One of my readers here asked me to talk a little about layering. The idea behind layering for warmth is to trap dead air between your body and the outside world. This provides insulation and keeps you warm.
Layering your clothing also gives you a better ability to regulate your comfort. If all you have is a flannel shirt and a heavy parka, you won’t have a lot of “middle ground.” The parka might cause you to get overheated if you’re working outside, but removing it exposes you to dangerous cold, especially if you’ve been sweating as you work.
Where I live and work, winter temps of well below zero are the norm. Seeing wind chills of -20 or more aren’t all that uncommon. Here’s what I typically wear during those cold snaps.
–Hooded, fleece lined sweatshirt
If it gets really frigid, I’ll replace the knit hat with a fleece balaclava. Then, while I’m working outside and start to get too warm, I’ll remove the coat. The hat might come off as well, depending on the weather. These different layers keep me much warmer than would just a pair of snow pants and a parka.
Incidentally, this principle works just as well with your home. If you have drafty windows like I do, but can’t afford to replace them like I can’t, first cover them with plastic. You know, those little packages you can buy at hardware stores where you put double sided tape along the window frame, then use a hair dryer to shrink the plastic once it is applied. During the day, leave the curtains open to allow sunlight in, which will not only help warm the room but it warms that dead air between the glass window and the plastic sheet. When applied properly, these do work pretty well.
You might also crawl up into your attic and check the insulation. If critters get into your attic from time to time, you might find out they’ve moved the insulation around, leaving large gaps. You want the insulation to cover all of the attic floor for best results.
Do what you can now to be prepared for the winter chill. I’ve been saying for a while now that I think it is going to be a brutal season this year.