Winter running in Jackson Hole and the Teton's is amazing, beautiful, and just as spectacular as hitting the trails in the Summer.  The BIG difference is the temperatures, often hitting minus 10, minus 15 degrees F during some of my runs.  Cold weather brings bright sunshine and perfect snow conditions on the trails.

With the polar vortex affecting most of North America, I have heard from many runners asking what I wear.  I have developed this layering system from many cold, enjoyable miles of experience.  One day sticks in my mind.  It was minus 22 F and I was running North of Jackson near the Town of Kelly.  The sun was out, but it was bloody cold, so cold that I had to run 2-3 minute intervals alternating between running forward and backward, so I could face the sun and warm all parts of my body.  I have run many many long hours in conditions like this.  Cold weather running is NOT bad for us, only poor clothing choices are bad for us.  

So here goes:

  • Sleeveless Base Layer
  • BIO Compatible Wool l/s Base Layer
  • Giordana Thermal Jacket
  • Zoot Compression 3/4 Length Tights
  • Giordana Thermal Bib Tights
  • ToeSox Crew Length Ultra Socks
  • B2R Moc Shoe
  • R.U. Outside Balaclava
  • Eassun Record Sunglasses
  • EMS Mittens 
  • SOS Rehydration

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Comment by Brad Ball on February 19, 2015 at 12:54pm

I usually slather on some lotion over skin that will be exposed too.

Comment by Karen Blackert on February 7, 2014 at 4:38am

Agreed! LOTS of great info here. I've been running for 22 years and only recently have had to run in single digit temps. Not the usual in Charlotte!

Comment by Lori Enlow on February 6, 2014 at 2:56pm

great stuff!! we are not used to this shit in oklahoma!

Comment by Eric Orton on February 6, 2014 at 2:52pm

Also, with it that cold, try using ski goggle, as they will not fog up.  But once you put them on, do not take them off, or they will fog.

They also keep you warm.

Comment by Eric Orton on February 6, 2014 at 2:45pm

If it is cold BUT DRY, do not use a wind/water proof shell.  Try to use an outer jacket that provides warmth, but that is breathable.  Waterproof shells do not breath and therefore, you will collect moisture.

If it is WET, use the shell, but layer with breathable skin layer and then with fleece.  The fleece will provide warmth but wick moisture. 

Also, try the camel bak insulated water bottles, they might prolong freezing water.

Comment by Bryan Curfman on February 6, 2014 at 2:39pm

This is some great information, I thought I was the only one these types of issues!  Kudos Eric on blowing the drink hose back out, that is inventive.  I actually just acquired an ultra pack I love that carries 2 bottles right where my pecs are but they of course can still freeze.  It is set up to receive a hydration bladder, I might have to get a hold of one.

Yup, water and hands are my constant battle, I have developed quite the system for hand protection depending on what the conditions are (learned em all the hard way).  You guys notice that the moisture from sweat always collects on whatever layer is on the outside (assuming we're not wearing cotton)?  I might have 4 thin layers on top and when I get inside and start stripping them off the coat on top is wet while the other layers dry.  I figure this same principle applies to the hands, which I believe sweat more than any other body part except for maybe the feet.  So I prefer 2 layers on the hands, a thin, form fitting glove under a pair of lobster glove/mittens I have which get me down to about 5 degrees then full blown ski mittens anywhere below that.  There are also temps where I would wear just the lobsters or just the mittens but the glove/mitten combo has kept my hands borderline over warm while running in a -25 degree wind chill.

Another little side problem I am finding with extreme low temperatures (below 0 F) are that my gps watch will start to freeze and shut off.  I got to charge it half a day or a day later to find it back on with the battery level right where it was at prior to shutdown.  I wonder if the battery shrinks just enough that it recedes from one of the terminals and it loses connection then swells back up to regular size indoors and it connected again.  I feel like this whole watch thing just adds insult to injury, as if we don't have enough of a battle maintaining a regular running regimen in temps below 0 with 2 feet of snow on the ground in the dark!  No, no, let's have the watch turn off after running 1 of 6 speed intervals as well!  Let's see if he can run the rest of them by feel!

Tomorrow's run looks like it'll be at -10, just a recovery run so I think I'll leave the watch at home...

Comment by Eric Orton on February 6, 2014 at 2:09pm

Mittens are a must, not gloves.  Especially when very cold.

I use just a simple pair of ski mittens.

Comment by Lori Enlow on February 6, 2014 at 2:03pm

what about gloves...I am struggling here. What do you guys use? We are a damp cold too. Thick waterproof ski type gloves- my hands get hot and really sweaty which drives me crazy. I've been using a liner north face glove and a little thicker liner glove, but still cold on days under 10 degrees (even when I wear both together). Is there a good medium weight waterproof out there you like? And AHA! Thanks for the tip on avoiding freezing water...been having hard time with that too.

Comment by Karen Blackert on February 6, 2014 at 4:40am

No, I hadn't thought of blowing my water back into the main bladder chamber! That's genius!

Comment by Glenn Weber on February 5, 2014 at 8:30pm

Nice winter gear E!  Bundle up and go!  You are a Buffalo guy...

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