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Ski instructor Miia Ritola advises how to dress for cold winter weather.
1. Apart from the arteries, ears are where you lose most of your body heat: be sure to protect them by wearing a warm beanie or a hat that covers your ears. A fur hat is the best choice when the temperatures are freezing. If you go downhill skiing, wear a thin beanie from fleece or windstopper material under the helmet.
2. Remember to protect your throat and neck well. There are major blood vessels that supply blood throughout the body. A tube scarf is great as it provides protection also for your face, if necessary.
3. The layer closest to your skin is the most important one. The body generates heat so this layer has to preserve it on the skin. If you don’t sweat much, merino wool is the best choice for freezing weather. It preserves warmth even if it gets moist. If you move a lot and tend to sweat, go for performance underwear that draws sweat away from the skin.
4. he layer after the merino wool should be some-thing breathable like fleece. There are differences in fleece fabrics. A good quality fabric is not firm but, rather, soft and porous.
5. After the mid-layer – fleece or other technical performance fabric – you should wear a windproof jacket made from synthetic material or a down jacket. Choose it according to your activities: wet down won’t keep you warm. Make sure there’s a proper hood you can wear over a beanie or a wool hat if it’s freezing. A good hood protects your face, too.
6. Cotton kills. That's something we say when it comes to feet. As a first layer, choose wool socks rather than cotton ones. Then put on synthetic fibre socks. When the temperature is truly freezing, I like to wear rechargeable heated insoles.
7. Loose-fitting mittens are the best for keeping your hands warm. You can wear wool gloves underneath them. Long-sleeved gloves are even better as they will keep your wrists warm.
8. Make sure you wear roomy shoes that do not constrict the circulation – you can go up a shoe size or two when it’s freezing. The outsoles need to be as thick as possible to provide isolation from the cold ground. If there happens to be a removable inner, all the better: you can dry your shoes easily. Sportswear stores sell ski boot covers that will keep your feet warm in really cold temperatures.
MIIA OFFERS SKI LESSONS from November till April or May, depending on the weather. Contact her via Levi Ski School or her Instagram account @feathersfromthearctic.