The cold weather has arrived in Idaho, and this past couple weekends served as a reminder of how cold it can get. Much of November was warmer than usual for this time of year, but in one holiday weekend, Mother Nature reminded residents of the Magic Valley how quickly she can turn. The snow arrived, the temperatures dropped, and some wind has blown through. We have already experienced single digits and a few days that didn't get above freezing. When it comes to being outside, you will need to bundle up, but how many layers is too many, how many isn't enough, and what is the proper amount?

Bundled Up For Winter

Credit: Matthew Henry on Unsplash
Credit: Matthew Henry on Unsplash
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As a kid when we went out to play in the snow, we used to bundle up in so many layers that we could barely bend our elbows and knees. You stayed warm, but you couldn't run or walk properly. As adults, we often tend to go the other way, trying to run in and out or be tough, by not layering up, and often being too cold. If you are spending any significant time outside, you have to prepare, but where is the line from not bundled up enough and so layered up, that you will potentially get a heat stroke in the cold weather? 

How Many Layers to Stay Warm in Idaho Winter

Credit: Lacheev
Credit: Lacheev
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If you are going outside to play in the snow or do any extended work, one layer won't be enough to stay warm, and likely two won't either. The wind can be a major factor in how many layers feel the most comfortable, but if you put on too many you will find yourself struggling to move your arms properly and bend your legs. It will also lead to you sweating more and perhaps thinking it is too warm, which could result in you removing a layer, to find out that your sweat is now frozen, and your body desires the extra layer back. Each person will vary, depending on weight, size, and proper blood flow, but three layers seem good during the single-digit and below days. Wear thick socks, boots or thick shoes, then three layers each. Underwear, leggings, and pants on the bottom are good, with a shirt, sweatshirt, and coat up top. For some, you may need more, but movement gets restricted with four or more. 

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The cold weather is here and if you haven't gotten your winter clothes and heavy coats out, you are a little behind. It is time to start wearing thermal underwear, long-sleeved shirts, and bundling up for the below-freezing weather. One layer, two, layers, three layers, or more, whatever you got to do to stay warm this winter, do it. If it is this cold already, it means there are plenty more ahead.

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