The Layering Principle: How to Stay Warm and Dry This Winter

As the seasons change and the temperature drops, we might find ourselves outdoors and ill-prepared for cold air. In manifesting the Swedish saying, “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes,” we can prepare ourselves and our little Explorers for whatever nature has to offer! Our friends at Polarn O. Pyret have offered some advice for staying warm and comfortable through the winter season, no matter the climate.


Although the clothes themselves are important in staying warm, dressing with appropriate layers is equally as important. The air between each layer is just as imperative for winter as the clothes being worn. This layering principle is designed to hold in warmth, let out moisture, and provide protection against the elements, such as wind, rain, or snow.

First: the base layer. This layer, closest to the skin, is to keep the body warm. For this, PO.P suggests a wool base, as it stays warm even if it gets damp from heat and moisture generated running around outdoors. Polyester, too, can wick away moisture so skin stays dry in any weather condition!

Second: the middle layer. The function of this layer is thermal insulation, keeping the body warm. This should be an airy article of clothing, maybe consisting of fleece or wool. Ideally, it will release moisture while retaining heat, so it should be a breathable material.

Third: the outer layer. In order to protect ourselves and our Explorers from wind, rain, and snow, the outer layer functions to keep us warm and dry, while allowing moisture to escape and preventing any water from getting in.

Oskar Elmgart