What is a base layer in clothing

Onion principle - clothing for wind and weather

Onion principle for outdoor sports and hiking - the right clothing decides whether you feel good. You can never go wrong with several layers drawn on top of each other.

Five degrees above zero, the sun is smiling from the blue sky. Wonderful weather for hiking. You will be warm. But two hours later and 500 meters higher up, wind is coming up, it could rain. There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing - that is the old saying. Skiers and hikers therefore recommend dressing according to the onion principle. That's because you divide your clothing into several layers - ideally that's three layers. This works not only when hiking, but also when snowshoeing, skiing and snowboarding. In severe frost, of course, several additional layers can be drawn on top of each other.

The onion principle and the different layers

According to the onion principle for outdoor sports and hiking, each layer fulfills its own important function.

The base layer

Light and air permeable! The base layer, i.e. underwear, should be light and transport sweat from the skin to the outside so that the body does not get cold. A high-quality synthetic can do this just as well as wool. The latter, however, have advantages: They are not only cuddly and soft, they also don't smell of sweat so quickly. Not everyone can tolerate wool directly on the skin; many people quickly suffer from itching. For some years now, shirts made from fine merino wool have become increasingly popular. Even those who are sensitive to wool usually tolerate the fiber well and are happy about the soft material. Synthetic fibers are now added to many merino shirts. The advantage is that the body does not overheat, for example during a strenuous hike.

The insulation layer

Air stores body heat! The insulation layer ensures that the body stays warm, it stores body heat. The air between the two layers helps her with this. Sweat- and air-permeable fleece sweaters or jackets are ideal. A softshell jacket has the advantage that it transports sweat to the outside and thus protects against cooling down and against the wind.

The outer layer

Against strong external influences such as rain or snow! The final layer of the onion principle is the exterior. When buying a rain jacket, you should make sure that it is rainproof and breathable at the same time - and that the seams are well welded.

More clothing tips for outdoor activities

Protect and support hiking boots

In addition to the onion principle, the right footwear is particularly important: Who would want their toes to pinch and pinch on a longer tour. Above all, hiking boots should protect and support the foot. Flat shoes are sufficient in the lowlands. For mountain tours, the shaft should reach over the ankle to prevent the foot from twisting.

It is up to your personal taste whether you end up opting for a leather model or one with a plastic surface. The shoe should definitely be breathable. Leather shoes may look more elegant at first, but they don't dry out as quickly once they have gotten wet. Hiking shoes with a middle layer made of Gore-Tex wick sweat outwards. It's always nice.

Hat & gloves

Mittens keep you particularly warm. However, if your shoelaces come off or you want to get your snack out of your backpack, you won't get very far with them. Gloves with a mitten cover keep you warm and, if necessary, also allow fine motor skills. They should be water-repellent and insulate. Gloves made of a heat-insulating fleece material - such as Thinsulate - keep you warm and dry quickly. The term is made up of the English words thin and insulate.

Hats should sit firmly on the head and not slip. Here, too, we recommend a water-repellent material that is also breathable.

Tip: Anyone who is out and about in winter shouldn't do without gaiters.

Text: Kirsten Niemann