by Jane Hayes of c2

 

It’s never too early to begin prepping for the season ahead. I don’t know about you, but I’m already digging my cold-weather gear out of the closet so when that first snowstorm hits I’m ready to get out there.

Before I started c2, I spent a lot of time outdoors (still do). Constant adventuring has given me the chance to seek and test the best materials to keep me comfortable in the wind, snow, and rain, and learn how factors like what I eat and who my companions are can make or break a day. Here are five things I remind myself at the beginning of each winter season to make sure I keep going from sunup to sundown (and even when I’m caught out after dark).

1. Prepare for the apocalypse
Prep for Outdoor Fun with c2OK, that’s a slight exaggeration, but my point here is that as New Englanders, we know it can go from sun to hail in a matter of minutes. But somehow our Boston Strong-ness makes us think we can hike a snow-covered Mount Washington in shorts.

Make sure you choose gear that’s versatile enough to keep up with changing conditions during your wild adventures. On big excursions, the weather will change while you’re out, and by preparing for the worst you’re ensuring you’ll have the best day.

2. Know your habits—and your friends’
You never want to be the person your friends worry about. Know your body and bring the key special items that will act as creature comforts when you need them most, whether that’s extra socks or a Snickers bar. Your friends’ good time depends on you—and vice versa. I regularly ride with a friend who forgets to bring food. Anytime I go out, I pack extra snacks for me—and him. That’s made the difference between a great day and turning around.

3. Staying warm starts with staying dry
Sometimes we make the mistake of adding layer after layer. Then when we’re still shivering, six layers in, we start vowing to move to Bora Bora. That’s because any moisture near the skin acts like sweat: It cools you down. I’ve found that Polartec® is the absolute best material available for maximum moisture management—that’s the superpower behind all c2 gear like our insanely warm Araña tights. So before you head outdoors, choose clothing that will help you stay dry, and you’ll be comfortable whether it’s your first run or your tenth.

4. Thicker doesn’t necessarily mean warmer
Layer up with c2Think back to your first snowsuit, and it was probably some giant puffy thing. That was great for an hour of igloo building, but today’s options ensure you actually stay warm all day (and avoid looking like the Michelin Man). Knowing how cold it’s going to be is critical to selecting your various layers and weights of insulation. Beyond that, choose fabrics that stand up to not just the temperature, but also wind and precipitation.

5. Dehydration isn’t just a warm-weather concern
In the summer, we know we need to drink water. But dehydration is something we don’t even think about come winter. Whether you’re heading to a ski area that has a cafeteria or you’re hiking up backcountry trails to access never-been-touched powder, hydration and nutrition—and taking both in fast enough—are critical. Check that you’re adequately supplied for whatever’s ahead.

At the end of the day, it’s on you to make sure you have fun on the mountain. And even if you’re the least experienced person in your group, you can still be the most prepared—and not a liability to everyone’s good time.

Any tips we left out? Share your cold-weather advice on our Facebook page. c2 will be on hand at BSSC events this winter, so be sure to say hello!

 


Jane Hayes is a winter-loving New Englander and the founder of c2, maker of clothing and gear designed to keep you outside long after everyone else has hung it up. c2 is built on the belief that there’s no bad weather—only bad clothing choices. Visit www.buyc2.com for more information.