1849 Mountain Rentals

How to Bundle Up for Your Favorite Winter Adventures

While snowy climes offer a wide range of outdoor activities, it’s of paramount importance to dress appropriately if you want to enjoy all that a snow-filled day of activities has to offer. One thing to keep in mind about a day on the snow is that temperatures can fluctuate by as much as 30 degrees or more. In addition, if you are skiing or snowboarding, the temperature on the ground can be vastly different from the temps up on the lift. Here is a short primer on how to dress in layers, to enjoy every minute of your time at Mammoth Lakes.

Knowing how to dress in layers starts with understanding the purpose of each layer. For the most part, you will want to create 3-4 basic layers depending on the temperature. These include:

  • A thin base layer in a fabric that helps wick moisture (perspiration) from your skin
  • A middle layer made of materials made to retain body heat, which will protect you from the cold
  • Optional jacket layer
  • An outer or shell layer that shields you from wind, rain, or moisture from snow

Simply piling on three layers of clothing is not enough. You have to be sure that each layer is made of the right kinds of fabrics to do the job each layer is meant for.

1. Base Layer

In cold conditions, it is particularly imperative to keep moisture away from your skin. Since moisture will chill quickly, this makes it hard for your body to maintain heat. For your base layer, you want to choose pieces made of absorbent fabrics made from synthetic fabrics. There are natural options like wool and silk as well. Cotton is not a good option, because while it will absorb moisture, it doesn’t dry quickly, just leaving you damp and more susceptible to chill.

Base layers come in a number of different weights, generally ranging from lightweight to heavyweight, although you may find options like “ultra-lightweight” or “expedition weight.” Keep in mind that pairing a lightweight base layer with a heavyweight middle layer will give you more options as the temperature fluctuates. For your base layer, remember to shop for pants, a top and undergarments for maximum moisture wicking and warmth.

2. Middle Insulating Layer

In more moderate temperatures, you might simply opt to throw a vest on over your base layer and cover it with a shell. In colder climates, you might opt to wear a fleece or down jacket under your shell.

One of your layers needs to be an insulating layer. If you are only wearing three layers, your middle layer needs to be insulating. If you opt for 4 layers, you might want to keep your middle layer to a light or mid-weight fabric.

3. Optional insulating layer

For colder winter days with a large temperature fluctuation, you may opt for an additional layer that can be stowed away as temperatures rise. March to April is typically when temperatures swing from below freezing to sunny with a few short hours.

4. Shell

Your shell layer is simply a waterproof layer that protects you from melting snow making you damp. While there are a number of outer shell layers designed with specific openings and pockets specific to winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing, in a pinch a rain shell will do just fine. You will also want to wear ski pants or waterproof pants as well, to keep your legs dry and toasty while spending the day frolicking outdoors at Mammoth Lakes. Shop for jackets that have have vents that can be unzipped in order to release body heat.

Let the experts help!  Mammoth Lakes is home to many award-winning ski and snowboard shops. They are more than happy to help you with your personalized shopping needs.

Plan Your Visit


Info@1849MountainRentals.com(760) 934-7525
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826 Lakeview Blvd (POB 835)
Mammoth Lakes, California


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