Can You Go Skiing With Alpaca Wool? (YES, Here’s Why!)
Alpacas live in the cold, mountainous regions of Peru and Bolivia. If they can live in the snow, you might wonder if alpaca woolen products will protect you from the cold, too? And what about doing high intensity sports or activities in cold climates, like skiing or snowboarding?
Alpaca wool is great for using in cold climates because it keeps the body warm, protects the body from icy cold winds, and is a breathable fabric. Alpaca wool is very comfortable to wear, which is important when you are involved in high intensity activities, like skiing or snowboarding.
As you may have guessed, given the natural habitat of the alpaca family, alpaca wool is very well suitable to be worn for activities such as skiing. When you are high in the mountains, close to the sun and exposed to swift changes in the weather, you are going to want to protect your body.
Alpaca wool is just the fabric for that!
Alpaca Wool Keeps the Body Warm When You Stop Moving
Many fabrics will keep you warm when you are moving, but what happens when you stop moving? Let’s say, when you’ve come down a slope, or when you’re on the lift back up. Those moments are terrible! Believe me, you don’t want to be sweaty and wet when you are at the peak of a mountain.
So, you’re going to need to wear something that keeps you warm when your body temperature changes. Ideally, something very insulating and isolating at the same time. Something very alpaca.
The tricky bit with skiing, though, is that your body will heat up quickly because you're physically active, while at the same time, it will cool down easily because you're doing these activities in a cold environment.
Alpaca wool has the fantastic ability to keep the cold outside. Its hollow fiber will work as an isolating layer, protecting whatever is inside that needs to be warm (your body).
On the other hand, alpaca also has the fantastic ability to maintain the warmth inside (which is called insulating).
Luckily, alpaca wool has the (indispensable) ability to carry away excess heat quickly, so, once you start to heat up, the fibers will absorb the hot air and evaporate it.
Another characteristic is that alpaca is a bad conductor of heat (and cold), so when the temperature changes on one side of the garment, the fiber will get rid of excessive heat, but it won’t absorb the cold from outside.
Friction Won’t Cause Skin-Irritation When You Wear Alpaca Wool
Alpaca wool works for basically all activities that you can do up in the mountains. But another important feature to have is that you need to be comfortable when you are on the slopes! There is nothing so terrible as to be totally wrapped up, covered in layers, and then get itchy somewhere where you can’t reach. Not good, not good, not good.
Alpaca wool is not itchy. At least, high quality wool is not itchy. Check the label if you are choosing alpaca woolen thermals to see that it has a low micron-count. Ideally, anything below 20 microns should be itch-free in most cases. Baby alpaca is generally between 18 and 22 microns, so a safe bet for most people.
I say most, because some have more sensitive skin than others, especially when it comes to wearing alpaca as an underlayer.
Read more about this in another article I wrote: Is Alpaca Wool Itch-Free?
If you are wearing alpaca woolen scarves or hats during your trip, you will also be happy to find that they won’t cause an itch on your skin or head, which again, is just not cool if you’re wrapped in layers. It’s the combination of the breathable fabric (no broiling hot head-scenarios) and the softness of the fabric (think turtleneck, meets scarf, meets collar of the jacket).
When it comes to sweaters, there is another reason why alpaca woolen items won’t cause any irritation: knitted garments are flexible and can help you move freely when you are skiing or snowboarding.
Without feeling like a mummy. :)
Alpaca Wool Does Not Overheat the Body When You Are Active
The most important thing to dress for when you go skiing is for the actual skiing (or snowboarding). Doing such a high intensity activity at high altitudes can be tricky because of the rapidly changing weather combined with the physical activities.
When you start moving, the body will heat up rapidly and overheating is a very likely possibility. Your body will soon start to sweat underneath those layers of warm clothes. And that’s not very comfortable when you are on a 10,000 feet high mountain (where it is windy and cold!)
So, when you go skiing, you need a fabric that is breathable, that let’s the steam out when you heat up, ideally, while maintaining a comfortable temperature to ski in.
Alpaca wool does just that: its hollow fiber works like a tiny heater and heats up quickly when it traps heat in its hollow fiber. When it gets too warm, it evaporates the excess heat or sweat, maintaining a constant temperature.
Many different types of fabric will keep you warm. Maintaining a comfortable temperature is the tricky part though. Imagine wearing something that is not breathable, and just circulates and circulates the warm air underneath a thick layer of clothes. You will start to accumulate sweat pretty quickly and once you stop moving, your wet body will feel super cold.
That won’t happen with alpaca :)
Read more about it in another article I published: Is Alpaca Wool Breathable?
Alpaca Wool Is Adaptable to Different Climates and Weather Circumstances
Do you think my point came across yet? The temperature in the mountains can easily betray you! While you should be prepared for cold weather, there can easily be a difference of a few degrees between the mountain peaks and the valley. There will also be less wind down in the valley, and a lot of wind the higher you go.
It can snow or be sunny, or just cloudy and grey. And it can be all of that in one day. That sounded like a riddle, hahah.
You need clothes that can do a lot of things, and alpaca wool is again a great bet. While it is not a hundred percent windproof, it does keep a lot of wind out. It is also not 100% waterproof, but it is definitely rain (snow) repellent. While you might not want to wear alpaca for a full-on snowball fight, you can totally get away with a surprise hit using alpaca woolen gloves :)
Interesting, right!? Read more information about alpaca wool in other articles I wrote:
Wearing Alpaca Wool During a Ski Trip Is a Great Idea!
Whether you go skiing or snowboarding, you need to be prepared for a trip in the snow. Apart from a long checklist of appropriate clothing, you will also need to bring the necessary gear and equipment, and of course, games. No ski-trip without games, right?
So, that list of things that you need to bring is fairly long… and pretty detailed! Not only do you need a lot of stuff, you need good stuff to protect yourself from the icy cold and wet conditions in the mountains. Luckily, you can make your life a lot easier by opting for reliable gear and materials.
You could start with bringing a ton of alpaca woolen items:
Think about the activities you will be doing:
Taking the lift back up (COLD!)
Falling in the snow and getting back up
Sledding, sledging or sleighing
A snowball fight
Sunbathing (yes, that’s a thing)
And finally, you will need to think about all the different types of weather you will be facing:
Snowy & Cold
Sunny & Warm
Windy & Cold
Windy & Warm
Cold & Cold
Rainy: Wet & Cold (Boohoo!)
Warm & Cold (After a glass of glühwein)
Alpaca wool will keep you dry, warm, protected from snow, wind and rain, and you can wear it on the slopes or off-piste (yes, when you are apres-skiing).
Oh, and yes, alpaca wool is also very good for a snowball fight and for making snow-angels.
If you want to make sure you dress accordingly for the activities you will be doing and the weather that you might be exposed to, alpaca wool is your friend, my friends.