If you are packing for a trip that will include a winter day-hiking excursion, the order of the day will be to stay warm and dry.
Step 1: Pack layered clothing Pack clothing that can be worn in thin layers. Instead of taking a bulky coat, take along a warm, long-sleeved shirt and a windbreaker. Remove a layer if you get too warm or add one if you start to feel chilled.
TIP: Bundling up in heavy clothes while hiking will leave you sweaty and put you at risk of developing hypothermia.
Step 2: Wear a base layer Plan to dress in at least three layers. Wear a base layer of lightweight, thermal underwear close to your body. This layer will wick away moisture from your skin.
TIP: Avoid cotton clothing. Cotton does not adequately insulate and it holds moisture.
Step 3: Wear a middle layer Plan to wear an insulating middle layer over the base layer. Micro-fleece is a good choice for this layer.
Step 4: Wear an outer layer Plan to wear an outer layer that is windproof and waterproof. Make sure this layer includes a hood to keep your hat dry in case it starts snowing. Now you are ready for the great outdoors -- on its terms.
FACT: Antarctic explorer Robert Falcon Scott froze to death in 1912 after reaching the South Pole because his garments trapped sweat during his exertions of the day and couldn't release it.