Morgan Rogue 09.23.21
Let it snow
Don’t let the cold of winter keep you indoors. In fact, some of the absolute best memories will be had in winter. I tend to venture out more during winter because of how simply beautiful everything is. Building a fire in the snow? Priceless.
But the cold is no joke. Whether you live in the far north or even down south, winter temps can be severe, especially if you’re planning on spending any prolonged period of time outdoors.
Before we dive into gear, let’s talk about a few winter tips:
- Alcohol and caffeine restricts the blood vessels which can make you feel colder and could they can dehydrate you faster. If you are going to consume caffeine or alcohol, drink plenty of water before, during and after. Tea, warm water with lemon and hot cocoa are all great beverage choices to warm you up.
- Layer layer layer. You can remove layers, but it’s not often you’d be able to randomly add them, unless you had the supplies.
- No cotton. While cotton is great for summer time, it’s a big no-no for winter, especially if you plan to exert yourself in anyway. Cotton absorbs moisture from your sweat and will cool your body down. Again, great for summer, terrible for winter when you’re trying to keep your body as warm as possible.
- It’s a myth that bears aren’t active at all during winter. If you’re in bear country, you still need to be bear aware. Yes, bears do hibernate during the winter, but they can still be active for various reasons. While the chances of coming across a bear are lowered, they’re not zero.
- Keep electronics close to your body. Electronics don’t fare well in extreme cold. Keep your electronics like your phone or camera inside of your jacket next to your body and be quick to use it when you take it out.
Let’s dive into the gear you need for winter adventuring:
It’s an absolute must to have waterproof mittens. When your fingers are spread in gloves they lose heat. However, in saying that, I absolutely recommend wearing gloves underneath your mittens. If you can find waterproof gloves so you can use the gloves if you need to take the mittens off, that’s ideal. If not, anything warm will do and preferably something that has a touchscreen finger for snapping all the pics and videos.
Having multiple pairs of clothing is important. If your under layer gets wet, you can change it out for a dry pair. Have a base layer, merino wool or synthetic shirt, a wool or fleece jacket and then a waterproof and windproof large down jacket. Warm hats, scarves and even a balaclava will be essential. Don’t forget plenty of wool or merino wool socks. If you’re adventuring out, keep clothes in a dry bag.
Hand warmers can be a life saver for your hands and feet. Place them in your mittens, in your boots or in your pockets and always have them available. They even make electric hand warmers.
Warm, dry feet will make all the difference. Get boots that are rated for winter temperatures. Be sure the boots will be waterproof as not all winter boots are.
Not to be confused with snow boots, but snow shoes will help you walk through powdery snow. They take a bit of getting used to but they’ll keep you on top of the snow instead of constantly sinking into the snow.
There may be times when you’ll be walking on ice or ice-like conditions and having some traction cleats that attach to the bottom of your boots will come in handy.
Not just because healthy food is important but because you’re more prone to illness during winter. Keep your immune system up by eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, soups, red meats, lentils. fish, eggs, oats and plenty of water and teas.
Chapstick and lotions are vital for winter time as it’s always so dry. When dry skin gets cracked, it can peel and bleed and that’s just not good. Keep your skin and lips hydrated.
Zero Degree Sleeping Bag
A zero degree sleeping bag is essential if you’re planning to do any camping in the winter. If you’re going to be in subzero temps, then of course, a sleeping bag that accommodates lower temperatures is needed.
The sun reflects wildly off snow so sunglasses are imperative. If you’re going to be riding any snow machines, get some goggles.
First Aid Kit
While a first aid kit is vital all times of the year, it’s especially important to keep one handy during winter time. Accidents happen, but could be more likely during cold and freezing temps. Stay prepared!