing, cross country skiing, and downhill skiing.
To keep warm during your epic outdoor adventure, the trick is to master layering. Dressing for winter requires a strategy that’s more refined than, “Wear layers and keep warm.” Even perspiration can chill your body and make it susceptible to frostbite or hypothermia. Smart layering is about wearing layers of performance-specific clothes that you can change as the conditions do.
Keep warm and dry with a base layer made of moisture-wicking material that carries sweat from your skin and “wicks away” moisture to outer layers for evaporation. Make sure your base layer (the layer closest to your skin) fits snugly, and look for materials such as merino wool, polyester, polypropylene, capilene, and silk. An expedition-weight base layer gives you maximum insulation and warmth for those extra cold days.
Your insulating layer provides your body with warmth and optimal body heat retention. Fleece and merino provide high-quality, breathable insulating layers. Fleece is fast-drying and now comes in a multitude of weights. While older wool materials used to bulk up when wet, modern merino wool does not pose that problem. Even better, the new merino wool clothes are woven to be soft and comfortable–no more scratching!
Make sure your outer layer properly ventilates and has tightly woven, wind-blocking materials that are coated or laminated. A functional outerwear jacket or pants should also have a breathable, water-resistant finish. Look for:
- Vents for enhanced breathability
- Zippers for easy ventilation
- Stretch panels for mobility and flexible movement
With the proper clothing, you can kiss your cabin fever goodbye and enjoy the majestic beauty of northern Minnesota winters.
James Royce is a freelance writer and photographer from Des Moines, Iowa. His favorite profession, however, is being a husband and a father to his three sons.
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