Outdoor Diary: What We Do When It’s So Gross Outside

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It’s still a weird time of year for weather, as the fall transitions into the winter. In Alaska, that means some rain, some snow and a lot of slushy yuck, Amy’s least favorite kind of weather. So how do you get outside when it’s less than ideal? And what do you wear? Listen to this Outdoor Diary to find out how Amy is handling that.

Some of the good stuff:

[:30] Amy’s definition of gross weather

[1:15] The importance of mindset

[2:19] What to wear outside when it’s disgusting

[2:40] What Amy wore outside this week

[3:20] This week’s Outdoor Hero

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Outdoor hero: Mountain Hardwear lined pants

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Follow us on Instagram and share your outdoor life with the hashtag #humansoutside365.

Here’s an edited transcript of this installment of Amy’s Outdoor Diary. Listen to the episode on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or wherever you find your favorite podcasts.

What do you do when the weather is just, well, kind of disgusting?

Here at the Humans Outside household in Palmer, Alaska, our definition of gross weather is wet. Wet, wet, wet, wet. I am not a fan of wet weather. I do not like being rained on.

OK, fine, a good warm soaking rain where you can dance in the puddles as it just drenches in a torrential downpour? That’s awesome. But that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the drizzling, cold, gross rain that comes down and gets in your bones. It’s not cold enough to snow. But it’s cold enough to be disgusting.

So two questions: what do you wear when it’s like that? When the weather is just gross and uncomfortable and you’re just not sure what to wear? And how do you get outside?

Those two things go hand in hand, because if there’s one thing I know, it’s that if I’m not comfortable, I’m not getting outside. The what to do is the easy part, in a way. You just have to put your head down and be determined to go do the thing anyway. No matter what I have in my closet, it’s not going to magically create a good attitude for me when the weather is exactly the kind I hate most. I’m going to have to create that good attitude for myself.

How do I do that? I do it by remembering why I go outside — because, overall, it makes me happy. I do it by remembering that I’ve never once regretted a trip outside after it was over, although pushing through it might be hard in the moment. And I do it by remembering that, more than anything else, heading outside regardless of weather is something I do because I’ve seen the benefits, and because I know that it works in the long term. It’s something I do because the benefit is worth whatever minor cost I experience in the moment.

And how do I know what to wear? Well, for that we have Humans Outside Episode 68, where Alaska-based guide Mollie Foster talked about how to know what to wear in cold weather. That episode is packed with so much practical advice it’s kind of ridiculous. It’s a fun conversation that will leave you with some ideas for keeping yourself warm and happy.

As the cold and gross rain falls, I’m suiting up in the layers Mollie and I discuss, with some warm pants that aren’t water proof but do water wick, and a long sleeve top followed by a warm puffy jacket topped with a rain jacket to keep that wet out. If I was going to be out more than 20 minutes or if it was raining hard, I’d also add rain pants. And of course I’m also wearing a hat and mittens, because my hands and head are still cold, with the hoods pulled up over my head. And then I’ve got on rain boots with a pair of ice spikes on them, because it’s wet out there AND icy and slick thanks to a recent semi melted snow fall.

These pants by the way that I mentioned are some fleece lined pants I have from Mountain Hardware and it’s our Outdoor Hero for this week. They’ve got a soft wicking outer shell and this cozy warm fleece on the inside. I picked them up by total happenstance before we moved to Alaska and they’ve been an awesome part of my closet ever since.

You can see some of what we’ve been wearing outside recently, including that super cool looking outfit, on Humans Outside on Instagram. And please share all of your outdoor photos with us too. I want to see your fancy winter and fall style when you tag your photos with #humansoutside365 and follow us on Instagram at Humans Outside. Until next time, we’ll see you out there.

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