Tip Series #2
Playing in cold weather -
While playing in the severe cold can be adventurous and a way to get out of the house in the winter, there are a number of issues that can ruin your fun. This is especially true if you're playing in an event and can't just stop to warm-up or go home. You certainly can't concentrate on playing your best disc golf when you constantly distracted by the fact that you are cold and miserable.
The first winter experience often goes like this:
You show up at the course, get out of your car and it suddenly hits you:
- You're cold and stiff and the wind is cutting right through your clothes.
- Your discs are even colder and in combination with cold hands limits your grip & feel.
- The Tee Pads are covered with snow or ice.
- You heat up and start sweating under your outfit and then chill.
- The snow is deep enough to hide your disc when it lands.
Any one of these situations can certainly limit the enjoyment of playing in the cold, taken all together you may as well stay home. There are however, some solutions that enterprising outdoors people have developed to minimize the discomfort and enhance the enjoyment of being outside in the cold. We plan to share a few of the one's we've picked up over the years, in the next few installments of our Tip Series.
Most important thing is to dress in layers. You've likely heard the buzz word "Layers" but you may not be aware of the how or why of it. Layers are clothing that provide different functions. The minimum is usually 3 or more. The 1st layer is the base layer, should be a tight fitting synthetic (like a dryfit) that won't absorb moisture and remains dry against your skin (no cotton here). Layer #2 and sometimes 3, are the insulative layers that can absorb moisture but help retain your body heat. Vests can be a good choice here since they insulate but allow more freedom of movement. The last layer is your outer layer and should be wind and moisture resistant or proof (avoid plastic coated fabrics here). This layer should in most cases be a windbreaker and not an insulated coat or jacket.
The idea of layering is that each layer provides a function to keep you warm and dry, but allows you to regulate the body heat you generate through activity. If you get too warm you can strip off a layer to adjust your body temperature. The outfit should be topped off with a tight-fitting winter hat that covers your ears. Remember you can lose up to 40% of your body heat through your head so a good hat is important and if you get too hot try removing that hat for a while to cool down.
We'll make some suggestions about hands, feet, tees, finding discs, flexibility, etc. in future installments.