Winter Underwear - The Base Layer (Foundation)
The base layer is the layer next to the skin, usually
thought of as being underwear, or in cold climates, "thermal"
underwear. Despite cold temperatures, perspiration
is still a problem, in fact it can be more so than in a temperate
climate. The body loses moisture at almost all times whether
undergoing any great level of exertion or not. If there are
numerous insulating layers keeping you warm, then it is more
difficult for the perspiration to be able to escape. If the
perspiration is not removed it will result in the wearer becoming
uncomfortable and a feeling of "clamminess" as well as decreasing
the efficiency of the insulating layers.
Arctic / Antarctic, Cold Weather, Thermal Clothing
Underwear that is able to wick this moisture away from the skin surface therefore becomes much more important and this is an important factor in choosing garments. Modern "thermals" are made of synthetic fibers such and polypropylene or "fleece" that have good insulating properties and are also able to efficiently wick moisture away from the skin. Zips at the neck or even full length can help regulate temperature. A golden rule is to avoid cotton.