Stay Warm, Get Buff!
Contributing writer Cathy Healy reports from snowbound Washington, DC, where the snowfall has broken all previous records. How to stay warm in such weather? She reveals a tip from a friend who’s just back from Patagonia.
The snow stormed down on us like an emptied sack of flour and we slogged back under the canopy of my condo building. My pal, Richard Boyum, pulled a soft, tubular gator over his head, turned it inside out, tied a knot in one end, flipped it right-side out again and pulled it over his head like a stocking cap. I took pictures with my cell phone.
“This is what everyone is wearing in Punta Arenas,” he said. “I bought it at an outfitter’s shop on Main Street.”
What Richard didn’t know about the National Geographic Buff — and I didn’t know either, until I just read about it on the website — is that the tube is a lightweight micro-fleece that is “highly breathable, absorbs sweat, dries fast and provides UV protection.” All Richard knew was that in the rainy, windy Chilean city on the banks of the Strait of Magellan, a lot of people were wearing buffs, either solo or as under-buffers for wool caps.
Punta Arenas is the jumping-off spot for the drive to Torres del Paine National Park, where nearly every one was buffed–orange, gold-and-orange, purple, blue, green, brilliant colors, Richard discovered.
His buff, as you can see, is b/w. “Less obtrusive.” We couldn’t figure out what the writing on it was supposed to be–the Rosetta Stone, as it turns out.
Richard escaped back to summer in Chile between DC storms, so his buff is probably packed away. But even in the summer, I’ll bet folks in Punta Arenas and Torres are still buff.
I’d walk over to the National Geographic store at headquarters and buy a bright Congo one for myself, except almost everything in Washington is shut down today.
Photos: Cathy Healy
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