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7 Ways to Stay Warm

7 Ways to Stay Warm

I feel like the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz.  The difference is the mantra.  His was affirming his belief in spooks, mine is fighting my dread of winter: “I do believe winter can be fun. I do believe winter can be fun.  I do, I do, I do!”  Because truth be told, I don’t think it’s a whole lot of fun.  This is because I’d prefer being in a tank dress over a down coat any day of the week.  But, my current reality is that I live where it’s cold half of the year.  And I am a fun girl.  So I’ve got to find a way to make it work.

5 Ways to Stay Balanced in Winter

I was told by a friend it’s all about the clothes.  To enjoy being outside, you need to be wearing the right gear in order to be warm and still able to move (were you ever or do you have the overstuffed snowsuit kid?)  There’s a method to layering clothes for warmth.  Following these tips from Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills by Abigail R. Gehring (Skyhorse Publishing, Inc., 2008) should keep you and your kids both warm and comfortable.

1. Before thinking about the clothes, realize that food supplies heat to the body; the clothes provide protection so that it isn’t wasted.  Make sure you eat a good meal before spending an extended amount of time outdoors in winter.

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2. Several light, comfortably fitted layers are preferable to a single heavy layer.  Generally an outer, mid, and under layer suffice.

3. Underlayer. Two-ply long johns and undershirts, (cotton on the inside for comfort, wool on the outside for warmth, are warmer than thermal-knit underwear.  Two pairs of socks–a thin pair of cotton socks beneath a heavier wool pair–are warmer and more comfortable than a single thick pair.

4. Midlayer. For warmth and ventilation, wear a tightly woven wool shirt that opens down the front and a quilted jacket over it that also opens in the front.  Pants should be of tightly woven wool, cuffless, with plenty of room in the seat and legs, and flaps over the pockets to help keep snow out.  For added ventilation use suspenders rather than a belt.  A woolen stocking hat or mask-like hat will greatly reduce loss of heat from the head.

5. Outer layer. The main job of the outermost layer is to protect against wind, rain and snow.  A parka that covers the hips and has a hood with a full-length zipper is best.  If you’re planning on going above the timberline or along windswept ridges, you’ll need a windproof face mask.  Down pants, mittens and booties are fine around camp, but are too warm for the trail.  Two-piece mittens–a wool liner and a nylon outer shell with a leather palm–are better than gloves.

6. A good pair of boots are essential.  Double boots–a felt inner liner and high-top outer boot–are warm and comfortable, but very expensive.  A rugged mountaineering boot has many of the benefits of the double boot at a lower cost.  Foam-insulated rubber boots will keep your feet warm, but will also make them perspire.

7. While down provides maximum warmth at minimum weight, wool has the important advantage of retaining its warmth even when wet.

Related:
3 Hot Beverages to Keep You Healthy This Winter
Top Cold Weather Workout Tips
Do You Need More Sleep in Winter?
7 Warming Winter Herbs

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Terri Hall

Terri Hall lives in the Hudson Valley with her family. In addition to writing, Terri works with public television and radio stations/networks in the area of new media, and leads workshops on authentic and empowered living.

399 comments

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10:32PM PST on Dec 26, 2014

It’s really very informative that I wanted ever, thanks for this. ukSarees

2:00AM PST on Dec 2, 2014

When my kids are complaining about the cold, i always point them on the clothes they're wearing.., nothing wrong with the cold, just put some more clothes on! In the summer you count on the heat and take less.. not so hard is it.. btw; i just love the winter, the darkness and the cold.. makes it at home so cosy.

3:36AM PST on Nov 20, 2014

Don't just sit; get moving

1:48AM PST on Nov 14, 2014

Exercise, pottering around the house. Our body is its own energy creator. By doing something, you're keeping warm.

6:02AM PST on Jan 2, 2014

I know how to dress properly, still wish I could afford a winter home :)

4:19PM PDT on Sep 16, 2013

Thanks for sharing.

5:16AM PST on Nov 28, 2012

Good advice. Thanks.

1:53AM PDT on Oct 15, 2012

Thanks for sharing.

5:23AM PST on Jan 8, 2012

which non-leather/non-fur boots are recommended?

1:00PM PST on Jan 7, 2012

good ideas!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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Great article, thank you.

Thank you for sharing this.

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