The base layer
A thermal base layer worn against the skin is the first, essential step towards creating body heat and then maintaining your core temperature. Under garments that incorporate or are made from fleece material are some of the best – trapping air that is then heated by the body. Thermal socks should also be included at this stage.
The mid layer
Joggers make the perfect layer for the lower half of the body, trapping another layer of air and warmth, especially when fleece lined. A T-Shirt and hoodie form a great mid-layer for the upper body; similar to the joggers, a hoodie will trap air and stay comfortable as the layers build. The hood can also provide insulation to the head.
At this stage salopettes provide another important function. Not only do the prevent the loss of body heat to the lower and mid areas of the body, they also provide protection from the elements. They form a shielding layer against cold winter winds and rain to maintain heat generated by the under-layers as you operate on the bank.
To complement the salopettes shielding your lower half, it’s equally important to protect the upper body with the same protective layer. Fleece lined, waterproof jackets not only form an excellent layer of air-trapped heat, but also protect this insulation. A high zip and hood also provides the neck and head with another layer.
During warmer parts of the day or when you’re fairly active on the bank, perhaps barrowing your gear or spodding, you can easily get hot in layers and sweat. If you sweat and get wet, you’ll get cold and find it takes longer to warm-up again. So remember to take layers off at times when you find yourself getting too hot.
Protect exposed areas of the body
Wear a hat
Once you’re ‘layered-up’ your head is the biggest area that your core temperature will leak from. The body then continues to send heat to this vital area and other parts of the body become cold. The simple solution is a good ole wooly hat to keep the heat in!
From tying rigs or making a brew, when your hands and fingers are cold, pretty much everything you do on the on the bank becomes that little bit more difficult. Gloves and mittens, especially those with ‘fold back’ fingers are the answer.
Keep your neck warm
The neck area is another exposed section of the body that can quickly become cold, but can also easily leak out all the heat created by the main clothing layers. A scarf or one of these fleece neck warmers is the ideal way of sealing the top of your jacket or hoodie.
Get some boots on
If your feet are warm on the bank in winter, then everything else just seems that much better, as cold feet are normally the first thing to get you thinking about reeling in and heading home. It’s time to ditch the trainers and get some heat retaining, thermal footwear on.