If you are a winter warrior, you obviously know the struggle of keeping warm in the brutally cold weather. Whether you’re shredding slopes, camping in tents, or hiking the trails, we’re here for you! Here are 8 tips to help you stay warm!
1. Wear Layers
What's the best way to stay warm? The most obvious and most important part of your winter adventure is to stay layered up! Wearing multiple layers of clothing will ensure that you stay warm and comfy. This is important because each layer contributes to keeping your body warm and blocking the harsh outside conditions.
The best way to stay warm is to wear three layers or more!
- Under layer: This layer provides the first layer of warmth and absorbs and evaporates sweat.
- Middle layer: This layer keeps your body insulated and provides warmth for your adventure.
- Outer layer: This layer acts as a shield from the elements such as wind and rain.
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! If weather permits, you can always take clothing layers off if you get too warm.
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. Dryness = warmth. Are you traveling far? 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. Here’s a quick tip - remember wool clothing retains heat even when wet, so it’s 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 or fire before suiting up for the cold. Some of you might ask, why am I always immediately cold? Starting off warm will help you stay warm and endure the outside weather much longer. Some accessories and clothing items to help you start off warm include:
- Wool Socks: Keep your feet and toes safe from the elements with some of our favorite trail socks.
- Scarves: Keep your neck warm and protected from heavy winds or snow fall.
- Ski Masks: Keeps your face warm and insulated and your ears snug.
- Gloves or Mittens: Keeps your fingers toasty and ready to go.
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. With this type of accessory, you're sure to crush your adventure gear list! Why do you need these items? Because these items close the gap between your head, hat or helmet, and your jacket - ensuring cold air does not get in and you stay toasty warm. Even if you choose to go without these items, make sure you are fully covered and aren’t risking your chances of getting frostbite!
5. Bring Hand Warmers
Hand warmers are a great addition to your gear for staying warm! On really cold days where those layers just aren’t 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 from losing charge.
6. Make Sure Your Boots Have Wiggle Room
Most people look for boots that fit their feet perfectly for maximum performance. But does perfect fit really equal maximum performance? Not exactly. In the cold, without any room for your toes to wiggle, your blood circulation can be negatively affected, leaving you with painfully numb and frozen toes. Instead, we recommend you size up! Sizing up a half or full size so that you have some wiggle room, will help your toes stay warm and toasty. Plus, with added space in your shoes, extra thick socks can be used to keep your feet even warmer! Our Stego Classic Hiker Merino Wool Crew Socks feature a high wool content and are perfect for insulating your feet and ensuring you're comfortable in the coldest temperatures.
7. Pack Warm Food
What’s better than a hot meal on a super cold day? Pack a thermos of soup or another hot and easy-to-eat meal for your day outside. Here are some of the best foods and drinks to bring on your chilly adventure:
- Chicken Noodle Soup: This classic meal will you keep you warm and your taste buds happy!
- Chili: This meal will help you stay full and energized on your adventure.
- Coffee: This drink will keep you alert and ready to go during your journey.
- Tea: For calm moments next to the bonfire, you can’t go wrong with tea!
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 keep you hydrated throughout your trip.
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, shiver, and get confused easily. If you reach this point it's important to get some food in your stomach to give you an extra boost and keep moving toward shelter if you can. The movement helps with your blood circulation and, as a result, can make you warmer.
At the end of the day, 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 winter adventures! Be wise, get prepared, and stay warm!
You may also be interested in: