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Staying warm

Some people have been complaining that they're too cold. Luckily, I know something about staying warm, having had to learn during a two-week backcountry ski trip in Idaho when it got down to -11 F. The circulation in my fingers and toes is also really bad, so they get painful really easily in the cold weather. Here are some tips:

1) Generate heat

  • Stay well-hydrated. Hot beverages are best, but not required.
  • Physical activity. Work those big muscles, like your quads. Shovel snow, do jumping jacks, pushups, whatever sounds fun.
  • Eat food. Especially food with a high calorie content. I remember at the end of a long day in the Idaho woods, I was freezing. After chowing down a whole bag of pepperoni, I was comfortable and warm!

2) Retain heat

  • Get out of those wet clothes! Especially if they're cotton.
  • Put on another layer. A big warm fuzzy fleece, or wool sweater. Don't forget your hat.
  • Hide from the wind. You can do this either by taking shelter or putting on a wind-resistant outer layer like a nylon shell jacket.

Note: whining will usually not make you any warmer. Sorry.


Yeah, but whining really heats up the people around you.

Note on hydration: any hot beverage with caffeine will actually dehydrate you. Caffeine is a diuretic! So, better to drink water than coffee or tea. Or at least, drink water WITH coffee or tea.