Dressing for Dog Sledding!
The average winter day time temperature in our area is -20C. The average winter night time temperature is -30C or colder. Everything in the clothing list provided is MANDATORY, not optional! If you do not come prepared with the items on the list, we will not allow you to participate.
Keeping warmin the winter is based on a clothing system called layering. It's not about looking good, it's about being warm, dry and comfortable! Your clothes are not going to generate heat for you; your body does. All your clothes do is provide air space to retain the heat your body is generating with exercise. Your layers should be easy to open/take off as you warm up, and easy to close and put back on as you cool down. Winter dressing is best done in three layers (all three layers are REQUIRED):
Base Layer: This is the layer that is against your skin. It should be of a material that keeps moisture from the skin. Once you get wet, you will lose heat 50% faster than with dry clothes. Wool is the best option for this. But you can get away with poly-pro synthetic blends. Long underwear (for both your upper and lower body) is ideal. NO JEANS!
Insulation Layer: These are loose fitting clothing made of fleece and cottons. Typically, these are your sweaters and track pants. We usually recommend a t-shirt or long sleeve shirt under your sweater. NO JEANS!
Outer Protection Layer: This is the layer that's going to keep you dry and has to be wind resistant. This is your snow pants (bib style are best, as they keep snow from getting down your pants if you fall) and winter jacket. If these are not water proof, you can pick up some safe and inexpensive water proofing sprays to add the necessary protection. NO JEANS!
Keeping your heat in: Consider your head as the chimney to a stove; without proper insulation on your head, you will lose over 50% of the heat you have generated. We recommend a wool or synthetic fibre toque and a balaclava for your face.
Hands & Feet: These are the first parts of your body to get cold; therefore it's just as important to layer here as it is for the rest of your body. You should be wearing wool socks and boots with removable liners. These boots MUST be mid-calf height. No ankle, ski, or hiking boots! Your hands should have 3 pairs of gloves. The first is a light, thin glove for dexterity (harnessing dogs, etc); the second is a thicker pair to be worm as a liner inside of a pair of warm mittens.