Clothing is the shelter you wear around your body. Dress for the weather – remember it can and will change. Layers of clothing (shirts, vest, sweaters) are recommended. You put on a layer before you become chilled and take off a layer before, not after, you become perspiration damp. No matter how you get wet, from outside climatic conditions or your own body perspiration; when you’re wet you are in trouble.
Good headgear is essential. You lose up to 45 percent of your heat around your head, neck and shoulders. Winter headgear should conserve heat, breathe and be water repellent. Summer headgear should ventilate and provide shade.
The body radiates heat readily from the head and extremities. The old saying, “If your feet are cold put your hat on” is good advice. Good headgear, footwear and gloves or mittens are absolute necessities to help conserve body heat. Keep clothing clean and dry.
Choice of footwear is critical. Choose boots suitable for the terrain, weather and amount of walking to be done. Regardless of boot type, it is important to have a change of socks (wool recommended) to prevent dampness from perspiration condensation. Sturdy leather boots are excellent footwear. Waterproofing used on leather boots should permit the leather to breathe. When boots become wet, dry slowly and carefully. Walk boots dry if conditions permit. Leather lined and insulated leather boots are extremely difficult to dry.
Rubber pac-type boots with removable felt liners are excellent footwear, but felts are difficult to dry when perspiration soaks the outer layers of felt and the inside of the boot. Some prefer the nylon or leather-topped rubber pac with the removable felt liners. The leather-topped rubber pac is superior to the all-rubber pac, especially for walking, because of the breathing qualities of leather.
Gloves or mittens are a must even if weather is not cold. Gloves will prevent injury to the hands when breaking firewood or building a shelter. Inn extreme cold, mittens are superior to gloves.
Some type of raingear should be carried. Remember, waterproof clothing does not breathe. A raincoat, water-repellent parka, or poncho should offer some ventilation and ease of movement. Movement should be kept at a minimum when wearing rain gear to lessen perspiration.