It's cold and you have to get out of your warm bed and go out into the below zero Wyoming temperatures. Making sure you're properly dressed is something we've all been taught our whole lives.

Dressing in layers is a must when trying to stay warm and dry in the cold, snowy conditions. Whether you're hunting, hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, working or just going to the grocery store, being prepared is important and cold save your life.

We all get that, right?

Just like mom used to say, always put on clean underwear when leaving the house, just in case you get into an accident. Dressing in layers is the key to staying warm during the bitterly cold Wyoming winters.

It's been preached at us forever, but let's break those layers down.

Here are the standard cold weather dressing layers

  • base layer - wicks sweat and moisture away from your body
  • mid layer - insulates your body to help retain the body's heat
  • outer layer - protection layer from wind and water

I think we're all set with these layers, what they're for and why they're important. There's one layer that's not mentioned that often and has caused quite the debate.

The before base layer, base layer.


Long underwear, also known as thermal underwear, long johns, underwear with legs, or maybe you've heard them called union suit, are used as that important base layer that helps get the moisture off your body and keep you warm.

Are you supposed to wear underwear under your long underwear?

This question is tossed around quite a bit and there is no one consistent answer, but a plethora of opinions.

  • One opinion is, if you're wearing long underwear you don't need to wear regular underwear.
  • Another is, long johns are not the same as regular underpants and you should always wear  underwear under your long johns.
  • Some think that if you wear underwear under long underwear, you're protecting your long johns and they won't need to be washed as much.
  • There are others that are shocked that you would even THINK about wearing long johns more than once without washing is disgusting.

Zach from Mountain, a hiking and mountain biking site, gives us his breakdown on underwear yes or underwear no with long johns. The way Zach breaks it down, there is no wrong answer, but that doesn't stop people from being all Judgy Mc Judgerson.

With Underwear:

Long underwear don't fit your body the same that regular underwear do, because of that, the support you may be used too may not be there. Adding regular underpants adds support, and since you're wearing them for warmth, another layer to help you stay warm.

Since you are wearing them for warmth and the wicking factor, choosing wicking underwear to put on under you long johns may be the better than cotton.

Without Underwear:

Wearing underwear under long johns, is like wearing whitey tighties under a pair of boxers, it's redundant and not necessary.

It's going to sound weird, but seams and lines are a concern when wearing underpants with your long johns and may cause an uncomfortable situation.

The extra layer of underwear is just another layer you have to peel off when using the bathroom.

You may've never put that much thought into underwear YAY or underwear NAY with long johns, but now you may. Try it both ways, it may be a game changer.

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