In seasons of literal darkness it’s important to hunt for the light. And there’s plenty of places to find it — warming fires, twinkle lights or the Menorah, shining stars, headlamps and more.

But my favorite way is through a more figurative means: the light of other humans.

With winter darkness and the importance of light on my mind, now is a perfect time to briefly pause and appreciate the light of humans as we go outside together.

Listen now.

[:35] The question: where do you find light?

[1:00] The light situation around here

[1:48] Some light places

[2:45] My favorite source of light

[3:06] Here’s who they are and where to find them

If the deep, dark winter and cold are hitting you like a ton of bricks just like they are hitting me, it might be time to stand back and remember what you’ve done in the past that can boost your mood this time of year.

It’s OK to say you hate the darkness and winter weather. Saying it out loud helps me move through it. But what isn’t going to help me is giving up and hating it from my couch. So to fight back I’m trying a pair new outdoor habit experiments to see if they can help my mood and get me through the dark months.

Learn more in this episode.

[:35] We’ve got the outdoor blahs

[1:00] Oh, hi seasonal depression

[3:00] Let’s just acknowledge that everything actually is terrible

[3:39] Busting me out of this mood in two parts

[3:54] Chasing daylight

[5:20] One big adventure, one little adventure

When I moved to Alaska from Tennessee I was not someone who spent a lot of time outside, and I owned virtually no clothing you and I would think of as “winter gear.” I simply had no experience spending time outside in cold weather, and I had no idea what I was doing.

In the years since I have quite a lot of time to practice going outside comfortably in all types of weather and seasons, which means I have had some time to figure out what I like to wear out there — and what I don’t.

Maybe these experiences can help you, too, as you learn to how to stay warm and comfortable outside all winter long.

[:35] I have a whole lot of practice with outdoor gear because it’s winter here for months and months and months

[1:30] First let’s talk about the things I like the most and why

[2:00] The star of the show

[2:45] Foot stuff

[3:31] The core of the issue

[4:06] Neglect not the hood

[4:41] Skip this stuff

[4:45] Things that don’t fit right

[6:07] Cold heads even if they’re cute

Learning how to stay warm and, therefore, comfortable in cold weather can be the difference between a great outdoor experience and one you never, ever want to have again.

And while so much of the “what” of the clothing that you wear outside will be based on your own personal preferences and needs (helpful, right?), there are some basic building blocks that you can lean on to get started.

Enter the mysterious yet necessary “base layer.”

What do you need to know about picking a great base layer? What kind of fabric and fit should you look for? What goes on top of it? And why do some outdoor adventure clothes cost so much?

In this episode Jen Loofbouroow, founder of the outdoor apparel company Alpine Fit, tells us all of the secrets to layering, gives her best tips for staying warm and happy during any outside adventure and walks us through what we need to know about getting dressed for cold weather.

Listen now!

Some of the good stuff:

[3:59] Jen Loofbourrow’s favorite outdoor space

[4:55] The very Canadian way she became someone who likes to go outside

[5:51] The Alpine Fit story

[8:35] A word of caution about too many good ideas during adventures

[11:40] The secrets of sizing

[22:32] What the heck is a “base layer”

[24:02] Why we’re glad layers don’t have butt flaps anymore

[25:00] A few gear essentials

[28:41] What to wear on a normal person cold day

[31:47] A digression on the subject of hand warmers

[35:50] What to wear on a really cold day

[41:24] A little bit about price point and why things are so expensive

[50:16] Jen’s favorite outdoor moment

If the annoying perky people in the world are right and your perspective really does determine your reality, then there’s one tried and true way to make heading outside in less than great circumstances — weather, schedule, whatever — just a tiny bit better.

I’ve tested what it’s like to go out there with a bad attitude.

So, what happens when I take a different track?

And what happens if I do when things are really, really hard? I’m talking -15 degrees, blowing, very frosty, don’t want to be there, have other stuff to do hard?

Let’s find out.

[:35] A reality check

[1:03] What happens when you have a bad one

[1:45] I know this because I’ve tested it

[2:20] A little hunting for the good and what I’ve found

[2:58] A smart aleck saying that’s true

[3:59] Check in on me on this