The wind blows and then sucks away your heat faster than you can say “Suffer’n Sasquatch”.

To be safe, warm and comfortable in the great outdoors you need to respect and understand the 3Ws. The 3rd discussed is WIND.

The wind is refreshing, cleansing and relaxing sometimes!


Apart from its psychologically warm soothing, it can and will cool you down at an alarming rate. Here’s the stuff.

Windchill Factor

The stronger the wind, the more it will suck away valued body heat. First dropping skin temperature and eventually the core temperature. Wind chill charts are calculated from a complicated formula (don’t ask) and will estimate how a combination of wind and temperature affects the body. In other words, compare how cold it feels when you consider the chilling effects of wind.

Wind Chill Chart

On the left side of the chart, the wind chill calculated temperatures are high, and this is a low risk of frostbite (GREEN). As it gets colder, the danger of frostbite increases. For example, when the temperature is -20°C and the wind is blowing at 60 KPH, the wind chill factor is -36 and exposed skin could develop frostbite in 5-10 minutes.

Convective Cooling

Pretty simple blowing warm air away from your skin and replacing it with cold air.

Evaporative Cooling

This is one of the reasons we sweat. Nature’s cooling system. When our body heats up, we naturally sweat. As the moisture evaporates from our skin, it causes the surface to cool. This is called evaporative cooling. All fine and dandy during the warm weather months, however sweating in the winter can soak your clothing and chill you to the bone!

Social Cooling

This has nothing to do with the great outdoors, however possibly the most dangerous chilling of them all. Predominantly occurs between cohabiting significant others following a dispute over toilet paper roll directions, replacing toothpaste tube caps, closing kitchen cupboard doors or who gets the remote! The resulting chill in the air can be unmeasurable!


The bottom line … the wind will always cool you down. So if you want to stay warm block the wind, and if you want to cool down let it in!


Your outer clothing layers should always be able to slow down the wind, and in cool times, you want to completely stop it! The same modern fabrics and membranes introduced in water such as eVent, Dryvent, and Gortex will all stop the rain, and wind and also allow sweaty body moisture to escape. There are also new soft-shell fabrics such as Polartec ® Neo-shell ® that stop the wind/rain and breath like a kitten bottom.

Don’t forget your hands, face and feet. They can also chill at an alarming rate if not protected by a windproof material or fabric.

Concerning Social Cooling … I haven’t a friggin’ clue!



No responses yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *





Many of our adventures and random thoughts are captured with video and available on our YouTube channel


Don’t miss anything, 
Subscribe to our newsletter today.