Is it cold when you skydive? Some first-time skydivers are surprised at how cool the temperatures are when you’re racing at speeds upwards of 120 mph from 8,000-14,000 feet in the sky. Regardless of the temperatures, your adrenaline seems to take care of the chilly sensations rushing over you during freefall. However, you might wish you’d better prepared as you gently float back down to Earth on your 5-minute canopy ride. But don’t stress, we’ve got some great tips on how to keep cozy while you’re up in the sky and still enjoy the thrill of skydiving!
How Cold is Skydiving?
Skydiving can get pretty darn chilly, even on warm and sunny days, especially as you climb higher in altitude. You can expect the air temperature to decrease by about 3 degrees Fahrenheit for every 1,000 feet you climb in altitude.
When you’re up at Skydive New England’s standard altitude of 14,000 feet, you can expect it to be around 30 to 40 degrees cooler than what you’re feeling on the ground. Why? Well, it’s all about the decrease in air pressure at higher altitudes, which causes the air to expand and become thinner. As the air expands, the temperature drops. This is also why there is less oxygen saturation at higher altitudes.
Wait, is it hard to breathe while skydiving? Don’t worry, it only starts to get hard to breathe around 15,000 feet in elevation, this is why skydivers will wear supplemental oxygen for any jumps above this altitude. If you’re looking for the ultimate thrill, check out our 18,000 foot tandem skydive!
Should I Wear Warm Clothes for Skydiving?
The freefall portion of your skydive lasts about 60 seconds. Make sure you’re as comfortable as possible so you can enjoy every moment. When dressing for skydiving, you’ll want to consider both the temperature on the ground and the cooler temps up at altitude. Dress as you normally would for the temperatures on the ground but add an extra layer!
Start with a moisture-wicking base layer to keep sweat away, then add cozy insulating layers like fleece to keep the heat in. The cooler the temps, the more layers you can add, as long as you are comfortable – that’s what matters most!
Feel free to top it off with a windproof or waterproof layer to shield you from the elements. Gloves are a great option for those particularly chilly days to keep your hands toasty and nimble. Skydiving jumpsuits are also available to help add an extra layer of cold weather protection and keep your clothes snug and secure to your body. Cool, 120 mph winds blowing up your clothing can be quite distracting while you’re trying to take in the stunning landscape!
When Is It Too Cold to Skydive?
Wondering when it’s just too cold to skydive safely? Well, that’s a bit subjective and it varies from person to person. It depends on factors like location, altitude, wind chill, and your own cold tolerance. In some extreme cases, skydiving centers will close if ice forming on the aircraft or the comfort of staff and guests becomes a concern. Sometimes the best judgment call is to postpone or reschedule due to weather.
At Skydive New England, we shut down for the winter months in preparation for (and great anticipation of) warmer springtime weather when the jumping season can begin again!
The Impact of Cold Weather on Your Skydive
Beyond the chill factor, cold weather can impact your skydiving adventure in a few other ways:
The biggest and most important thing to consider is how cold weather can impact your ability to handle your skydiving equipment. Whether you’re adjusting your goggles, controlling your canopy, or performing other critical tasks, the cold can make your fingers less nimble and, therefore, more difficult to operate. To combat this, it is essential to wear gloves that provide warmth while allowing you to maintain dexterity – making your entire skydiving experience safer and more enjoyable.
Skydiving at higher altitudes already affects your breathing due to the reduced oxygen levels. In cold weather, this sensation can become even more noticeable due to the crisp, cool air making it feel a bit harder to catch your breath. Stay calm and breathe steadily, take nice controlled breaths.
As you approach the ground for landing, you might experience a somewhat firmer landing. The reason behind this is that the cold temperatures can make the ground feel harder and a little less forgiving. Even though it might be a bit harder, it’s all a part of the adventure – so, embrace the rush and celebrate your accomplishments, cold weather and all!
So, is skydiving cold? Yes, sometimes. But the breathtaking views, the feeling of freedom, and the thrill of freefall make it all worth braving the cold!
Ready to take the plunge? Come fly with us! Book your jump at Skydive New England before winter sets in. Blue skies!