With cold-for-Florida temperatures sweeping southward through the state, it’s a good time for a reminder about dressing for our erratic weather in Florida. Folks who don’t live here often assume that we’re warm and sunny all the time. Not so. I’ve had water bottles freeze in winter in the Everglades, and struggled as much with damp cold as dry heat out on the trails.
Dressing in layers is crucial this time of year. Sometimes I shed them quickly when working up to a slow burn over a long haul, but stopping when it’s still chill means having to toss that fleece back on.
My layering – protecting those vital chest organs – for Florida chill typically consists of:
1) a wicking base layer with long sleeves
2) a quick-drying t-shirt, short sleeved
3) a fleece jacket or lightweight fleece pullover, long sleeved
4) A thin vest to help cut the chill
5) a rain jacket – Marmot Precip – for rain or wind
A hat. I have a Tilly but use a baseball cap sometimes. I sometimes carry gloves, but not until temperatures fall to freezing.
These came into play the other day when it was 49* with wind gusts of 40 mph. I didn’t use the Precip but had it handy. Dropped the vest within the first hour, the fleece within 2 hours. Put it back on during rest stops during the 5 hour hike.
What’s important? Find a layering system that works for you against damp cold – Florida rarely has dry cold. Make sure your pack has space to hold the clothes that aren’t on you. Keep in mind that damp both seeps inwards from the air and outwards from your body as you sweat, setting up conditions for chill.
What do you use for layering? Share your method here.