Rockjumper Tours

aba events

First Outdoor Tips Blog – The First Layer

[Note: The folks at ABA have invited me to feature “outdoor tips” on the ABA blog, which I envision as topics related to successful birding that do not necessarily involve identifying birds, from clothing to gear to what to do in the field. People come to birding from a variety of backgrounds; some are already experienced outdoors-people but others may not be, and even outdoors-people love a good tip on methods or gear! It happens I came to birdng at a fairly young age but through other outdoor pursuits, and many of my posts will feature lessons learned while fishing, hunting, kayaking, backpacking, camping etc. that apply to my favorite: birding.]

With the onset of cold weather, I figured we’d start with a tip on keeping warm. Most birders are familiar with the concept of layering clothing, which leaves you flexible as conditions change. What too many people fail to realize, however, is that the base layer is more important than what you put on top of it.The base layer is the one next to your skin, a.k.a your “thermal underwear,” and performs two critical functions. First, it creates a layer of warmed air next to your skin that cold has a hard time penetrating, or more accurately, makes it harder for warmth to depart your body. Second (if it’s the right stuff), it will “wick” moisture away from your skin. To do this, it must fit snugly (not tightly), must be of a moisture wicking material, and must be of a weight befitting the conditions. Cotton doesn’t get it done; in fact, just say no to cotton in tough conditions, for all garments from underwear to blue jeans.

The upshot is, when you’re shopping for base layer clothes, make sure they’re not cotton and make sure they wick moisture. Different base layer brands use different ratings according to warmth, typically along the lines of light, medium, heavy and expedition weight. The expedition weight stuff is tempting, and that’s what I wear in extreme conditions, but most of the time it’s too warm for birding. Choose medium weight for an all around cold weather base layer – you can always add another layer on top.

Facebooktwitter
The following two tabs change content below.
Don Freiday
I'm a freelance birder/naturalist/photographer living in Cape May, NJ. My professional experience includes 30+ years in the wildlife field, mostly involving education and interpretation, with several government agencies and NGO's. My hobbies include everything natural, especially birding; photography; training and hunting my Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Daniel Boone; fishing; canoeing and kayaking; camping; backpacking; and a little cooking. I blog about birds and nature at http://freidaybird.blogspot.com/ .
American Birding Podcast
Birders know well that the healthiest, most dynamic choruses contain many different voices. The birding community encompasses a wide variety of interests, talents, and convictions. All are welcome.
If you like birding, we want to hear from you.
Read More »

Categories

Authors

Archives

ABA's FREE Birder's Guide

via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Meet Adam Dhalla, 2018 ABA Young Birder of the Year March 27, 2018 5:42
    Meet 12-year-old Adam Dhalla from Coquitlam, British Columbia, one of the 2018 Young Birders of the Year! Want to learn more about how you could be the next Young Birder of the Year? Registration is open for the 2019 contest now! ——– Q: Were you a birder before you started the ABA Young […]
  • Open Mic: Birding Mentors Inspiring Young Minds March 6, 2018 6:42
    Texas young birder Sebastian Casarez talks about the importance of mentors to young birders. […]
  • Announcing the 2018 ABA Young Birders of the Year! February 16, 2018 3:07
    We are thrilled to announce the winners of the 2018 ABA Young Birder of the Year Contest! Congratulations to Teodelina Martelli and Adam Dhalla, as well all of this year's participants! […]

Follow ABA on Twitter