That's what my Elder Eddie said and many other Elders that I heard had similar sentiments.
All those Elders said the same thing: "there is no bad weather but perhaps bad clothing."
We all know what bad clothing might mean to you personally in the cold.
For me, I am a very sensitive person. I am very sensitive to chemicals so I'm restricted in what I can wear to begin with.
I can realistically only wear natural fibers for long periods of time against my skin.
If I wear any synthetic fibers I tend to pay the consequences within minutes.
But in terms of appropriateness for weather let's take a quick look.
First of all, if you are cold, you want to be wearing wool or alpaca because those things are warm even when they're wet.
If your skin reacts to these things then make sure that you have something else underneath.
I have alpaca socks that are felted as opposed to knit or crochet or woven so they hold together tightly.
In fact my alpaca socks are now over 10 years old! They pretty much look the same they as they did the day I bought them. And along with my wool liners for my boots my feet are always warm.
Now in terms of the rest of my clothing, I have long johns that are a mix of silk and wool. It makes them a little softer, and a little less scratchy, but again they are directly up against my skin and it allows me to wear other pants or tops in layers to keep me warm.
You also want to have something that acts like a wind break and so often, if I'm going to be doing work outside for a long period of time I will find a pair of rain pants or snow pants that are waterproof and cut the wind.
I also like to have layers so that if I get overheated I can peel a layer or two off and if I start to cool down I can put those layers back on again. This prevents me from sweating and overheating then having clothes that are damp and then getting a chill.
The other important thing to note from what I have noticed over many years of spending a considerable amount of time outside, is that my head is where I'm going to lose an awful lot of my heat so, I make sure I always have a hat and possibly a hood as options when I'm outside. My hat is the first thing I take on or off when I find that I'm hot or cold. The next thing I will adjust is my top layer of my sweaters or coat.
Now the real reason that I want to talk about having the right clothing is that it allows us to be in any weather is because I really want to encourage you to be outside at least 20 minutes every day outside.
There are so many reasons that this is important our very neurobiology, in fact everything in our bodies is designed and adapted from having ancestors who lived outside all the time.
Our balance, our ability to sense near and far Vision, peripheral vision, hearing things close, hearing things far away, being able to move our bodies in all different ways shapes and forms...
These all contribute to our health and well-being, not just health from our body's point of view but health from a mental point of view, and from an emotional point of view. We actually are built with the need for the experience to be outside interacting with what my elders called the natural order or the natural world.
In fact my father would make sure that he kicked me out of the house at least a few times a month during the evening once it was dark to play and explore. As well as encouraging me to make a point of a few times a month, getting out there at Sunrise or before Sunrise and then a few times a month making sure that I got out during the day, during the evening at sunset and just after sunset. I'm so grateful he did! To this day I enjoy all different times of day and night to enjoy my minimum of 20 minutes a day dialogue with the natural world.
If you want to take a real challenge, try at least one week. If you want to stretch it make it two weeks or even one month, a full 28-day moon cycle. Try tracking and noticing how you feel the first few times you go out, and then see how you feel when you come back. Then track and feel how you are after you have made this a habit for at least a week.
If you want to share what you found by all means, comment, or share your stories with us, and tell us how it went for you.
Wishing you, your family and your community health and happiness for all our relations,
B.A.H., B.S.W., R.S.W.