The IOCP provides year-round support for housing, employment, child care, food and transportation for 1,777 families in eight municipalities.

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PLYMOUTH, Minn. -- Some of Minnesota's hardiest souls spent Wednesday night outside under the winter stars as part of the annual "Sleep out" to raise money for the Interfaith Outreach group.

The campaign's goal this year is just over $2 million. IOCP provides year-round support for housing, employment, child care, food and transportation for 1,777 families in eight municipalities.

The 2013 Sleep Out was held in the parking lot of the IOCP's facility on Highway 101 at County Road 6.

Outdoor experts Brian Halloran, Camping Director of the Northern Star Council of Boy Scouts and Rudy Hargesheimer, manager of Midwest Mountaineering in Minneapolis, offered advice to those spending so much time in this December's chilly clime.

"It is important to layer the clothing," said Halloran. "We teach our scouts the three Ws, so, have a wicking layer close to the skin. Beyond that, a warmth layer and then beyond that a wind and water layer to keep you dry and keep the heat in towards your body."

"Wool liner glove," suggested Hargesheimer. "Then you wear a different glove or a mitten over the top and that gives you the versatility of being able to take off the big one on top and still tie your shoelaces. The liner alone doubles the warmth of any of these other mittens and gloves."

Both men agree that wool or good synthetic material should be the clothing choice for winter weather.

"No cotton," insisted Hargesheimer. "Stay away from cotton. You got to keep your feet dry in the wintertime especially and the way to do that is avoid cotton at all costs."

Hargesheimer said a key is to change your socks if they get damp from a leak or just perspiration.

Hargesheimer also recommended inexpensive chemical hand and toe warmer packs; however, he did not favor expensive battery-powered electrically warmed socks, mostly available on the internet.

"The concept of battery-powered electric coils wrapping around your foot to keep you warm never did catch on," said Hargesheimer. "Less expensive ones, we used to sell, always shorted out. They did not work."

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