When it gets colder outside, we all tend to dress up warmly. But don't forget, our body generates a lot of heat while walking. Start walking slowly, feeling just a bit chilly – you'll warm up quickly. The key to comfort is dressing in layers.
Wear a base layer of form-fitting, long-sleeve shirts and long underwear made of Polypropylene, Polartec or Thermostat. If needed, add a second layer made of Coolmax or Dryline. Artic Fleece or Polar Fleece also comes to mind. Put on a wind proof, water resistant and breathable jacket with reflective stripes. The same goes for the pants.
Keep you head covered – up to 50% of body heat is lost through the head. Mittens are warmer than gloves. Use lip protection (Chapstick, Labello) on your lips, nose and ears. Wear a face mask if you find the cold air uncomfortable.
Protect any exposed skin with petroleum jelly to avoid frostbite. Frostbite is an injury caused by freezing. It causes the loss of feeling and color in the affected areas. Most often it affects the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers or toes. Signs include a white or grayish-yellow skin area; skin that feels unusually firm or waxy; numbness.
If you detect signs of frostbite, get into a warm room and seek medical care. As First Aid, immerse the affected area in warm (not hot) water or warm the affected area using body heat. Do not rub the frostbitten area or massage it at all.
Hypothermia is a drop in your core body temperature, which mostly occurs on cold, wet and windy days. Signs include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, memory loss, drowsiness, incoherent slurry speech, clumsy fingers, and poor coordination.
At the first sign get to a warm dry place and seek medical attention. In the meantime, remove any wet clothing and warm the center of the body first (chest, neck, head, and groin) using dry layers of clothes, towels, sheets or blankets. Warm beverages can help increase the body temperature (NO ALCOHOL!).
Consider using Nordic Walking Poles.
Also, don't forget to cover your water bottle with a thermal cover!
Now, go out there and enjoy the wonderful winter wonderland! Have fun and be safe!