Bay Area Parkour

Train Hard - Stay Humble

So as I've mentioned elsewhere I just moved up here from the sunny city of Los Angeles, and with all the changes that I've had to cope with, the largest one has been the cold. Down in LA the average temperature was between 80 and 90. A tad warmer then up here.

As such, my normal Parkour outfit was pants a t-shirt, some thing that will probably leave me a tad chilly if I try it now. How do you guys cope with the cold up here? Do you just bring a sweater then take it off and lug it around once your blood's going? Do you not bring anything and suffer the cold till you get going and warm up? Do you rub seal blubber all over your bodies to keep the warmth in?

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Ha, having spent the bulk of my like in Minnesota, it's still funny to hear about the Bay Area being cold (even though I complain about it myself sometimes). Of course, it's easier to dress for weather in MN because at least the temperature is consistent (no major drops in perceived temperature going from blazing sun to windy shade). Anyway, here are a few thoughts:

1. Wear a hat. Different sources report different percentages, but they all basically agree that more heat leaves the body through the head than anywhere else. A thin beanie is enough to make a noticeable difference. The only problems I've had is that mine sometimes comes off during rolls, but otherwise a hat has the least potential impact on range of motion (ROM) of any garment.

2. Dress in layers. Sometimes you get lucky and can wear shorts all the way through a session, but anywhere below a consistent 70F, I like to have an extra layer for warmup and standing around. I think a long sleeve T works fine and takes longer to overheat in than a sweatshirt, ymmv. I also like smaller, lighter items like windproof vests and arm warmers (both Giorgio and I wear them, but as much for abrasion protection as warmth). At roaming sessions or when you know you're going to be out a while, extra layers are a must in this region. Sometimes I like a light jacket because I tend to keep my cell on me and prefer not to to have stuff in my pants pockets.

3. Base layer. A good base layer will do more to retain heat than a heavier outer layer. For a few extra degrees of warmth, tuck in your shirt to your pants- no more draft in the midriff (unless you really have to show off your lower back tattoo or belly button piercing), though you may want either a longer top or something stretchy so as not to affect ROM. I recommend thin wool over synthetics (stinky). Ones for cycling or nordic skiing are good.

4. Wicking fabrics. I'm not into having a sweaty, chilly layer of fabric next to my skin; it's also a good recipe for catching a cold, especially if that layer is cotton because of how much insulating power cotton loses when wet (as the saying goes, cotton kills). A good wicking fabric manages heat better thus expanding comfortable temperature range so you don't have to carry as many layers. Quality wool (merino and various blends aren't itchy) isn't any more than the tech synthetics these days and you don't reek as much, even if you wear it a few times before washing, though you can get basic polypropelene tops for pretty cheap at various outdoor stores.

That's the basics of heat management. You'll have to experiment to see what works for you since we all have different bodies and comfort ranges. There is some stuff you can rub on your skin if you want to get into that (cyclocross racers use it regularly), but I think dressing right is a better way to start.
Aww, you mean no seal blubber? Oh well, I guess I'll take your advice, but only grudgingly!
Sorry, but I think the stuff is actually vegan.

I don't know which would be worse, the stink of polypro or seal blubber.
It's difficult for me to follow up such an elaborate and lengthy response with this here short one but what many people do is just move to stay warm while doin PK. If you're not going to be physically active, just bring a sweatshirt, pretty simple. The pants + t-shirt getup works totally fine here if you keep yourself moving from time to time.


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