5 Hacks for Getting Outside This Winter (Without Getting Cold)

What’s the one thing that stops most of us from getting outside in the winter? The COLD!

I know I go stir-crazy if I am inside for months on end, so staying inside during the winter is a no-go. But what to do about the cold? How can we combat that bitter nip of cold that bites so unpleasantly at our noses (and everywhere else)? Whether you are just shuffling down the street or going out into nature for the entire day, here are 5 hacks to make your winter outdoor experience a lot more palatable:

Learn how to layer

First rule: avoid cotton. While cotton is a wonderful, breathable fabric that keeps you cool in the summer months, it’s big trouble when it comes to winter layering. Cotton absorbs water, which means if you sweat it will retain that moisture. Moisture sucks heat out of your body. That means you’ll get very cold, very quickly. So ditch the cotton and learn how to layer.

If you are doing physical activity outdoors, consider the idea that you are dressing for two different temperatures: bitterly cold and refreshingly cold. Wear enough insulating layers to keep you warm while still allowing you to easily remove some in order to avoid overheating once your body is in the groove. Essentially, proper layering is a fine balance between sweating and promoting warmth. It may take some practice to figure out what type of layering system works best for your body, but it will pay off in your comfort.

Care for your feet and hands

Your hands and feet are generally the very first to succumb to the cold, being the most distant body parts from your heart. Take extra care to make sure they are protected and warm when venturing into the outdoors. Also be sure to take special precautions to keep your fingers and toes from getting damp. The equation is simple: damp clothes/body parts + cold temperatures = hypothermia and frostbite. Wear thick moisture-wicking socks and be sure to use proper water-resistant footwear if you are going into the snow. Always keep a pair of gloves and an extra pair of liners lying around. If you want your fingers to be extra toasty, opt for mittens, since the fingers can create more warmth when they are all working together.

Winter time

Keep moving

Don’t sit around like a bump on a log! If you are outside in the cold for more than 5 minutes for any reason, keep your body moving. Why? The increased blood flow from your movement will keep warmth surging through your body. In a pinch, you can do squats, go for a short jog or try some high knee marching. You can really do anything that involves movement. Just sitting around muttering about how cold it is will only make you colder and more miserable.

Warm yourself from the inside-out

It’s important not only to keep hydrated in the winter, but to fill your belly with warm liquids. Keep a thermos of hot tea nearby to warm you up if you need it. By filling your belly with warm liquids, you are essentially turning your stomach into an internal heating pad, warming you from the inside-out. It is an easy way to get warm, fast.

Be prepared and be smart

If you are going into the outdoors, pack a small pack with warming essentials like your thermos, extra dry socks and spare layer, a hat, hand and face balm, backup hand/foot warmers, and any other necessities you think might keep you safer. But, perhaps most importantly, know your limits. If it is below zero, wet and windy, it’s probably not the best idea to spend a couple hours outside if you aren’t used to it. Use your common sense.

Remember, going outside has some real benefits, winter or no winter. A walk outdoors can boost your creativity, lower stress levels, improve mood and keep you fit and healthy.

Mature woman snowshoeing

Even so, I know it’s going to take some seriously fun activities to get you out of your cozy house and into the chilly Great Outdoors this winter, so here’s a list of amazing winter activities that are worth going outside for:

  • Snowshoeing in search of yeti tracks
  • Sledding with your dog
  • Creating snow “crop circle” designs in fields with your snowshoes
  • Cataloguing snowflake designs into a waterproof notebook
  • Making artistic, slow motion snowfall videos on your phone or camera
  • Ice skating and pretending you are in the Olympics
  • Building a snow-woman (#feminism)
  • Collecting bits of nature to decorate and winter-fy your mantle
  • Skiing, period.
  • Hiking on a cold and blustery day, heavily bundled and pretending like you’re summiting Everest
  • Renting a fat bike to roll through winter terrain like a beast
  • With enough snow, building a traditional igloo or snow cave and enjoying a mug of hot cocoa inside once you’ve finished

And afterwards, when you snuggle into your comfy slippers and sip on a warming apres drink of choice, you’ll feel all the better for having spent some revitalizing time outdoors.

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114 comments

Jim V
Jim Ven3 months ago

thank you

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Jim V
Jim Ven3 months ago

thank you

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Jerome S
Jerome S3 months ago

thanks

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Jerome S
Jerome S3 months ago

thanks

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Olga Nycz-Shirley
Olga Nycz-Shirley3 months ago

Good points. TY

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natasha p
Past Member 3 months ago

ty

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Chrissie R
Chrissie R4 months ago

Impossible THIS winter!!!

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Paulo R
Paulo Reeson4 months ago

ty

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Paulo R
Paulo Reeson4 months ago

ty

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Barbara M
Barbara M5 months ago

Thank you for sharing

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