If you think a layer is where James Bond gets captured, then this post is for you. I don’t understand layers. I understand keeping warm and keeping dry. I’m Scottish, keeping warm and keeping dry are basic life skills in Glasgow. But layering is different. It suggests that if you wear the right amount of clothes then you’ll reach an optimum temperature where you are neither too warm or too cold. That’s just crazy talk. There’s no such thing as too warm. You can always be warmer in Scotland.
The Scots must be the only people in the world who invented a hot drink in one of the world’s hottest regions. Darjeeling in India is famous for its tea. But Darjeeling tea plantations were created in the 18th century, in part by a Scotsman, as it could only be a Scot who’d think that a country where the temperature routinely hits the mid 30s was missing a boiling cup of water.
However, if you read running magazines and look on-line you’ll find hundreds of products that claim to wick away sweat (where does it go?), helps your body breathe (my mouth does that) while wrapping it in the finest merino (didn’t he manage Chelsea?) wool.
I don’t believe in any of that. At least not in Winter. In Winter you need to keep warm and the only way to do that is to cover your body in the most inefficient man made fibres known to man. When I go running I want to come back, strip off and feel like I’ve just experienced a tropical storm in a sleeping bag. I want to feel like my clothes need a tumble dry before I wash them. In short, the cheaper the t-shirt the better it is for winter running. Too hot? There’s no such thing.
That’s why I want to sing the praise of Decathlon. For £2.99 they produce the finest (worst) base layer known to man. It doesn’t breathe. It doesn’t wick. It barely fits (buy a size bigger than you think). It’s useless at keeping you cool – but it’s perfect at keeping you warm.
I have five.