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Spending time in the outdoors will quickly become problematic without the use of your hands. However, despite the important role they play and their exposed position, the quality gloves needed to protect them are often relatively low on many people’s list of priorities when preparing for an outing.
In cold conditions your body will naturally place an emphasis on keeping your core warm. After all, you need the brain, spinal cord, heart, lungs and liver to live. To accomplish this, the blood vessels in the hands and feet are closed off to direct blood flow to the more vital organs. This makes your extremities particularly sensitive, and in need of extra attention to compensate for the body’s natural function.
Many see gloves only as protection against the cold but not even in warmer conditions are your hands safe. As the first point of contact with your surroundings they often have to deal with heat and sharp objects.
Leather gloves tolerate heat well, thus protecting your hands.
If you are familiar with Scandinavian outdoor clothing, the concept of layering won’t be new to you. The same principle is just as applicable, and important, when it comes to your hands.
Using a liner glove in cold conditions will help wick moisture away from contact with your skin as well as create another protective layer of air around your hand. The liner should stay on when you perform tasks that require fine motor skills, since your hands will cool down quickly when in contact with cold objects.
The glove you will use a majority of the time is the base glove. The task of this glove is to protect from the elements, whether that is wind, moisture, heat, or sharp objects. Do your best to get used to working with this glove on for as much of the time as possible, even when it comes to fine motor skills. It might not always be the easiest task, but your hands will thank you for it.
Having a removable liner in this glove offers several advantages. For one, the glove becomes more adaptable. You can simply remove the liner to make the glove lighter during higher intensity activity or warmer conditions. Another benefit is that a removable liner is easier to dry. A good way to do this, provided that the conditions are dry, is to remove the liner and attach it to your backpack while you are walking. Most of the Hestra liners will have loops that accommodate this. Lastly, the way a glove is most often worn is from the inside. Having a liner that can be replaced means that you can easily add years of life to your glove.
The final layer is mostly used for very cold conditions. The shell glove is an extra reinforcement glove that adds another layer of protection in very wet or cold conditions, or when you will be standing still for long periods of time. To be effective the glove should be worn loose fitting to trap a maximum amount of air inside.
As with all outdoor products – there is no single glove that will be ideal for everything. Thinking about what you will be using the glove for, and in what conditions, is a big part of finding what is right for you. As we are moving into summer, where protection is more important than warmth, you might want to consider selecting a glove that fits tighter, rather than the looser fitting glove that should be worn in colder conditions in order to trap more air inside. The tighter will make fine motor skills easier.
Hestra gloves are made to last. In fact, many claim they improve with age
While having a winter sized glove and summer sized glove means that you might end up with two pairs of gloves instead of one, there’s a silver lining. Leather gloves are, in addition to tolerating heat and cold and being very breathable, very durable. There’s a story that Hestra had to convince Lars Falt, the survival expert that had helped design the glove named after him, to accept a pair of the gloves. As an ex-military, he ideally preferred to look after the equipment he already had. Finally, he was swayed and those are the gloves he still wears today – claiming a good glove, with the proper care, just improves with age.
As you are heading out on your next adventure, hopefully gloves are high on your packlist - no matter the season.
Explore our range of Hestra gloves here!