Summit Up 12-29-12: The lowdown on staying warm |

Summit Up 12-29-12: The lowdown on staying warm

Summit Up
Special to the Daily

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column that dresses in layers.

If you’re new to the area, knowing how to clothe yourself in cold weather can be daunting. Follow our simple advice and you will never lose valuable appendages, have a runny nose or do that thing where you cross your arms and repeatedly slap your shoulders and then blow into your hands (yeah, we don’t know what that’s about either).

First, you start with a base layer. This is the most important part. We recommend beginning with a generous slathering of goose fat (yes, you can substitute other animal fats if you can’t afford high-grade goose blubber). The fat will seal off the glands that produce sweat. Sweat makes you clammy.

Clammy kills.

Next, make a slurry of flour and water. Then you tear a newspaper into strips. (Finish reading the Summit Daily News before beginning this step.) Dip the newspaper into the paste and apply to areas where you desire insulation. Avoid places where you breathe, such as your nostrils or eyes. And also avoid standing next to open flames (Remember the goose fat?)

Let the newspaper dry before moving onto the next step: The mid-layer.

We favor imported yak fur kaftans that look like something a dwarf might wear in “The Hobbit.” You can find them at any well-stocked sporting goods store here in Summit. Avoid yak cloaks with double zippers. Seems like a good idea at first, but the fur gets all caught in the teeth. It’s a nightmare. Whale-bone buckles work much better.

The outer layer is the most important of the layers – after the base layer and the mid-layer – because it will shield everyone around you from the foul but warming stench produced by the goose fat, flour slurry and yak fur.

We recommend a brightly colored jacket. By now, the papier-mache will have hardened and you will find movement difficult. It is important that, whether you’re on a ski slope or walking on Main Street, people see you coming from far away. Bright colors such as pink or chartreuse will signal to cars or skiers that they should swerve suddenly into a nearby embankment. The outer jacket should also be breathable, allowing wind to pass through freely. Otherwise, the wind will catch your clothing like a sail and push you over into the snow. Next column, we’ll talk about accessories for your head, hands and feet. Here’s a preview of what’s to come: Dried elk bladders.

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