If you’re from a tropical climate, you know how comfortable it is to be able to walk around in a T-shirt and shorts every day, with no concern for cold weather. You don’t have to worry about putting on a jacket 24/7 because it’s unnecessary.
This is a luxury for those who live in climates where 18-23°C (64-77°F) is the norm all year round. However, not everyone is so lucky. Folks in countries that experience up to four seasons have it quite rough during the winter. How come? The temperatures get so cold at times that they go below zero.
To put it into perspective, place your hand in your freezer for a couple of seconds. Your hand will get cold really, really fast. That frozen drink you just took out of the fridge, why do you keep shifting it from hand to hand? Well, because it is freezing off your hand.
As this is uncharted territory for you, this quick survival guide is here for when you visit a country during its winter season.
Be wary of frostbite as your skin can catch it in a span of seconds; yes, that quick!. Covering up should be your top priority. Do not rub the affected area or expose it to heat directly until you get to a place where you can keep warm permanently.
Pack light, travel easy.
While on the go, ideally, you would like to stay hydrated. A plastic bottle will not cut it. Why? Because you will constantly be stuck drinking cold water rather than lukewarm or hot water. The cold water will cool your body, which will cause you to feel even colder. You can buy a flask to keep your drinks warm while out and about. Flasks are small containers that keep warm drinks, warm, and cold drinks, cold.
A hot drink will quickly warm you up. However, you should steer clear of alcohol and caffeine. They will make you lose heat faster than you think. The illusion of feeling hot as you drink caffeine or alcohol is false. Instead, have some hot water, hot tea, or hot cocoa as a substitute.
As you carry your flask around, it can also transfer heat to your hands, and it, therefore, doubles up as a heater—one item, two tasks.
Dress In Layers
Dressing in layers means that you choose to dress in heavier clothes rather than lighter clothes. Layers trap heat, which in turn keeps your body warm. Therefore, wearing heavier clothes will keep you warm for much longer. Here are some tips on how to layer:
Layer 1: The layer closest to your skin will keep sweat off your skin. When dressing up, it is vital that you pick out light but warm innerwear. You could go for cotton, but it tends to get sticky and cold when you sweat. Fleece or wool will be your best options.
Layer 2: This layer retains heat. Wearing a turtleneck will keep your neck warm. In addition to that, you can pull it over your mouth and nose when cold winds cross your path. Investing in a good, quality fleece turtleneck should be on your shopping list.
Layer 3: This is the outer layer. This layer protects your inner clothes from the weather extremities such as snow or rain. They should also be waterproof to prevent water from seeping inside. A good, heavy jacket and a sweater should do the trick. Your health comes first after all.
Cover Up Completely
Your head and neck are the most exposed parts of your body. In the cold weather, keeping them covered is necessary; it doesn’t matter if you look like a burrito. Buy a thick scarf and a winter beanie. An added advantage would be a hooded jacket. To be safe, you can also get some ear muffs as your ears also tend to get cold easily.
Keep your hands covered by getting some multipurpose gloves. You might be wondering, what do multipurpose gloves look like? Get gloves that will allow you to still use your phone so that you don’t have to keep taking them off everytime you want to text or make a phone call. Avoid hypothermia like the plague.
The cold weather proves a nuisance to your skin. How so? Your skin normally produces its own lubrication, but the cold weather dries it out to the extent that it begins to peel off. You, therefore, need to moisturize your skin constantly. Get a moisturizer and have it with you at all times. If you feel your skin getting dry, take it out, and apply.
Having some extra source of heat never hurt anyone. You can invest in some heat packs to do the trick. There are different kinds of heat packs for your hands, feet, and body.
Place hand warmers/heat packs into your pockets and clutch onto them with your hands whenever they get cold. Feet warmers go into your shoes or boots and are especially effective when you half to trek through snowy terrain. Heat packs for your body are placed on top of the first layer of your clothing and never directly on your skin. You risk burning your skin if you expose them directly on your skin.
As you are accessorizing for winter, a good pair of boots is vital. What’s the reason for this? The ground is much colder compared to the air. You need shoes that are waterproof to keep your feet from getting wet. You need a pair of shoes that have a thick sole, are water-resistant and anti-slip, and a good pair of socks.
The thick sole prevents the snow from seeping through to your feet. Water-resistant shoes are good for areas with snow as ice will not seep in as easily. Anti-slip is good for when you go hiking for some extra grip.
For extra protection on your shoes, some water repellent spray will keep your shoes dry from rain and snow.
Always check the weather forecast of wherever you are visiting before you head out. Extreme weather conditions are often posted ahead of time to warn people of incoming bad conditions. If you decide to go on a ski trip, follow weather advisories and listen to what the instructors say. As per the warnings, dress accordingly or stay indoors if necessary.