If you are going to be working outdoors in extreme cold, you need to dress appropriately. Whether you are going to be exposed to the elements for a brief period of time or you will be spending hours fighting with cold, you need to take the same precautions. It only takes minutes to be affected by hypothermia and frostbite.
Pay Attention to the Forecast
Be aware of what is going on when it comes to weather. Pay close attention to the forecast and be concerned about more than just the temperature. Damp conditions and the wind could affect you as well. If you are going to be in direct contact with cold surfaces throughout your shift, you are going to feel the cold more than you would otherwise. Once you know exactly what you’re dealing with, you can plan accordingly.
Dress in Layers
Your mother knew best when she sent you outside bundled up from head to toe. You need to wear the proper material. If cotton gets wet, you will no longer have insulation. Other fabrics will continue to provide insulation even if they get damp, such as synthetic material, wool, and silk.
Wear layers. You can always remove any excess if the conditions permit. You’ll be out of luck if you don’t have enough. Your first layer should be material that will remove moisture through wicking. Long underwear that is made from synthetic material is a good option. Your next layer should provide insulation, such as another synthetic fabric or wool. Your final layer should protect you from the wind and from getting wet. Make sure your clothing isn’t too tight. Otherwise, you’ll feel overheated and want to peel off the clothing that is keeping you safe.
Don’t Forget the Extras
Your cold weather gear won’t be complete without a hat that won’t let heat escape from your head, insulated footwear, and quality gloves that are intended for the extreme cold. You need to cover as much of your skin as possible to stay warm and avoid the damaging effects of low temperatures. Consider a balaclava mask as well. It slips over your head and covers your entire face, with the exception of your eyes. Balaclavas are usually made of a synthetic material to ward off moisture and are popular with snowmobile riders and skiers.
Keep a Supply of Extra Clothing on Hand
When you head off to work, keep a duffel bag with extra clothing in your vehicle. Include a complete change of clothing, down to your socks and underwear, as well as your outer gear. You’ll be covered no matter what Mother Nature throws at you each day.