What is a Thermal Profile?
Your thermal profile is essentially how “Hot” or “Cold” your body runs comfortably in response to;
- Physical exercise – Light, Medium, Heavy.
- Climatic / Weather conditions.
- Being at rest – Sleeping, Seated, Laying in front of the TV…
Physical exercise, increases our Metabolism and moving muscles create heat.
While it seems logical that the bigger your muscle mass the more heat produced / the smaller the less, this theory is disrupted by how well your bodies auto-cooling system works.
This is pretty much the reverse, standing or sitting around requires no energy production, slows metabolism and muscle movement, so the body cools down..
The added level with the Cold profile, is easily you stay warm while sleeping/ at rest…
How to calculate your Thermal Profile
This is not an exact science but it is useful when you are deciding what outdoor clothing and outdoor gear is sufficient for you to enjoy hiking with out carrying to much.
The easiest way to work it out is;
- When you are going about your day – in summer, (temperate climate in New Zealand) how many layers would you wear, to feel warm and comfortable in your activity, 1, 2, 3?
- When it comes to winter, do you tend to sleep under the same amount of layers (accepting a change in fabric or insulation)…to remain comfortable, 0, 1, 2, 3 )
The lower the two numbers – the hotter your profile is, the higher – the colder.
This will probably make more sense when we talk about the types and differences of outdoors clothing and sleeping bag types in future posts, but for now;
Those with the Hot profile (low number scores)will tend;
- Wear pretty much the same clothing all year around,(changing perhaps only the type of fabric) and feel warm.
- While the difference in their sleeping bag(*1) may be just zip up or down, may sleep with out covers or just thin cover at home.
Where as those with a Colder (higher number scores) profile;
- Need to change clothing during the day to suit the temperature and activity.
- Sleeping bags are always zipped up, and fight for the cover’s at home.