My recent, rainy trip to Fisheating Creek confirmed my “all weather system.”
I live in South Florida. This time of year it is hot during the day (low 80’s – low 90’s F.) and often chilli at night (high 40’s to low 60’s). Also, the end of our short cold spells are usually commemorated with rain. This makes for difficult weather to plan for. This is my system:
Layers… Layers give the ability to adapt an outfit to the conditions without having to change entirely.
I am sure to always bring some form of all 4 of the following layers.
- Absorbent Layer – Usually cotton T- shirt, undies and socks. This wicks moisture like sweat away from your body, keeping you dry. Staying dry keeps you comfortable in the heat and warm in the cold. This is my base layer and is pretty much always worn.
- Thermal Layer – Wool is the best of the natural fibers, as its fibers are hollow which allow it to keep its thermal properties even when wet. Wool sweaters, pants, socks and hat are a great second layer. Even if you fall in water and are soaked from head to toe, your wool will keep you warm. In this case I would remove the wet cotton undies and allow them to dry. In any case, a wool or equivalent layer creates a thermal cocoon around you, trapping your bodies heat, efficiently keeping you warmer.
- Water and Wind Protection Layer – This layer boasts a two prong attack against the elements. It not only keeps you dry, but it shields you from wind as well. Both moisture and wind will damage your skin and remove heat from your body. Vinyl, PVC, Gor-tex, rubber, etc., all work well (although some are cautious of pvc fumes). A poncho or jumper and boots are perfect for this.
- Sun Protection – We take sun protection very seriously in South Florida, and rightfully so. Anyone who has experienced a sun burn knows it’ll ruin your weekend. But, even the pain of a sunburn is nothing in comparison to the long term affects sunburn can leave: cancer, hyper pigmentation and premature aging of the skin, just to name a few. Big brimmed hats, sunscreen, long sleeves and collars can keep you safe and comfortable in the sun. (Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to the top of your ears, knees and feet if exposed.)
Thanks for reading,