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Wintertime can be an unforgiving beast. The mercury plummets into temperatures our bodies just aren’t used to, and it doesn’t take long at all to feel the consequences of it. This winter, instead of throwing on a sweater to take the snow blower up and down your drive, treat the task like you would a mountain hike: dress in layers with this handy guide from Snow Blower Source. It’s something that takes all of a few seconds to do and it’ll make the chilly winter air feel a lot better.



Step One: Base Layer

Depending on how cold it gets in your neck of the woods (and how much snow you’ve gotten), you may or may not need a base layer. What we mean by a base layer is what goes right next to your bare skin — garments like a thermal shirt, long johns and a thin pair of silk socks. You’ll want to stay away from cotton because it’s absolutely horrible at keeping you warm and dry, and instead use fabrics like wool, silk or spandex. This’ll help ensure sweat gets wicked away from your skin and you stay warmer for longer (remember: wet things lose heat faster than dry things).



Step Two: Mid Layer

This is the layer you’ll use for insulating yourself, so pick garments that are warm, fuzzy and not as skintight as your base layer. If you think things like a light fleece sweater, a light loft down jacket, insulated hoodie and sweat pants, you’ll be doing just fine. Depending on the kind of boots you have, you may or may not need another pair of socks. If you’re heading out there in non-winter boots or a pair of shoes, then throw on a pair of wool socks over your silk ones so your feet stay toasty warm.



Step Three: Outer Layer

Now that you’ve taken care of moisture and insulation, the last step is to guard against wind. Again, you may or may not need this step depending on how heavy the snowfall is, how powerful your snow blower is, how long you’ll be out there and what the temperature and wind conditions are. But let’s assume you’ll be out there for an hour and it’s pretty cold. Configure your outer layer so you’re guarded from the wind, such as donning a windbreaker or Gore-Text jacket. Those sweat pants you put on will also be pretty porous, but you can keep the cold air out by throwing on a pair of slush pants or windbreaker pants over top of them. You don’t have to get too fancy because that’s the beauty of layers: each one has its own specific task and when used correctly, you shouldn’t feel like an overdressed snowman.



Dressing Without Layers

There are always going to be people who don’t think there’s much merit in dressing in layers, especially for something like using a snow blower (as opposed to going winter trekking for an entire week). If this is you and all you want to do is throw on one outer garment, then make sure it’s the right one. A solid winter coat that’s insulated and has a windbreaking external layer will be your best bet, like a double-lined Gore-Tex jacket or a down coat. Look for stitching that’s tight and in small squares (for down) because this ensures each grouping of feathers will be in a smaller space and can do a better job overall of insulating. And lastly, make sure to get either a men’s or women’s coat. The construction of each is radically different and intended to cater to the unique ways men and women sweat and retain heat, and it can really make all the difference in the world.

We like to think of dressing in layers for using your snow blower as going out on a mini expedition every time. You dress up and make careful plans to stay warm, hit the driveway, and accomplish what you set out to achieve. Now that you’ve gotten the layering part down pat, make sure you’re using a great machine to take care of the other side of things. We suggest taking a look at our Toro and Ariens inventory, a line of snow blowers that are shipped free no matter which one you get.

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