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Advice From An Adventure Guide

As adventure tourists, many people need a guide to show them how to properly cry under a tree when they are lost. Many times this guide is me, so who better to supply some professional insight into etiquette and some backcountry smarts?

Lesson One: Clothing

Your clothes can save your life or they can kill you, the choice is yours.

Now, i'm not suggesting that wearing a yellow string thong is going to give you heart disease (though it might cause it in others who see it), all I’m saying that you need to dress weather appropriate for the conditions. Being as it's winter and things are unpredictable at best I’m going to give you some options. Why you ask?

Well, the better you dress the less I have to perform mouth to mouth and that’s good for me, because, when I have to do mouth to mouth, my dates often get jealous.

First off here is a message to mothers. If you send your child on a snowy backcountry tour with me, don't let them out of the house if they are wearing cotton.

It's worse than hanging a steak around their neck and sending them out in the woods to make cute little rabbit noises. Well, maybe not, but my point still stands.

Cotton kills, cotton is rotten, whatever you want to say to get yourself to remember it. Cotton doesn't dry, it doesn't keep you warm when it's wet and hypothermia will set in faster than you can say, well, hypothermia.

You don't need fancy Gor-Tex, any laminate and waterproof coating will do. You can save yourself a ton on cash if you look for things such as Hivent, Omnitech, Helitech, Event or Conduit.

They are all essentially the same thing with different names depending on the brand, much like hair dyes and Paris Hilton types.

You're mid-layer is the cheapest. A simple 200-weight fleece will do. They are cheap, warm, cheap, they help wick moisture away and they are cheap.

Wear a polypropylene or prowool base layer tight and next to the skin. Lifa by Helly Hansen is a good choice. These types of things will keep your skin dry, thus keeping you warm and less sweaty.

See how we all benefit from this?

Prowool and marino wool base layers cost more, but they are warmer and don't smell as much.

Did I mention they don't smell as much?

If you hear me singing that Police tune "Don't stand so close to me" then it may be a hint to invest in that particular item.

Layering is always the smart approach. This helps you regulate your temperature on the go, wearing a huge puffy jacket may cause you to sweat and overheat, Sweating is there to cool you down, if you stop, it's snowing and you’re sweaty you are going to freeze.

You will also smell, which is, (am I repeating myself?) unpleasant.

Lastly, down jackets are warm and such but if they get wet they are rendered totally useless and rain will also ruin the coat. Keep them dry, and you’re laughing.

Get them wet, and then I’m laughing.

As for your feet, blister free socks like Smartwool are the best option. They are of high quality, they last forever and you can wear them for a week before they'll smell. I don't actually know this, I just, heard it from a guy who knows a guy.

There are so many wonderful items on the market, I won't sugar coat it, and some are expensive, really expensive. Is it worth it you ask?

Absolutely. Some products even come with a Recco Locator beacon sewn right in the sleeve. It's amazing the options you have now.

Now go, shop wisely, and the next time I see your children I won't send them back so cold they're stiffer than a Glen Fiddick Scotch, neat.

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