Dressing for the Toboggan Chutes
Mill Stream Run at the Cleveland Metro Parks is home to the two fastest and tallest toboggan chutes in all of Ohio. The toboggans race down the 700-foot ice chutes at approximately 50 miles per hour. After racing down the icy, refrigerated chute, riders have to climb 108 steps to the top of the chute to await their next turn. All those steps will warm you for a little while, but what is the best way to dress to fully enjoy the outdoors?
Staying dry is the first rule and the ultimate goal for winter outdoor gear. When adventurers begin to sweat, they will also begin to feel cold. Layers are the best way to stay both dry and warm. Each layer has a specific purpose:
Layer 1: A long-sleeved, light baselayer directly against your skin. No matter how cold the weather may be, this thin layer is essential; the material wicks sweat from your skin, which keeps you dry and warm. Expert adventurers recommend shirts with thumbholes to prevent drafts between your gloves and sleeves.
Layer 2: This thin midlayer should be made from a particular fabric. The best material is polyester, wool, or a blended combination of both polyester and wool. This layer will help contain your body heat.
Photo Credit: www.cleveland.com
Layer 3: Now it’s time for the puffy, hooded jacket. If the wind is strong, use the hood’s drawstring to pull it tightly against your head. It may not be the most flattering attire, but it traps your heat close to your body, no matter the outside temperature.
Layer 4: Add a shell. Its material should be waterproof and breathable. All of its seams should be taped to keep out the wind and keep in your body heat. Be certain to find a size that will fit over your other layers.
Don’t forget to protect your fingers from the cold, too! Your gloves should be tight enough that you can dress and undress while wearing them; gloves that are too big will not hold your heat close enough to your fingers and thumbs.
Once you don your layers, you may notice that the “stacked” zippers rub against your chin and neck. Choose a baselayer that has a crewneck design as extra padding between your chin and your zippers. Another option is a neck gaiter, which you can tuck beneath the zippers for extra warmth and padding. All of your pockets should zip so that they don’t fill with spindrift when the wind is whipping outside. Trapping the cold air closer to you will not help you stay warm!