How to Dress for Weather in Steamboat
In the Rocky Mountains, the weather and temperatures can swing wildly and rapidly! In Steamboat Springs we have more sunshine per year than cities in Florida. But we do have some temperature extremes. It can be sunny and 80 and turn in rain and 50 within minutes. Being prepared is essential for playing in Steamboat Springs.
When you start out in the morning, look at the weather report. You may see a bluebird day but by the afternoon, rain and hail can move in. During the winter, I’ve started my day at -30 and have ended it up on the ski area at +30. Really.
Next, layer your clothing. I thought everyone knew this but if are visiting from a warm climate, you may not. There are 3 main layers: your base layer, mid layer, and your outer layer.
The Base layer
This is the layer next to your skin for moisture management. There are many high-tech (Capilene) and low-tech (wool) materials out there but their job is to wick the moisture away from your body. Don’t just think this is important during the winter; this is important year round.
The Mid Layer
This is the insulating layer so your body can retain heat. This can again be synthetic or natural and needs to be year round in Colorado. A light weight tech-shirt might be appropriate for an August hike and a down parka may be needed in the winter.
The Outer Layer
This layer is for weather protection. Sudden squalls can appear during most months in Colorado. This layer should be roomy. During the summer, you may want a light weight, breathable rain-coat and in the winter, a heavier windproof and waterproof coat may be desirable.
With this layering system, you can add and remove layers as the weather changes.
Here in Steamboat Springs we are very proud of our hometown company of Smartwool. Smartwool clothing is created from fine merino wool that is soft next to your skin and provides excellent thermal control. It’s hard to imagine wearing a lightweight Smartwool wool shirt on a 90 degree day, but it works!
Give me a call if you need company for a hike and want to talk about Steamboat – two of my favorite things!
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