I just uploaded a new video to my KCHappyCamper YouTube channel about how to layer for warmth this winter. Check it out (below).
Since the video has been up, I’ve had a lot of questions about the traditional cotton anorak I wear. Lure of the North—winter outfitters based near Sudbury, Ontario—got me started wearing an anorak on winter trips. It’s different option for an outer shell and it’s amazing.
It’s true that cotton is the worst thing to wear as an inside layer. The material soaks up moisture. But as an outside layer, it breathes better and vents moisture away more than any other common waterproof-breathable fabric. Moisture is absorbed from your body, pulling your sweat through your inner layers. Basically, it pushes out moist air and excess heat. It obviously gets wet from your sweat, but you can dry it fairly quickly around the fire at night. Even if it doesn’t dry out, the anorak is not an insulating layer; it’s an outer protective layer. It acts as an excellent windbreaker while trekking across a windswept frozen lake. Mine is trimmed with coyote fur—ethically harvested from an old fur coat I found at a second-hand store. I also added a Voyageur-style waist-sash to keep things tight and provide a place to hang my over-mitts. The traditional design has no zippers and is just pulled over your head, fitting loosely over your other layers.