Clothing Systems 1A
It is important to have your clothing system dialed-in. That way you can more clearly focus on receiving the lessons and gifts of being enveloped by Nature.
I will get into the specifics of planning and packing clothing systems in a later post. For now I offer you some ideas that round out the profane picture of clothing systems.
You are a Bag of Water - kind of like a big grape.
The human body is between 50 and 65 percent water. It is a tender vittle: delicate and needs to be taken care of, protected and nurtured. Keeping that water hovering around 98.6 degrees fahrenheit is an intricate and sensitive dance. The more I can help my body regulate and maintain that homeostatic balance, the more energy I will have available for doing other things like paying attention with all of my senses, breathing in the gifts of the natural world - spending time noticing things.
The best way to stay flexible and prepared for any kind of weather and to be ready to change at a moments notice is to dress in layers — ideally thin ones. That way you can take them off and put them on to make slight adjustments in your temperature and stay comfortable.
Here is a layering system I often use for my upper body:
• light wool t-shirt
• light hooded windbreaker
• synthetic puffy insulated jacket
• rain jacket
This is all I usually need, as well as a warm hat and a visor hat that I switch out as I need to to keep myself in the sweet spot of body temperature.
The sweet spot of body temperature (a.k.a. Try not to sweat)
The idea with layers is to take them off and put them on throughout the day in such a way that I stay comfortable and that I don't sweat and get my base layers wet. This is important. If I ever feel myself sweating, I stop and take off a layer or switch out my warm hat for my visor or I might slow my pace and keep from sweating that way. If I get wet I am more vulnerable to getting cold later in the day when maybe the sun is lower in the sky and I am hungry and tired. Hats and gloves are handy for making slight adjustments in my temperature as well — switching between warm hat and visor, putting on and taking off gloves can make a significant difference in my body temperature.
There are days, especially if I am doing a lot of ascending and descending or if the weather is extremely varied, that I feel like I am changing my layers constantly. Some days are like that. It's always worth it to stop and change. I try not to be in a hurry out there anyhow and see these de-layering, re-layering stops as opportunities to look around, take notice and sense what is going on around me.
Of course a critical part of all of this is paying attention to my body. If I take the time and tune into what is happening with my body as I make my way through my day I can usually avoid sweating and stay dry. That's the sweet spot.
In the next post I will share with you one of the most useful clothing planning tools I have ever come across. It's a sure fire way to bring only what you need and to never forget anything.
Until next time.