With winter seemingly getting colder and longer and energy companies raising their tariffs way above inflation year on year, there is a lot being written about how to stay warm this winter. Advisory bodies are providing information on how to keep warm at home, including tips like only heating one room at time.
So, with heating in the cold temperatures very much on the agenda, it seems like a good idea to give you some tips about how to stay warm when you’re out and about in the winter months. After all, just because it’s cold out there, it doesn’t mean you have to stop running, climbing, kayaking or taking part in any number of hobbies.
As anyone who has tried outdoor winter hobbies knows, there is a fine balance to strike between warmth and movement. It is all well and good being wrapped up in a thick wool coat, with a pair of thermal trousers and mittens on, but this is not exactly conducive to breaking any records when you’re running, or making the stretch when you’re on the cliff face.
The best quality winter wear insulates but also allows freedom of movement. It uses better insulators and more layers of thinner fabric to trap air. Some brands excel in providing winter clothing and specialise in equipment for outdoor activities. If you’re planning a winter climb or hike, you’ll need windproof tents, cold weather sleeping bags and serious clothing. Cheap imitations are just not acceptable.
Footwear is also very important. Keeping your feet dry and warm on outdoor activities is essential for retaining warmth. There’s just something about cold and wet feet that is very demoralising and can really affect your whole body. A solid pair of hiking or climbing boots, with appropriate socks will keep your feet warm and your spirits up. Always pay for quality and get the best you can afford – you’ll appreciate the benefit later.
Don’t Forget the Finishing Touches
The same goes for gloves, hats and scarves. Warm hands are important and maintaining the use of fingers might just be lifesaving in some situations. There are many stories about people getting into trouble in winter weather simply because their hands were too cold to be able to light a fire or even use a phone to call for help.
While it may not be true (another urban myth it seems) that you lose 90% of your body heat through your head, you do need to keep it covered. A snood or scarf covering the neck is also important for warmth and for preventing chills getting to vital parts of the body.
Lastly, a waterproof jacket is all-important. Cold and wet go together to attack the body and cause discomfort, illness and even death. Staying dry will help you to stay warm, and waterproofs also make a really good thin extra layer that’s easy to carry. Again, go for quality and you won’t be let down by poor seals and design when you need it most.
There’s no reason we have to let the winter win and stop us from doing anything. Staying warm is vital for overcoming the conditions, and just like when it comes to heating your home, having the right equipment and using it in the right places is the key to making it through to spring.