Temperatures are dropping, and many are headed outdoors. Try these tips to stay warm as you brave the cold.
Store your kayak, paddleboard, and swimwear and try these tips to stay warm in the coming months. Don't let cold temperatures keep you inside—there are lots of ways to enjoy the outdoors! Whether you ski, snowshoe, hike, sled, or build snowmen, take care of your body by keeping it warm.
Bring a Backpack
Plan ahead with snacks, hydration, and layers, and keep them all together with you in a backpack as you explore the outdoors.
You can also sit on your backpack when taking a break. The added layer of separation between you and the cold ground will help keep you warm.
Cover Your Head, Hands, and Feet
The extremities furthest from your core are the first to get cold, and they let off the most heat from your body. Help your body's circulation and keep your head, hands, and feet covered well. Wear a warm, wool hat on your head, earmuffs over your ears, and a buff to cover your nose and mouth.
Choose quality waterproof shoes or boots and moisture-wicking wool socks for your feet. Be prepared with thermal gloves or mittens for your hands. Adding hand or feet warmers inside your gloves or boots turn up the temperature as well.
Drink Warm Fluids
What's in your cup? Plan ahead and bring hot coffee, cocoa, or tea in an insulated Thermos. Sipping a warm beverage while outdoors helps to keep you warm on the inside. The added calories, depending on the beverage, also fuels your body as it works to keep you warmer. You can even purchase helpful gadgets to hold body-warming beverages.
Even if you forego the idea of warm fluids, it's imperative that you stay hydrated while outdoors and drink lots of water. Especially when active, you can dehydrate much more quickly than you realize.
Explore Outlets and Second-Hand Stores
Staying warm doesn't always mean buying new or buying the most-expensive clothing and outerwear. Check out stores like REI that have outlets, and take a peek at your local thrift or second-hand stores. You may want to begin looking for sales and deals in the spring for the following fall/winter seasons.
Know What to Wear
Dress in layers—especially if you're in a climate with ranging temperatures throughout the day, you will want the flexibility to add and remove clothing as necessary to regulate your body temperature. Start with a long-sleeved shirt, followed by a hoodie, and topped with a warm coat. Here are tips on selecting the right coat for you.
You can also find a range of base layers to wear (from thermal underwear to moisture-wicking athletic material) underneath your winter gear.
Share a Blanket
Whether you're outdoors with friends or loved ones, grab a blanket to share. The combined body heat will help both of you get and stay warmer. And let's be honest, enjoying the outdoors is even more enjoyable when you're with others.
Moisture-wicking material is best. Whether an athletic material such as polyester and spandex or a woven material like wool, you'll want to select clothing that will help you stay dry.
When you're outdoors and bundled up, you can get too warm and breaking a sweat. Moisture wicking-material helps keep moisture away from your skin and dries quicker. Without moisture-wicking material, moisture freezes with the cold temperatures and lowers your body temperature.
Take a Break
After a morning of snowshoeing or hiking, find a warm place to catch your breath. Retreat to a favorite restaurant or lodge and warm up by the fire. Take off a few layers (especially gloves and boots) to dry out and warm up. Drink warm beverages and eat a hot bowl of soup or chili. And it's your call if you head back out or enjoy a good book near the fire.
What is your favorite way to stay warm while outdoors? Tell us more in the comments below.