Gadd, on the other hand, thinks layering is nonsense. He suggests you dress for where you’ll be, not where you are.
“Most of the time we’re either a raging furnace when moving or freezing when standing, so I have two outfits—that’s it,” he says. This’ll keep you from “adjusting a thin layer while prancing along.”
During strenuous activity, muscles generate a tremendous amount of heat, but don’t when standing. Gadd knows he’ll warm up once he starts climbing. So instead of waiting to get too warm and sweaty, Gadd prefers to strip early and climb in the least amount of clothing possible. Once he’s completed his climb, he immediately bundles up into a heavy down jacket like the Arctery’x Cerium SV Hoody, and a pair of Gore-Tex insulated pants like the Arctery’x Macai Pant for maximum comfort.
Stay Dry…At all Costs
Movement can up your heart rate, increase circulation, and boost your core body temperature. But too much movement, if not properly regulated, can create another big problem at sub-zero temps: excessive sweating.
If your skin is wet, your body will lose heat through evaporation. If you gear is wet, its thermal and evaporative-resistance properties will begin to diminish. This means body heat can escape through that layer more easily and sweat can evaporate more quickly. These processes can draw energy from your body and create a cooling process—creating a recipe for disaster in cold environments.
This is why Gadd adventures in as little gear as possible. And if he does start to sweat, he strips down immediately.
“Even at -4° F you can hike and ski with bare hands, but if you get your gloves wet or damp, you’ll suffer,” he adds.