Cold Weather Survival Tips

Cold Weather Ahead road sign

We're positive that right now, most of Canada is pretty darn cold! Some of us love this cold weather, others, not so much. We found an article about extreme cold weather survival on that will help you stay warm regardless. Whether you're snowboarding, camping, tobogganing, or just commuting to work, here are some great tips on how to stay warm.

Tip #1: Know how to maximize the warmth of your body against the harsh weather climate.

It's a fact that you lose 40-45% of your body heat from an unprotected head, and an even higher percentage from an exposed neck, wrists and ankles due to low insulating fat in these parts of the body. The brain is unable to withstand a lot of cooling, and most blood circulation is on the surface so you will lose heat quickly if your head is uncovered.

Tip #2: Remember C.O.L.D. rules.

C is for Clean - Keep clothes clean:

You may be wondering why clean clothing is important. It's important for sanitary reasons and your own personal comfort, but also for your warmth. Clothing with dirt or grease can lose insulation, as heat escapes easily from crushed or filled air pockets.

O is for Overheating - Avoid overheating:

It's good to keep yourself warm, but if you're far too warm, you're not doing your body a favour in avoiding hypothermia. When you overheat, you sweat. When you sweat, you're wet. Wet clothes decrease insulation quality, and evaporation of sweat will cool your body down. As long as you're warm but not sweating, you're able to keep your body at a warm temperature. If you're feeling too hot, either remove a layer of clothing, open your parka a little, and make sure your head and hands never overheat!

L is for Loose Layers - Wear loose clothing in layers:

Any tight clothing or footgear is ineffective because it constricts your blood flow and decreases trapped air. This makes is easier for frostbite and hypothermia to harm you. Trapped air in between layers is what keeps you insulated, and if you need to remove any layers due to overheating, it's easier for you to do with several loose layers.

D is for dry - Keep clothing dry:

As previously mentioned, being wet in the cold is a great disadvantage to you. Make sure your outer layers are water repellant to avoid snow melting and soaking your clothing, and make sure you aren’t overheating so you don’t sweat! If your clothing becomes wet despite your efforts, you can try to dry them (even if it’s above an open fire, just don’t burn them.) An extremely important item that any person who is camping in the winter should have with them is a heavy, down-lined sleeping bag and this should ALWAYS be kept dry.

If you are camping, don’t forget your other important tools, such as a knife, waterproof matches in a waterproof container, a compass, binoculars, and any other major essentials.

Stay warm!