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Greetings everyone! How is the New Year treating you? Hopefully everyone is back into the swing of things after a holiday break. Next month is the Pennsylvania Sportsmen’s and Outdoors Show in Harrisburg and just like in previous years, I have tickets to give away. I will try to get the giveaway organized and published for next week’s column, so stay tuned. This year’s show is Feb. 2 through 10 for those of you planning a day to go.
I heard from Jessica at The TLC for Southern Chester County, and she thinks that perhaps my unidentified flying bird is a northern harrier. I looked at the photo, and it has ticking or spots on the underside and/or chest. I’ll have to take a closer look.
The TLC also has an event coming up:
Winter Tree Identification at Bucktoe Creek Preserve, 432 Sharp Road, Avondale PA
Sunday, Jan. 13 from 10a.m.to noon
Cost: $10 for non-members; $5 for members (type member when asked for a promotion code) Join TLC at Bucktoe Creek Preserve for a winter tree identification hike and learn ways to identify common Pennsylvania trees without the help of their leaves. Light refreshments will be provided. Dress appropriately for the cold weather.
Maybe you’re thinking of attending this, but don’t like to be cold. No worries! I asked the folks at Trail Creek Outfitters in Chadds Ford for some tips on staying warm. I’ll publish some of their tips this week, and the rest in future columns. He was very thorough!
Tips for staying warm outdoors in winter:
We hear people complain that they are always cold. We can fix that. We know how to keep you warm and comfortable for any outdoor activity in rain, wind, sleet, snow or whatever else Mother Nature throws at you.
Before we address how to stay warm, we should explain why you get cold. Simply put, our bodies produce heat to keep us at a constant temperature of 98.6 degrees. Our job is to hold onto that heat. When skin is wet, that takes heat away from the body 23 times faster than when it is dry. When the wind blows across the skin, heat is lost. The higher the wind speed, the greater the heat loss (think wind chill). So staying warm is pretty simple. You must first keep your skin dry. Then you must insulate (hold onto the heat that your body produces). Finally, you have to block the wind.
Keeping the Skin Dry:
You may think that to keep your skin dry you only have to wear a raincoat when it’s raining. It’s not that simple. In addition to producing heat, our bodies emit moisture (perspiration). This process goes on all the time even if you’re just sitting still at a bus stop. Of course, the more active you are the more you perspire and the wetter you get. If you are wearing cotton or silk, that fabric absorbs the moisture and it stays on your skin. Remember wet skin cools 23 times faster than dry skin. Think about how cold you are when you get out of the shower until you dry off. The way to keep your skin dry is to wear a synthetic or wool quick drying, wicking layer. Whether it’s sitting at a soccer game or running a 10k, we can tailor the next-to-skin layer to your activity. This layer is the most important layer in the “how to stay warm” system. It can’t be overstated how crucial the proper base-layer is.
Stay tuned next week for information on the Sports Show ticket giveaway and more tips for staying warm in winter.
Outdoor enthusiast Lisa Lightner lives in Avondale.