I am a firm believer in the positive impact the outdoors has on the mind, doing anything and everything from gardening to running. Having that connection with nature helps with so many issues like stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD and of course, with your physical health. I personally, love being outside hitting the dirt trails, whether for hiking, backpacking or trail running, it’s serenity. Now with fall just around the corner, being outside and seeing all the color changes, it’ll will be even better.
Now as the weather starts to cool off, comes a change in gear for your outdoor physical activities. There are three basic layers to consider when doing most activities, however they may vary depending on the weather conditions. How you layer them may also vary depending on your activity. For instance, you may have one of each, or 2 base and one middle layer, or a base and outer layer. In addition, you may not start with all three layers, but it’s a good idea to take all three as it’s easier to take layers off than to put on layers which you don’t have.
The three basic layers include:
Base layer: Basically your underwear layer. This layer is lightweight and made of synthetic materials, polyester, nylon or natural fibers (merino wool) which will wick sweat away from your skin. Shirts can be either short or long sleeved.
Middle layer: Your insulation layer which helps retain heat. This layer is a little thinker than your base layer and is usually either a polyester fleece, down insulated or polyester insulated jacket.
Outer layer: Your rain, wind and/or snow protection. For heavier activities, look for breathable shells which are either waterproof or water-resistant. For light weight activities, nonbreathable water-resistant/windproof shells will work. Depending on your location, these may be used more during the winter, but as always, check the weather before heading out.