A system of extreme cold weather clothing is a minimum three-layer outfit. Your base layer should be noncotton midweight long underwear. Your second layer should be a down- or synthetic-filled jacket. The outer layer should be a breathable mountaineering or extreme cold weather shell.
Heat Loss From Head and Neck
Wear a balaclava to cover your head and neck. Then add insulated hats, scarves or neck gaiters to insulate further.
Boots and Socks
A pair of extreme cold weather boots is necessary. They should not be too tight and should have a cold rating to minus 20 degrees F. Wear only one pair of socks. More than one pair causes pinching, bunching and constriction, which leads to heat loss and frostbite.
Gloves and Mittens
Start with a thin glove liner, add a solid pair of wool gloves followed by thick, insulated Arctic mittens.
Snow Blindness and Glare
The glare from snow and ice easily causes snow blindness and injury. A good pair of goggles is essential. The covering of the skin around the eyes from the goggles also prevents frostnip and frostbite.
Article Written By Eric Cedric
A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.