By Eileen Majors

[media-credit name=”bigstockphoto” align=”alignleft” width=”300″]Woman winter hiking. Beautiful young Asian woman enjoying the fa[/media-credit]   Mountain people seem to know all about how to dress warm in cold weather, especially those hunters and fishers. We went to Susanville retailer Blake Huhtala find out what is keeping these adventurers warm up in this cold climate. Blake and her husband Dave own the Elegant Iris & The Men’s Den which caters to local outdoor enthusiasts with quality outdoor gear and apparel for hunters, fishers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Blake says the key to staying warm is layering.  She recommends starting with a good quality under layer. Long Johns come in a variety of new fabrics from silks and cottons to state-of-the-art blends, designed to keep you warm and dry. There are many choices she explains while pointing out that effective layering means having things loose enough to allow for a layer of insulating air between the layers.
When it comes to keeping feet warm and Huhtala says, “Make sure your boots aren’t too tight. Tight boots can bind circulation resulting in cold feet.” A boot dryer can be a good investment. Laying boots by he wood stove can cause leather to crack. One cool way to keep feet warm is with Mylar sock liners (for under $10). Placed on warm feet, they retain heat through a network of aluminized thread. They can be washed in warm water. Another compliment to those winter boots are gaiters. They wrap around the boot and pant leg to keep snow out of the top of your boots and keep pant legs dry in deep snow. The gaiters she showed us are waterproof and come with a lifetime warranty.
Finding the right gloves for adults and kids is vital to staying warm, dry and happy. Waterproof gloves come in a variety of textures these days. She said customers really like the comfort and warmth of fleece gloves, which if you look carefully, you will find are available in waterproof varieties. She carries only the waterproof varieties, which consist of two layers of fleece with a thin, waterproof membrane between them. They carry sizes for the whole family.
“Fishermen really go for the rag wool, fingerless gloves with mitten caps”, she told us. These are great for the guy who needs grips on his palms and easy access to his fingertips for tasks such as baiting a hook.
For a sleeker business look, she recommends leather gloves with Thinsulate® insulation.
She pointed out the difference between water-resistant and waterproof. Water-resistant merchandise will resist moisture, causing it to pill up, but with too much exposure to moisture, it will eventually soak through. Waterproof means water cannot get through, making the product completely waterproof.
She suggests not putting your good outdoor gear in the dryer. “If you must, tumble on super low heat.”, she said. “The dryer’s heat can warp zipper teeth and wear out your outerwear quicker than is necessary.”
For the outdoor worker, we continue to hear rave reviews on the Carhartt® brand of work wear so we went to take a look. We found a fully-stocked selection of Carhartt® clothing at Billington Ace Hardware, also in Susanville. The line includes, bib overalls, coveralls, pants, and a variety of jackets available in heavy insulated fabric. There are work shirts, socks and many more warm and comfy work wear selections to choose from. Carhartt® insulated options make for a much warmer workday according to the local outdoor workers we asked.