for the weather means taking a moment to ask yourself what you will
be doing, how much you expect to exert yourself, and for how long?
Overheating is equally dangerous to being too cold. It is important
to remember that the morning is typically colder than all the rest
of the day, so what is appropriate work attire in the morning will
almost definitely be too heavy later in the - especially if you
are active. Your thermal needs will be governed by how active you
are (generating heat), how much direct sun your work area is receiving
(how quickly the air around you will heat up), and the general climate
of the day (wet days "feel" colder than dry days, and
we all know the effects of the wind!) Dressing in layers affords
you the opportunity to shed unneeded clothing as dictated by the
changing conditions of your day. This is why it is important to
prepare in LAYERS! You will want to be able to adapt to your
body's thermal needs in small, frequent increments. You want to
remain comfortable; not warm, and not cold.
that you are a mammal. Your body produces heat. Harness that advantage
and do NOT start your day cold. I would also suggest you skip the
morning shower, if you can stand to do it. (You will want one when
you are finished with your "work" day anyway.) Wet mammals
lose heat faster than dry mammals!
and being cold put you at particular risks for injury. Your muscles
will be tighter than they need to be, and your body's lubricants
will be sluggish. This will cause undue wear in your joints and
open the window for pulls, sprains, and even pulling your skeleton
out of alignment! This is why you need to start the day a little
over-dressed, too BEGIN warm...
overdressing - and ultimately overheating - will cause you to sweat
...which is the wrong thing for your body to do in the cold!! Sweating
is your body's attempt to cool down. If you are wet when you stop
working, your body temperature will drop fairly quickly, which can
be a dangerous to your immune system. You need to listen to your
body and know that you are working toward a sweat before it happens!!
(I can feel the pores on my face and back open just before my pits
begin to sweat.) I cannot emphasize this enough: it is important
to stay dry!
choose a light weight, long sleeve garment as your base and pull
on a T-shirt over that. This preserves your core heat. Next, choose
a light or medium weight flannel shirt or sweat shirt that fits
loosely enough to move around in.(I prefer a thin flannel because
I can unbutton it as a step before actually removing it.) Last,
pull on a "shell":a light jacket or quilted flannel or
wind-breaker - something to keep the breeze from wicking away your
a spare under-layer available to change into should you realize
that your first layer is wet or getting wet.
head is important too. You should wear a hat to preserve heat, but
I recommend wearing a light weight hat. Just something to keep the
air off of your head is enough. Too heavy a hat and you will certainly
overheat! A light hat should fit somewhat loosely and afford your
head an opportunity to breathe while still governing heat loss.
If you have sensitive ears or are prone to getting a chill on the
neck, consider wearing a hood with one of your under-layers. A hood
can be slipped back a little at a time to precisely accommodate
your body's cooling needs. Scarves feel dangerous to me because
you have those two loose ends to keep track of- not my idea of making
my work any easier.
you come to the end of your day's activities, your body will respond
and slow the furnace within you. It is fairly important to anticipate
this since this natural and automatic cooling will likely be compounded
by the air around you also cooling down as the sun moves away. If
you have completed your most vigorous tasks and still have a few
little things to care of outside, start slowly by putting some layers
back on. If you are finished/ Once you are finished, I recommend
you just grab the heaviest of the layers you pulled off during the
day. That should also be the loosest fit of your garments and accomplishes
2 things at once: preserves your waning body heat while allowing
your body to breath. Remember at this point your body is not just
slowing heat production, but also trying to get rid of what it thinks
is excess heat, too!
body reacts to conditions. It is up to you to know what it will
need ahead of time and dress accordingly. Your body will take these
cues happily, and together you two can enjoy what you accomplish
in your garden!