Even if you’re not a big fan of the cold, you might find yourself outdoors more this winter. Being outside is one of the most socially isolated ways to remain active in the face of increased restrictions aimed at controlling the COVID-19 epidemic. It’s also a fantastic method to keep your health and well-being in check.
Whether you’re walking your pet or snowboarding, it’s critical to keep warm and avoid hypothermia and frostbite. Having the proper clothes and equipment can make a significant difference in how dry and warm you remain and safe you’ll be while out in the cold.
The amount of heat your body releases via perspiration is affected by the clothes you wear. Cotton gets wet and might cause your body temperature to drop. Use moisture-wicking natural materials like wool or artificial textiles like polypropylene instead. However, be mindful that your clothes and equipment aren’t too tight since this can limit blood circulation to your limbs.
With that said, here are ways to help you get ready for the wintertime:
Increase the Number of Layers
Covering is essential, whether you’re hiking, snowboarding, or snowmobiling. Covers, as well as a hat, mittens, and thick socks, will keep you warm when out in the cold.
The optimal number of layers differs, but health experts generally recommend at least three: a base layer (underwear) that draws sweat away from the skin; a middle, insulating layer like wool or down that helps maintain body temperature; and a shell that blocks wind, precipitation, and snowfall. You’ll need to adapt your clothing as your level of physical activity and the weather change to remain comfortable without overheating. Everyone is unique, but wearing at least three layers will generally keep you warm.
Keep the Elements Out
Protecting your head, face, legs, and hands are critical since they are the most vulnerable to exposure. Make sure to keep your head from losing heat. A wool-neck quilted vest is helpful since you can draw the collars up to hide your face, nose, and cheeks. Some brands also offer vests whose collars also functions as a face mask. Cyclists should also invest in wind-blocking helmets or shoe coverings as the winds can get pretty harsh, especially when you’re going downhill.
For avid skiers, you need all the protection you can get from an entire day’s skiing. Not only will you have to protect yourself from the cold and the winds, but you’ll also need protection from rocks, twigs, or other debris on the slopes. (Though, generally, groundskeepers keep slopes clean before they open for the day.) You’ll need the basics like your base layers, gloves, goggles, but never skimp on ski pants. Ski pants protect most of your lower body. You’ll want to invest in reliable bottom wear like the Arcteryx brand ski pants and others you can get from retail shops or dedicated sporting goods stores.
Protect Your Hands and Feet
Have you ever had icy fingers? They are challenging to rewarm, so warm them up from the start. It’s recommended that you choose your mittens or gloves depending on your activities to avoid overheating your hands. Consider using liner gloves beneath waterproof shells to keep wind and moisture at bay.
The same is true for the feet and toes. Appropriate footwear will keep people warm and dry while also preventing slippage. Begin by wearing woolen or artificial socks. Choose waterproof winter boots with at least 200 grams of insulation for more severe outdoor recreation.
Some people even insert 3/8-inch sheet metal nails to the bottoms of their shoes for an “additional bite” while walking outdoors. Another thing you can do is to use a worn-out jacket, rip it up, and attach it to the front of your shoes to keep the wind out.
While these are some DIY tricks to help give your shoes some traction and keep your feet warmer, there are shoe bottoms with sheet metal screws available on the market. These can offer more grip in snow and ice. Suppose you rather keep your old clothes for sentimental reasons. In that case, you can save them by buying air-activated palm and leg warmer packs. These are particularly popular for people with cold hands and toes or circulation problems. All these are essential clothing you’ll need to keep yourself warm and well in winter.
Invest in Special Equipment
Some winter sports need the use of specialized clothing and equipment. You’ll need a four-season tent, a heated duvet, and an insulated foam cushion beneath an air mattress for winter camping. As you speed through the chilly air while snowboarding, you might want to wear heavier layers, windproof winter pants, and a windproof jacket. It’s normal to become hot when snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, and you’ll probably want to shed some clothes. But you’ll need a place to store them. Some winter sports enthusiasts suggest bringing a backpack (at least 25 liters) for extra clothes, drinks, and food.
There are a plethora of shops and choices for purchasing cold-weather apparel and equipment. Experts recommend making decisions based on the weather, your metabolism, exercise level, and your tastes. No matter what you choose, your focus is to protect yourself from the cold.