Heading up the mountain for that winter hike? In certain climates and at temperatures between 0 and –19°F, it only takes 5 minutes for frostbite to occur on your face, including your cheeks, nose, and ears. To prevent this from happening, there are some key actions for you to take. First and foremost, you have to take exposure into consideration and use the right gear to protect your face in the frigid weather.
A balaclava comes in handy when you face subzero temperatures. Much like underwear, it is considered a base layer and is intended to cover your neck and face while remaining light and easy to carry.
It is important to remember that a balaclava should snugly fit your face without choking you. You cannot simply grab one from a pile and throw it on. It will not be able to protect your face if it doesn’t fit properly.
Once you have a comfortable balaclava that acts as a base layer, you should put on a winter hat that fits well. This means the hat should not be so loose that the wind can blow it off your head, but it should also not be so tight that it shifts the balaclava when you put it on. Choose a hat that is made with wind-resistant fabrics that can add warmth and protection. Water-resistance is an added bonus, although this feature won’t provide any additional warmth. One disadvantage to wearing a windproof hat is that it might muffle sound, which can make communication difficult. But if you are on your own or with a buddy, warmth might be more important than your ability to hear well.
A face mask is essential in blocking the wind. This particular item should completely protect your nose, cheeks, and mouth from being struck by wind. At the same time, you must ensure that it does not affect your breathing ability. High-performing, windproof face masks usually have a fleece liner that allows for comfortable positioning. Some face masks come with neck-covering materials. While they are meant to protect your neck, be aware that they might end up disrupting the insulation offered by your middle layer of clothing.
Lastly, you need a set of goggles that will complement your face mask, balaclava, and winter hat and assist in covering your entire face. When looking at goggles, many people simply get the biggest ones they can find. However, it is essential to try out the goggles with your other protective layers in place. This way, you will know how they truly fit and ensure that there is no opening between your face mask and the goggles that exposes your face. If you wear glasses, you can get goggles that fit over them.
Using these protective items can help prevent frostbite and keep your head and face warm. With the right fit and the proper layering of clothing, your winter march can be enjoyable and warm.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.