If you are a family camper or an outdoor survivalist in your approach to the outdoors there are certain universal recommendations that apply to both. Making sure that your supplies, gear, and clothing are versatile and efficient is always a good idea. This can create challenges when it comes to the unpredictability of weather and temperatures. Packing a wide variety of clothing can cause problems with weight and space. Packing too little clothing can compromise your ability to keep warm when the temperatures plummet unexpectedly.
When selecting the right clothing for the outdoors the same rule of versatility applies. Temperatures can shift dramatically based on your elevation and the composition of the earth beneath you. Those temperatures fluctuate according to air pressure, wind, and moisture. Temperatures will rise when there is more air pressure and go down when there is less. At lower altitudes the air molecules are packed closer together and are warmed up by the radiant heat from the earth. At higher altitudes the air is much thinner so the heat dissipates more rapidly. In either situation the wind and humidity can change unexpectedly. You may hike up a trail in nice warm weather and wake up the next morning with snow on the ground.
Rather than pack your gear according to just the weather report – we also recommend that you plan on unpredictable change. The best way to do this is by selecting the most versatile clothing possible. Without a doubt, Medium weight 100% pure Merino Wool is the best base layer option available. The military has trusted the insulating, water wicking, versatility of wool for decades. Merino Wool is the highest grade and quality of wool clothing available today. Medium weight Merino Wool will keep you comfortable and breathable in hot weather as well as warm and dry should the temperature drop unexpectedly. It’s available as long underwear, jackets, socks, and even hats.
When selecting a jacket or other outerwear you should be specific with the type of location you are going to. There are versatile options such as an All Weather Soft Shell Jacket. If you know that it may get a lot colder your best option may be a layered coat such as a Ranger 3-in-1. The Port Authority Ranger can be worn simply as a micro fleece jacket or combined with seam-sealed waterproof outer shell when facing moisture and colder temperatures. The outer shell can also be worn by itself to provide protection from moisture as well as keeping you cool. You want to stay warm, but not get too warm so you start to sweat.
If you are unsure what weather and temperatures you might be facing – we recommend you visit the National Weather Service and take advantage of their Climate Prediction Center. There you can look up the total precipitation, average temperatures, maximum temperatures, wind chill and much more.