The cold finally came to town… it was 29 degrees when I crossed the Kowaliga bridge this morning. The water being warmer than the air, the lake had a little fogginess floating along the tops of the whitecaps. The wind was up and will slap cut you in half without proper attire. Lucky for me I came prepared with a North Face Windwall, the windproof fleece jacket. I’m a huge fan of this type jacket around the lake, especially on a boat when temps start to drop (even when the jacket or you get wet). The Windwall is perfect for using when you get out of the lake in your wetsuit and need cover. It’s no down jacket, make no mistake, but performance wise, it’s a must have for my cold weather arsenal. I’ve said it before, I’m not a cold weather person.. and I’m not, so I prepare for being out in it. I like to keep something like a bug out bag, but more winter protection oriented. I like to keep a small pack with something to keep my head warm, some gloves ( i prefer the $25 Mechanix Wear – Impact glove), a base layer and a few types of jackets; a fleece and a shell. The shell does two things, one it protects from rain, but also the wind. It’s not a huge warmth provider, but good shells keep heat in and moisture out. You can pick up a good shell (i prefer one with pit zips for extra ventilation if needed) on any camping closeout store or on ebay for about $100, less if you shop it hard. Fleece is everywhere and you can pick up one for next to nothing. The greatest thing about fleece is warmth to weight ratio AND it’s warm when it’s wet, which hopefully you wouldn’t be, but it happens. The base layer, these garments can be pricey, but worth it on a cold windy day when your out in it, and moving. A combination of the 3 layers, head cover and gloves will keep you warm even in really cold, windy scenarios. Now, the bag can be used in an emergency, but typically it’s more for a change in weather from the time I leave home… sometimes I just need to raid the bag for one layer. I just have to remember to replace with a clean one so it’s there the next time I dig in!