What to Wear
The best attire is “light layers”:
- Base layer: should be made of a technical fabric, like UnderArmour® or DriFit®.
- Middle layers: should be thin as well, since bulk can slow you down. The number of layers will depend on the temperature and wind chill - dress as though it’s about 10 degrees warmer since your body will heat up quickly.
- Outermost layer: windproof and waterproof gear works best to keep you the warmest.
You’ll want a layer or two under your workout pants that are thin, silky and long underwear or something technically similar.
Socks in winter should be breathable, winter-weight; something along the lines of SmartWool®, Thorlo® or Wigwam®. Think thin, not bulky and bunchy!
Many EcoTrekkers like to wear fleece ear-bands so the top of the head can still “vent”, while other EcoTrekkers like knit caps. It’s all personal preference. Baseball hats with a brim are a good idea when it’s snowing or sleeting to keep it out of your eyes. Plus, you’ll have something to clip your caplights to if you chose to wear those on dark mornings or evenings! (Most auto parts stores carry the CATZ LED lights for $4.95, see batzusa.com)
A neck “gaiter” can work like a scarf without the bulk, and can be pulled up or down depending on your warmth levels. It’s also helpful for EcoTrekkers who have trouble with the cold air in their lungs and can work as an “air recycler” when pulled up over the nose and mouth.
Keeping your hands warm is super-important. Your fingers can go through different temperature phases as you are working out; they can be ice-cold for the first ten minutes and be sweating by the time you’re done with the EcoTrek session. Glove brands are going to be a subjective thing again, and you’ll get many different answers from EcoTrekkers as to what is their favorite.
Footwear can be tricky, but for the most part EcoTrekkers like to wear athletic shoes (lightweight, good support) with YakTrax® for traction, along with some calf-high or knee-high gaiters. The gaiters stop the snow from coming into your shoes. If you have athletic shoes with GoreTex® (or a similar waterproof brand), your feet will stay warm and dry for the 75 minutes you’re EcoTrekking. Big hiking boots and heavy snow boots aren’t ideal for EcoTrek, but we do have a few Trekkers who prefer that when the snow gets deeper toward the end of the season.
Spring, Summer and Fall
We have EcoTrekkers wearing pants, capris and shorts in all three of these seasons, so it’s all personal preference. If you have a phobia about getting your hands dirty, you may want to invest in some lightweight (running-style) gloves. Otherwise once you have good athletic shoes, you are pretty much good to go until winter!
If your EcoTrek sessions take place in the dark and you don’t have reflective wear, ask your Leader about borrowing one of the EcoTrek reflective vests for the session. Your leader will have other basics like sunblock, bug spray and tissues.
EcoTrek Series Leaders carry the resistance bands so you don’t need to bring any equipment of your own, and you can keep your car keys locked safely in the Leader’s vehicle during the session so you don’t have to worry about dropping them along the route.
The main thing to keep in mind is that you don’t have to go out and buy all the latest-and-greatest gear right away, and you may find that you’ll do just fine without some of it. Just pick up what you need as you need it, dress for the weather and ask your EcoTrek Series Leader if you’re looking for specific guidance. Just bring yourself and a positive attitude and you’re ready to roll.
As a general rule, you’ll want to dress as thought it’s 20 degrees warmer than the thermometer says!
If you’d like specific recommendations, please email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.