Humans maintain body comfort by creating a microenvironment of warm air next to the skin. Combinations of cold temperatures, rain, and wind remove this warm air and can initiate a dangerous reduction in body temperature. If left unchecked, this condition, known as hypothermia, leads to uncontrolled shivering, loss of judgment, and eventually death.

Clothing protects you from the cold, wind, and wet and maintains a compatible environment next to your skin. Clothing also must help cool you when conditions become too hot. Over-exertion or excessive temperatures can cause the improperly clothed body to suffer heat exhaustion—an affliction that can be just as deadly as hypothermia.

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