If you are a winter warrior, you know how hard it is to keep warm when it’s brutally cold outside. Whether you’re on the slopes, camping, hiking, or doing any outdoor winter activities, here are 8 tips to help you stay warm!
1. Wear Layers
Quite possibly the most obvious and most important part of a winter adventure: layers.
If you have room in your pack, bring along some extra layers to ensure you’ll keep dry and warm; it’s better to have too much than not enough!
2. Keep Dry
Drying out your gear has to be a top priority in the cold because if you’re wet, your gear has a higher chance of freezing or catching ice, and you don’t want that. Dryness means warmth. No matter if you’re finishing the day at home or out in the backcountry, make sure you have somewhere for your gear to dry. Remember, wool clothing retains heat even when wet, making it a foolproof choice for adventurers.
3. Start Off Warm
It always helps to start out warm, and that means your gear too. Try putting your gear next to a heater before suiting up for the cold.
4. Have Full Coverage
It’s best to invest in a neck gaiter or balaclava when heading out in the cold for long periods of time. These items close the gap between your head, hat, or helmet, and your jacket, and keep the cold air from getting in. Nonetheless, make sure you are fully covered and aren’t risking your chances of getting frostbite.
5. Bring Hand Warmers
On those really cold days where your layers may not be cutting it, having disposable or reusable hand, feet, and body warmers can make an incredible difference and are crucial in preventing hypothermia. Batteries also quickly die in the cold, and believe it or not, warmers can also help keep your cell phone or other batteries charged.
6. Make Sure Your Boots Have Wiggle Room
Most people look for boots that fit their feet perfectly for maximum performance. However, in the cold, without any room for your toes to wiggle, the blood circulation is affected, leaving you with numb and frozen toes. Instead, size up a half or full size so you have some wiggle room, that way, you can also layer socks if needed.
7. Pack Warm Food
What’s better than a hot meal on a super cold day? Pack a thermos of soup or other hot and easy-to-eat meals for your day outside. You don’t want to be frozen and drinking almost-frozen water either. Try keeping an insulated bottle or flask with a warm drink in your pack to help get you through your day too.
8. Know About Hypothermia
The wind on chilly days causes even the coldest temperatures to feel even colder. It’s important to know the signs and symptoms of hypothermia so you can recognize them and make the proper moves. During the early stages of hypothermia, one may mumble, feel sluggish, and become uncoordinated. At this point, get some food in your stomach to give you an extra boost and keep moving. Movement helps your blood circulation and as a result, can make you warmer.
Going outside in frigid temperatures is risky, and staying warm in the cold might be a bit of extra work, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying the winter. Be wise and stay warm (at your own risk)!