Monday, August 27, 2007

The Proper Way to Layer Your Clothing Without Hindering Mobility

Many people go about layering clothing the wrong way. It is a common misperception that the layers must be thick. Layering in thick layers really limits mobility and is not really functional for a backpacker. The best way to layer is with thin clothing. Thin layers means you can have more layers. This is far more functional than a few thick layers.

Layering is something that is easily learned. The reason you want to try multiple thin layers is for a few good reasons. Thin layering makes it easier to move. You are not weighed down by bulk and therefore you can keep the mobility you are used to. It also makes it easier to adjust your layering. If you get too warm you simple remove a layer. Since the layers are thin you will not be removing much clothing. This helps in two ways. You will not have to now carry a thick, bulky piece of clothing. Also, if you are wearing only a few thick layers, taking off one makes for a dramatic change. With a thin layer you have a gradual change, so you won’t have to keep taking off and putting on clothing as your body temperature fluctuates.

There should be three main layers to your clothing. The inner layer should be something that absorbs moisture well and dries quickly. In cold weather it should also help to insulate and keep your body heat in. The middle layer should be comprised of items that will insulate. The outer layer needs to be waterproof and able to repel the wind. It also helps if it has pockets or areas to put items like a compass and flashlight. These three layers are not just for winter backpacking. You should always dress in layers because you will be the most protected from any bad weather and you will find, especially the inner absorbent layer, is even helpful in the warmer weather.

Layering your clothing should not be a challenge. You should not lose mobility and it should never be uncomfortable. Clothing is meant for protection and that is how you should look at it. Choose items that are comfortable and serve a purpose. Be sure to think about keeping the items thin. Also remember to think about the three layers you should always have.

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