After visiting San Diego in my youth I thought how wonderful it would be to live in a climate that had roughly one season. True San Diego does experience four seasons but not like where I live. The thought of a perpetual summer was enticing. More time to play in the warm weather and not having to wear a lot of different clothing or layers. Alas I never moved and as I got older I am very happy that I didn’t. True four seasons keeps it interesting. There is a joy that I get in each season and watching the cycle. With the cycle of seasons though comes a very important lesson in layering. With ever fluctuating temperatures and weather conditions one cannot just count on a single piece of clothing to shrug off what mother nature throws at you. One must understand how to layer their clothing. Of course this is beneficial in our daily lives but even more so when a survival situation occurs, because your clothing is your first shelter.
By Grimm, contributing author to SHTFblog and Survival Cache
In a modern day world where houses, apartments, condos i.e. shelters are everywhere, its hard to imagine a moment when you cant access one but it happens. People get locked out or lost. Vehicles break down or crash. Which that thought brings me to a great example of poor layering. I was driving home from work and it was December. I was wearing my work shirt, pants and a leather jacket. Easily enough to keep me warm in my heated car or inside my work which is heated. Needless to say I was rear ended and I had to stand outside on the side of the road while police came and tow trucks dragged my totaled car away. I was freezing. I did not layer properly. I had two layers tops and nothing to cover my head or hands. Now I always make sure I have decent layers no matter where I go and you should as well.
These layers, which usually amounts to three, help keep the body protected from the elements. Rain, snow and wind can chill the body down together or separately causing hypothermia. Wind and sun can rob the body of moisture causing hyperthermia. These layers shrug off the wind, rain or snow or shield the body from the suns UV rays. Now you might ask why usually three. Well just like how the weather changes frequently so does your physical activity. More physical activity means more heat and possible perspiration. So layers can be taken off to keep cool and limit sweat. Remember sweat is produced to cool the body down. That’s good but just like rain it will affect the insulating properties of your clothing. Having layers gives the person the ability to adapt to the weather changes as well as their activity.
Another point to consider, though one might have good layers on do not forget about your head, neck, hands and feet. I understand that wearing two pairs of socks is not always an option in our daily routine but a hat, scarf, and gloves can go a long way to help the body stay protected. I know if I merely had a wool hat and scarf when I was in my accident I could have been a bit warmer on that day. True I wasn’t in a survival situation that day but next time I might not be as lucky. Of course this blog only touches the tip of the iceberg when it comes to layering so check out the video for more helpful information on Layers to Live by.