“Dressed like onions” might sound funny when you think about our students and staff in the cold Vermont winters, but the phrase is actually an important principle in the year round outdoor-active community. The idea is to simply layer up when you are cold and layer down when you are warm to always find the most comfortable temperature for the activity you are doing. Whether it’s sitting around the campfire journaling and working on the True North curriculum or snowshoeing through the state forest, our students are equipped for whatever the weather may bring.
For many students, receiving all this gear can be overwhelming. A new Trailhead enrolling in the program may not have spent long periods of time outdoors, let alone during a cold and snowy northeast winter. Safety for our students is our utmost concern at True North and giving each student the knowledge to wear or use their gear appropriately is just as important as the gear itself.
Layering up for the winter begins with base layers and barrier weight layers. These tops and bottoms can be a combination of wool and polypropylene. While both clothing materials are excellent for keeping in body heat, they are also incredibly beneficial to our students for their moisture-wicking qualities as well. Adding on top of these layers comes a set of fleece tops and bottoms, insulating snow pants, and a lightweight puffy coat made from goose down. A heavyweight, wind-resistant goose down ski jacket becomes the outermost layer for our students.
Baffin footwear keeps our students feet warm and protected whether they are inside the shelter or out hiking in the woods. Goose down slippers are comfy and warm when spending time indoors and Baffin’s winter boots are rated to withstand temperatures as low as -148°F.
No student at True North would be complete without gear from Vermont’s own Darn Tough socks and Turtle Fur fleece hats! Students receive heavyweight, knee-high wool socks to keep toes warm and fleece-lined wool winter hats to keep in body heat. At the end of the day students are guaranteed to sleep cozy and warm inside heated shelters and sleeping bags rated to -20°F.