When people are going outside in the winter the first thing they do is to check the thermometer to see how cold it is. If it shows on minus side they will take on a lot of warmclothing before going out. They are not putting much thought on what they are going to do, only that it´s cold outside and to not freeze they need a lot of clothing on them. Me, I don’t even have a thermometer at home so I never know how cold or warm it will be outside. For me it does not matter much, if I am going out and I know will be passive and mostly standing still I don’t mind to put on a nice big parkas, warm boots and fur hat. But it´s not many times I go out and are not being active I mostly wear the same thing when it´s -20 as when it´s +-0.
Most of the time I will be wearing 2 layers, one base layer and a windproof layer on top, then there will be an extra layer in the rucksack if it gets really cold. If it gets warmer I can easily ventilate my clothing or just remove cap or take of the gloves. I will usually feel a bit cold when I get out but soon the skis or the snowshoes comes on and then it won’t take long until I am warm and comfortable. Here is where many people make a mistake, they start being nice and warm and after a while they will start sweating buckets and not long after that their clothes will be wet and they will start freezing and get thoughts that they need to put on more clothes for next time. They will also spend most of the evening trying to dry up their clothes. Being a little bit cold won’t kill you and if you even after a while not got up any heat it´s easy to put on an extra layer or maybe just a warmer cap or one of my favourites winter time, a merino buff around my neck. The same spots that you can use to ventilate you can use to keep you warmer. This is neck and wrists and you head for example.
But remember when you stop for a break, put on a extra layer, best is a big jacket that goes over all your other layers, because when you stop you stop producing that nice good heat.
Since your body is working hard to produce heat it will need energy so be not afraid to eat a lot of good food when being out. And don’t forget to start being comfortable cold 😉