Skydiving in the winter
For those of us that skydive regularly, jumping can be therapeutic.
It is a brief escape from the 9 to 5 and a wonderful way to recharge. This past weekend, a fellow skydive said “this is better than going for a massage.” A good way of explaining the relaxation that comes from jumping.
I often forget about this phenomenon during the summer, but the long, cold and wet winters in Canada are a good reminder. Jumping is so therapeutic for the winter blues. Even more so are the beautiful winter jumps at sunset.
People, skydivers included, often ask how I jump in the winter. Not many places jump through Canadian winters, but there is one I can count on to put jumpers in the air as soon as the runway freezes.
My answer is always that winter jumping is not that cold is you are prepared, so I have put together a list of how I prepare for them:
- Thermal layers and then more layers: This weekend I had about 4 under layers, two thin sweaters and two jackets.
- Buffs: I use two buffs in the winter. One to cover my neck and one over my head. This ensures nothing is exposed from my chest to helmet.
- Closed face helmet: last year I used an open face, but keeping the wind off your face makes a big difference.
- Wind breakers: I wear light rain pants to break the wind.
- Good gloves: I find one pair of good quality gloves is enough. To many can get tight, make you colder and restrict movement. I have heard of some people putting surgical gloves on to stay warm, but I never have.
- Boots: I use good quality water resistant boots with thick socks.
- A warm plane helps!
- Make sure you stay warm on the ground: the place I jump has a wood burning stove to warm up by.