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Welcome to part 2 of the Beginner’s Guide to picking the right winterwear! This is a series where we aim to equip local readers with the knowledge necessary to survive (and enjoy!) their very first trip to a foreign, winter environment. If you haven’t read part 1 yet, be sure to check it out as we covered layering techniques 101 for winter top and bottomwear.
In today’s article, we will continue where we left off and look into the other accessories and gear that one should definitely consider when travelling overseas for some frosty fun.
Starting off from the top (quite literally), we have hats. Winter hats or beanies are essential assets to have when it comes to keeping warm. After all, what good is being decked out in premium down jackets and pants if heat is just going to escape through your head? In that regard, the best hats to prevent loss of heat are those made from merino wool as these do a great job at wicking perspiration away from the skin, keeping you dry and thus, warm. When selecting the right hat, make sure that it fits snuggly on your head and extends downwards enough to cover the ears as well.
*Extra tip: If you are expecting particularly freezing temperatures way below sub-zero, you can consider adding on a face mask to your list of gear. A face mask will cover the head, nose, ears, mouth and even the neck. Once again, choose a face mask that wicks moisture and is highly breathable.
You’ve probably heard chilling stories of fingers falling off from frostbite (Try saying that with your mouth full!) before. That would be some way to ruin your holidays, so it is important to choose the right winter glove to keep those fingers snug and safe. In general, insulated gloves are the go-to option as these do a fantastic job at keeping you warm thanks to their multi-layering. Most designs feature water and wind proof capabilities, and are also breathable, meaning moisture can be let out thus ensuring that your hands are nice and dry. Again, always remember that keeping staying dry means staying warm.
Of course, it’s not enough to just get your hands covered – the same precautions have to be taken for the feet as well. When selecting the right pair of socks, bear in mind that they have to keep you not just warm and dry, but cool as well since you will most likely be doing a lot of walking around on a holiday trip. The best options are – you guessed it- socks made from merino wool. They are not too thick or bulky and yet still packs top-notch insulation along with the unparalleled ability to wick swea, which will guarantee you a comfortable, blister-free experience.
*Extra tip: When buying a pair of winter socks, consider the cutting of your shoes: If the pair of hiking shoes you plan to wear is of a mid-cut – in other words having an ankle guard – then you probably want to get socks that can extend way past the ankles, as otherwise you run risk of the shoes constantly chafing against your skin, which can definitely be uncomfortable and prone to blisters.
The last point on our list is definitely not the least, as a good pair of winter boots go the extra mile in preventing you from getting cold feet (pun intended). In most cases a pair of mid-cut shoes is recommended but if that’s not your style, there are plenty of generic ‘urban’ choices on the market as well. Whatever shoe floats your boat, however, there are some basic requirements they have to fulfil. First and foremost, you would want a pair that’s made of Goretex – a tough, waterproof-treated material that would keep your socks and feet nice and dry. For warmth, select a pair that carries a good weightage of Thinsulate Insulation – about 200 grams should suffice for the majority of chilly weather. It is also advisable to check that the soles of the boots are tough and possess good grip to prevent any mishaps on slippery terrain.
*Extra tip: For added precaution, you can get a pair of walking grippers to slip on over the soles of your boots. These provide the necessary traction that might make the difference between confident steps and falling flat on your face.
Remember, the first rule of thumb when engaging in any outdoor activity, be it in Singapore or overseas, is that safety always comes first. You may realise that quality winterwear can be rather pricey, but that’s because hours of R&D go into their development and testing to ensure that even in the coldest and most unforgiving of environments, the consumer (that’s you!) will feel right at home.
And that brings us to the end of the Beginner’s Guide to picking the right Winterwear. If you found this series to be useful, or have any other queries of your own, be sure to leave a comment down below for us! Till next time!