During a hike or a trek, you will alternate between sustained effort in the climbs and less intense moments when going down or stopping for lunch. How can you stay warm and dry to enjoy your day and evening at the bivouac?


We usually talk about the 3-layer technique but, of course, depending on where you are and the current conditions, you can increase or decrease the number of layers. The idea is that by layering clothes, you can adapt your outfit to the your exercise and needs for heat and protection.

Layer one breathable

1/ Layer 1: breathable

The first layer is all too often neglected, but choosing the right one is essential. It keeps you dry by wicking away the perspiration from the skin to the other layers. It is best to choose a breathable fabric that dries quickly (made from "hydrophobic" fibres).  Merino wool is one of the most adapted first layer fabrics, it doesn't absorb odours and has thermoregulatory properties.

Second layer insulating

2/ Layer 2: insulating

To provide warmth, you need to wear a second layer that insulates you from the cold. This function can be provided by a pullover, fleece or padded jacket.
Be careful to manage your clothing layers correctly, particularly the 2nd layer, depending on the intensity of your effort. If you are climbing and can't be bothered to remove your fleece for example, you will sweat more and will be wet, even if you are wearing a breathable first layer. You can also opt for clothing with zipped openings (vents at the neck, under the armpits) to help you regulate your body temperature.
 A softshell product will protect you from the wind when you are exerting yourself, it is known as active insulation. You won't need to add a padded jacket to stay warm when you take a break.

Third ou fourth layer protective

3/ Layer 3 or 4: protective

The last layer of clothing protects you from the outside elements. First we think of the weather, wind and rain, but it also protects you from natural elements that could injure you if you like getting off the beaten track (bramble scratches, etc).

3-In-1 jacket

Currently technology enables the use of multifunction materials: a modular jacket, for example, that will serve both as a second and third layer, or a technical t-shirt that is both breathable and insulating. So a item of clothing that is worn as layer 2 in the winter can be used as layer 1 & 2 in the summer... Up to you to choose the outfit that is best adapted in terms of warmth and compactness. 

You can add gloves and hats to your outfit and use them to modulate your body temperature.

Good to know!

To keep your hands and feet cooler, wear a hat! Indeed, 80% of the body's heat escapes through the head, hands and feet, and our system gives priority to delivering blood to the brain. If it is warm, it uses less energy to stay warm and the rest of the body - and the tips especially - has enough circulation.

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