As most of us know the key to staying warm in the winter and while doing this out doors is layer. Each layer of clothing serves a different purpose and is critical to your comfort. As well, when layer clothes, you can remove or add layers as the weather changes.
The first layer, and possibly the most important layer, is the base layer. The base layer is the layer that touches your skin and has the vital role of pulling moisture away from your skin. It is critical that moisture is pulled away from your skin and is not trapped in the materials that you are wearing as it conducts cold very well thus cooling you off and making you uncomfortable and possibly ruining an otherwise fine day of snowboarding.
Your base layer should contain three garments, long underwear, a long-sleeve top and socks. While most of us have some of these items around the home, the items we have may not be suitable. All items should be made out of a synthetic polyester or polypropylene material such as Capilene, Coolmax or Polartec and not cotton. While cotton is a very comfortable material and warm, it traps and holds moisture thus making you colder faster and defeating the purpose of layering your clothes.
An important point is the fit of your base layer. The base layer should fit snugly, but not tight, next to the skin in order to effectively wick moisture away. Equally important is the comfort of your base layer. It should be loose enough to trap air between layers, but not so bulky that it restricts movement. Properly fitted clothing will allow you the maximum range of motion.
Before heading out to the slopes you should take a moment to thinking about the socks that you intend to wear. Of course the number one rule is do not wear cotton socks, which may very well be all that you have. When shopping for your socks you will want synthetic materials just like your underwear.
While shopping, you may come across something called a snowboarding sock. A snowboarding sock is basically a winter sock but it has a few adaptations that may make it a better choice for snowboarding. Snowboarding socks generally have a thicker base for comfort and to absorb shock, and tough than normal socks so they will not wear out as fast, wick away moisture as fast as possible to avoid cooling off and prevent blisters and generally extend up over your calf.
When getting dressed in your base layer there are a few things to keep in mind that will ensure your maximum. First pull your socks up over you long underwear. This will prevent your socks from bunching up around your ankles. Also, tuck your undershirt into your long underwear. This will prevent your shirt from riding up and allowing your belly to get cold.
If you follow this simple advice not only will your mom be proud of your wise underwear purchases but you will also be warm and comfortable all day on the slopes.