Layering to stay warm is important when you’re out shooting your outdoor adventure film. The basic principles are pretty simple; wear a base layer, over that a mid-layer and over that a shell layer.
Base layers are usually made of synthetics and/or wool. These help wick moisture away from your body. They can fit snug or loose and most long underwear base layers are made either as light-weight, mid-weight or expedition-weight and all have their proper usages. If you’re like me and your body runs hot as soon as the activities start, having lighter weight base layers in a good idea.
Middle layers are what insulate your body. They keep the heat in. They can be natural or synthetic fibers. Wool and goose down are phenomenal, just keep in mind that once wet, they take a long time to dry and goose down loses it ability to insulate when wet. There are puffy’s that are made with synthetic down and do a better job of resisting moisture and still insulating when wet. Most fleece is synthetic and again, do a good job of resisting moisture and still insulation when wet. Just like the base layers, mid-layers come in the same three weights.
Shell layers are what protect you from the wind, rain and snow. They come in a variety of insulation types, breathability, and water repellant levels (waterproof vs resistant). The type you need is dependant on your activities and the weather. Obviously if you do it all, it would be a good idea to invest in a variety of shell layers.
Filmmakers and warmth: watch the hands! Staying warm in your core is crucial as it will spill down to your extremities from there, but sometimes a little extra boost to the hands is helpful. Wearing a pair of liners with a shell glove layer over them is perfect for cold weather. A good tip is to bring at least two, if not three, pairs of liners to be able to switch them out regularly when they get wet. Inevitably, they will get wet because it’s almost impossible wear bulky shells when shooting. Hand warmers are also a good investment.
The short of it is, the more you’re concentrating on staying warm, the less time you’re concentrating on getting the shots you need.