Much of the outdoor clothing in NZ won’t light up the catwalks of Paris, Rome or New York. But it could save your life. As far as we’re concerned, survival comes before style and that is why we sell a range of outdoor clothing that is designed with safety in mind, particularly where hypothermia is concerned.
Hypothermia is a medical condition that is often caused by exposure to cold weather or immersion in cold water. The body loses heat faster than it can produce it, causing a dangerously low body temperature as a result. When this happens, normal brain and muscle function is impaired and left untreated, can lead to complete failure of your heart and respiratory system and eventually to death. While it sounds extreme, the steps you can take to avoid it are not:
- Wear the right fabrics. Clothing only retains what heat your body produces. Certain fabrics, such as wool and synthetics, draw moisture away from the body and retain warmth. On the other hand, when cotton clothing gets wet it will cease to insulate you.
- Always wear wind and rain protection. A good outer layer is a must to protect you from cold wind and rain. This will reduce the chance of hypothermia. Make sure you wear this layer from the start - don’t put it on once you’re already wet or cold.
- Eat nutritious food to give you the energy you need to stay warm. The colder the weather, the more you should eat. Stay hydrated too, with a hot beverage to start and end the day.
- Have a plan. Before you go, check the weather and make sure you’re prepared to handle the forecast conditions - or postpone until a better day.
The New Zealand Mountain Safety Council has some excellent advice on their website about hypothermia, including the symptoms of the condition and how to treat it. Hopefully, it won’t reach that stage, By taking a few relatively simple precautions, including wearing the right outdoor clothing, you can stay safe, warm and dry when you’re in the great outdoors. For more advice on choosing the best and safest gear, feel free to get in touch with us. (By the way - our range of outdoor clothing might not be seen on too many catwalks but it does look pretty sharp for all that!)