By Kristi Ries
Layering has become the watchword for those who plan to spend a lot of time outdoors this season. Temperatures below freezing and icy winds have a way of chilling you to the bone. Your time outside—be it spent removing Christmas lights, on the job site, or on ski slopes—is time that can have an adverse effect on your health.
It’s important to be aware of the temperature and how to protect yourself against it. Keep in mind that cold exposure can occur in weather that is above the freezing level. Wind, humidity and moisture all contribute to the removal of body heat, which can eventually lead to hypothermia.
What exactly is hypothermia, you ask? It’s the change in the body’s core temperature that causes a sensation of cold followed by pain in exposed parts of the body. This is the first sign of mild hypothermia. In moderately cold environments, the body’s core temperature does not usually fall more than a few degrees below the normal 98.6°F due to the body’s ability to adapt. However, in intense cold without adequate clothing, the body is unable to compensate for the significant heat loss, resulting in a decrease in core temperature.
As the temperature continues to drop or as the exposure time increases, the feeling of cold and pain starts to diminish because of increasing numbness (loss of sensation). If no pain can be felt, serious injury can occur without the victim’s noticing it.
Your first—and most effective—line of defense against hypothermia is through wearing layers of protective clothing. Layering provides better insulation against the elements. Yet before you pile on your Carhartt sweatshirt, overalls and gloves, remember the all-important innermost layer: thermal underwear.
Today’s thermal underwear is beautifully constructed from top-quality materials that allow your skin to breathe while keeping you warm so you can get on with your day and not worry about the weather.
For your innermost layer, try a Carhartt Work-Dry Thermal Bottom or Work-Dry Thermal Top. Made of 100% polyester knit, these Work-Dry® shirts features convenient thumb-holes that will help keep your sleeves in place at all times.