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March 13, 2022 3 min read

Layering with merino wool can be a challenge. If not done properly, it could result with not being prepared for the elements during a long hike. Which can leave you wishing you had either left some of your layers in the car or wishing that you had more to put on. But, don’t worry, the team at Roman Trail has compiled a few tips to make sure you reach your next summit in comfort. Learn the right way for layering merino wool to make your next outdoor adventure legendary.

Do Your Homework & Know What to Expect

We can’t stress this enough that you need to at least have some idea as to what temperature, weather conditions, and elevation changes you might encounter on your next adventure. When I hiked my first 14er here in Colorado, I have to admit I didn’t do my homework as well as I thought I did. I was sure I was prepared, but I soon realized I wasn’t. I knew what the high for the day was and when the storms were to come rolling over the mountains, but I didn’t consider the temperature difference I would experience at over 14,000 feet. I still made it to the top (no way I was going to throw in the towel), but I was pretty cold! According to the National Weather Service, the temperature decreases by 5.4 degrees Farenheight for every 1,000 feet you gain in elevation on a dry and sunny day. The temperature decreases by about 3.3 degrees per 1,000 feet if there is moisture in the air. By doing your homework on what to expect, you can better decide which gear is essential and what you can keep at home.

It All Starts with Merino

Merino wool is one of the best fabrics on the planet for its moisture-wicking properties and because it is lightweight and incredibly soft. So whether you are planning your adventure in the winter or the spring, this all-year-round fabric should be the first item you put on. Merino wool base layers not only keep you dry with their moisture-wicking capabilities but also offer a variety of other benefits. For example, these comfortable base layers also help regulate your body temperature. On hot days Merino wool helps remove excess heat to the outside of the garment but helps to trap air on cool days to keep you warmer. The naturally bent merino wool fibers help to make this temperature regulation possible. In addition, Merino wool base layers are natural odor fighters, a bonus for long hikes or camping trips.

Adding Layers

So you already know that a Merino wool base layer should come first, but what about your other layers? What you learned from doing your homework on what to expect will help you decide your mid and outer layers. For example, if you are expecting cold temperatures, a warm mid-layer is something to consider. The mid-layers purpose is for insulation. The outer layer should help protect you from any elements you should encounter. For example, hard-shelled coats and pants can help protect you in wind, snow, and rain. It is essential to keep in mind that you will be carrying anything you are not wearing, so planning for the elements will help you decide the suitable layering options for your journey.

Don’t Forget Your Pack

We have all been on that hike where we thought perhaps a pack would be better left in the car, and we ended up with a layer tied around our waist. A pack is excellent for not only storing layers that you are not using but also for other items you might need during your hike. Depending on the time of year, these additional items could be water, sunscreen, chapstick, a poncho, hats, or gloves.

 

The Bottom Line

Having the proper layers can either make or break a day in the outdoors. So do your homework, and don’t forget always to pack your Merino base


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