November 5, 2013

Keep Your Cool By Staying Warm This Winter

Hiking in the winter can be just as pleasant as any other season.  Wearing the right gear whether coat, vest, or sweater, is essential so you don't get too warm or cold.   Layering is important as you tend to begin the hike a bit cold, but end up feeling warm after a mile or two.   One of my favorite hiker friends says,  "if you are comfortable at the beginning of the hike, you'll surely be too warm after a mile or so."

The following are a couple of winter items that are either on my wish list or already hanging in the hiking closet. 

This North Face jacket is definitely on my wish list.   It has the revolutionary new "Thermo Ball" synthetic insulation which mimics the best of down but is cozy and light.  It has a nylon lining which wicks sweat off the skin for quick evaporation.  Best of all, this jacket can be easily stuffed into its own space-saving, left-hand stow pocket for quick and easy storage.  It repels light moisture and will keep you cozy and warm on a windy day. 

The LL Bean Thinsulate Vest is my all-time favorite hiking vest.  I like to wear it over a favorite crew top or light-weight fleece pullover.  It is lightly insulated so you stay comfortable whether indoors or out.  It has a very feminine shape and suitable to wear on or off the hiking trail. 

I hope Santa brings this Patagonia Better Sweater Jacket.  "With the feel of wool but the easy care of fleece, this sweater jacket is hard to beat for cool-weather adventures" according to Patagonia.  It is sized to be worn over other layers and under a shell jacket.  While on a recent hike with a very experienced hiker, she said by far this is her favorite piece of hiking attire. 

The North Face Warm Crew Neck top is a great first layer to wear with any of the items featured in this post.  It is made of midweight moisture-wicking polyester which keeps you dry even though you may be perspiring on that uphill climb.  This top has a relaxed, next-to-skin fit that skims the body. 

Columbia's Glacial Fleece III 1/2 Zip is perfect for layering and can be worn over a crew top, under a vest, sweater, or jacket.  It has flattering princess seams and a roomy, high collar to keep out drafts.

Many of these featured items can be found in your local outdoor recreation outfitter, and frequently you can find a cheaper store brand.  You don't have to buy an expensive name brand to get quality hiking gear.  I hope this information will help you stay warm this winter so you can Keep On Hiking.

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