When you step outdoors, the ancient art of layering becomes your smart-technology thermostat. This tried-and-true strategy lets you regulate comfort by slipping layers on and off as your activity level or the weather changes.

How to layer: To understand layering your clothing for outdoor activities, you need to know the function of each layer:

1. Base layer (underwear layer): wicks sweat off your skin

2. Middle layer (insulating layer): retains body heat to protect you from the cold

3. Outer layer (shell layer): shields you from wind and rain

Even if you don’t wear all three layers at the outset, it’s a good idea to take all layers on every outing: You can peel off layers if things heat up, but you can’t put on layers that you didn’t bring along.

Read more expert advice from REI on outdoor wear, and more, on their website.

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