When it's this cold outside, fashion has nothing to do with it

By: James Hopkins Email
By: James Hopkins Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - High temperatures in Grand Junction have not been above freezing in weeks, making choosing the right clothes to protect your family from the cold more important than ever.

Temperatures in Grand Junction have been well below normal, and below freezing, for the better part of a month. Being outside in the snow and cold, while fun for the kids, can also be deadly. "All day she would be out there, until the sun went down and it just got too cold," says Samantha McAdams, mother of two.

This colder-than-normal winter has caught some people by surprise and has them running to the stores for more warmer clothes. "You think I'll just put my jacket on and I should be fine and then you end up realizing you need an extra sweater and jacket," says McAdams.

Dressing properly for the frigid conditions can mean all the difference. We've all grown up hearing "dress in layers" but it's not that simple. The first layer, the one that is worn next to your skin, should move moisture away from the body and fabric choice is key. "No cotton, anywhere on anything because if it gets wet it transfers heat very quickly through the water so it will actually cool you down," says Mark Wingerter, manager at Summit Canyon Mountaineering in Grand Junction.

The next layer is the insulating layer that is meant to keep heat in and cold out. Any thick sweater will work. The outside layer is the protection layer, and is the barrier between you and the elements. Meaning it should be both waterproof and windproof.

But it doesn't end there, you also need to pay close attention to the accessories, like hats and gloves. "Mittens will always be warmer because you're using the warmth of all the fingers together," says Wingerter. Probably one of the most overlooked, but most important, is the hat. Sixty percent of your body heat can be lost from an uncovered head.

Keep in mind that sometimes too many layers can be a bad thing. "If you've got two big socks on in something you bought intending to wear with a light or middle weight socks in it might be constricting and losing some blood flow," says Wingerter. It's that vital blood flow that keeps your limbs warm and you enjoying the great outdoors. And most of all safe from the elements.

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