There’s a lot of tips and tricks out there to stay warm during this frigid time, and a lot of them work! But here are a few that yours truly has tried, and have helped quite a bit! (Also, between you and me, I think I may go try and swim in the ice river, seems like a fun challenge)
Yes, I have done this, actually I did this last night! If you take a hot shower, your metabolism slows down and lets the glorious heat wash over. You don’t need to switch to frigid, just pick a temperature of cold that you can handle for about 30 seconds and let that speed your cells up! When you switch back to heat, it won’t need to be as warm as when you started. So keep flip-flopping and eventually you’ll be ready for the night or day.
“Hot showers immediately warm you up, but cold showers improve blood circulation between your skin and organs. Cold showers are also correlated with a stronger immune system.”
This one works magic! On a camping trip in the highlands of San Juan National Forest, Colorado, my friend’s toes started to go numb in the middle of the night. At 2:00AM I got up, boiled water, filled up some of the nalgenes, wrapped them, and stuck them in the sleeping bag! Their toes warmed up right away and we used that technique for the next few nights. So use them strategically, be careful and don’t get burned!
“Fill your bottle with hot water from the faucet before going to bed and slip it into the foot of the bed between the sheets. By the time you’re ready for bed it’s all nice and toasty at your feet. Believe it or not the water bottle stays warm all night long.”
My friend used this in their car for car camping, and it helped diminish the cold! The interior of the car felt 10-15 degrees warmer than outside when I got up. It’s cost-effective, easy to install, easy to remove, and even easier to call yourself handy!
“This is a simple technique for insulating windows with bubble wrap packing material. Bubble wrap is often used to insulate greenhouse windows in the winter, but it also seems to work fine for windows in the house. You can use it with or without regular or insulating window shades. It also works for windows of irregular shape, which can be difficult to find insulating shades for.”
I know, you probably have heard of the layers theory, and maybe you are a master at it! But it’s a good reminder to know how to handle yourself in the cold. If you’re going to be out there for longer than a minute, it may be good to add an extra layer to your typical outfit. For hikes I go for a tshirt, flannel, sweater, coat. This works pretty well for a few hours in sunlight, I usually end up unzipping and unbuttoning everything towards the end because exercise keeps you warm!
“You lose heat through conduction whenever your body comes into direct contact with something cold, like when you sit on chilly ground. Wind steals your body heat through convection. But you can insulate yourself against both types of heat loss by wearing layers, Greenway said.”
As I mentioned, when hiking the layers can be a bit cumbersome, even in -20F. So if you know you are going to be walking across campus, do a few jumping jacks and get your metabolism going a bit faster that way the cold feels more refreshing than something that attacks your senses.
“If you’re warm when you get into your sleeping bag, it will be easier for you to stay warm all night. Shovel snow or do some jumping jacks before you bed down for the night to get your furnace going. You don’t want to get sweaty, but you do want to be warm!”