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Stay wild stay hot - tips on how to manage the cold this winter

Updated: Dec 20, 2022

Nordinary was born in the north where the cold is present all year round. Living an outdoorsy and adventurous lifestyle and having spent years of winter-tent camping, we have learnt a lot about how to manage our behaviours and which tools to use to stay safe and cozy even on the coldest of days.


We are facing a cold and expensive winter this year, with high energy costs and a country running out of electricity. Up in the north the freezing conditions might affect and risk people’s health as indoor temperatures should not go below 18°C for our bodies to stay well. So while we are told to save what we can and keep temperatures down, here are some tips to keep warm this winter, inside and out.



Layer up

Rather than wearing one thick piece of clothing, layers add more function and air to isolate your body heat and stay warm. Start with the thermal Good Place set as a first layer to keep the chest, bum and legs warm. These can then be combined with whatever you like: a blazer, a t-shirt or adding more layers on top. The tights are perfect to wear under your ski pants, and for the really cold days (-20°C) we recommend wearing:

Over your Good Place top we suggest wearing a tank top in wool or synthetic materials, followed by a long sleeve layer in wool, a mid layer in fleece and a shell jacket + a puffer jacket for the really cold days.



Skin exposure

Layering up, dressing warmer and thinking functional is a great start. But another critical reason for getting cold is exposing your skin such as neck, face, wrists and ankles. Dress smart and keep all your body parts warm for comfort and to regulate your temperature easier. When this is done you layer up as mentioned above. This allows you to easily adjust when you're getting warmer/colder without stopping what you’re doing, as you remove/add the small things first instead of changing the bigger clothes.



Avoid cotton

Cotton should be avoided at all times since it’s not functional when temperatures change or when you sweat or freeze. If you get wet cotton will cool you down, so make sure you always use wool or synthetic clothing if you’re at risk of getting cold.



Warm feet

Forgetting about the feet is probably one of the most common reasons for getting cold even when you dress warm enough. The ground transmits very cold temperatures and if you don't wear proper shoes that keep you warm you will start freezing, maybe without understanding why. Wear thick knee socks, wool slippers or puffer shoes. Other things check off when going outside is if your shoes have:

  • Thick soles

  • High shaft

  • Fleece or similar airy layers to isolate

  • Air and moist resistant shell

  • Light weight


Heat products - external or integrated

There are plenty of products produced to keep you extra warm and add more heat to your coldest body parts. Some of our tips include:

  • Our friends from Ergostone have created a sustainable heat product made from ground stone from a closed down local industry in Jämtland.

  • Blankets, vests, socks, gloves, soles... Today there are plenty of products that have integrated heat from batteries or electricity to keep you warm.

  • Hand warmers are probably the warmest and smallest, and most easy to use and efficient, heaters. They are easy to carry with you at all times, you can place them anywhere on your body and they stay warm for a full day (8-10 hrs). Unfortunately they are single use and therefore not sustainable, but for the coldest of days these are a great choice when nothing else could work - like going out winter camping for many days and you can't charge batteries.

  • A Nalgene bottle is our number one favorite when going camping or heading outside for a full day. You can easily fill it with boiling water and use it as a heat pad inside your jacket, for your hands or in your sleeping bag. But make sure it's properly closed, you do not want to wake up wet!


Move your body

Activate your body many times during the day to boost your circulation. Add some strength and cardio to some breaks to keep the circulation going even when you stop. Avoid sitting still for long periods and take at least one active break every hour.



Make warming foods and drinks

Eat for your immune system. A healthy balanced high nutrition diet that includes lots of fruit and vegetables can boost your warmth during winter. Drink warm or hot water and have regular hot drinks and food to keep yourself warm. Keep in mind that frozen raw vegetables are just as healthy as the fresh (if not even more nutritious) and can often be cheaper. Foods in high fat and protein slows your metabolism down, so consider adding this to your soups and stews to feel warmer.



Keep your house warm
  • Curtains: Invest in thicker curtains or thermal liners to isolate the heat and keep the cold air out. A cheaper alternative is to use transparent shower curtains over windows to let the sun in but keep the cold draft out. Let the sun in for warmth during the day and close the curtains when the sun sets. To not lose a lot of heat through gaps around windows and doors, use rubber seals and excluders.

  • Rugs: Add more carpets and rugs to the floor.

  • Refurnish: Move your furniture away from cold walls and windows and put them in the warmest parts of the room.

  • Prioritise rooms: Choose one or two rooms to be enough heated for comfort and warmth, and keep the rest of the rooms colder. Make sure you close all the doors to make and keep your whole home warmer and prevent heat loss.

  • Move up: The heat rises so work and rest on the second floor if you have one.

  • Light a fire: Enjoy the heat and sound from a cozy fireplace.


Cuddle

Hug your friend, family member or pet and increase skin contact. This not only allows you to stay warmer, but it also gives you love and serotonin to boost your happiness and immune system.



Mindset

When you train your mindset to perceive the cold objectively, it’s easier to accept the cold, solve the problem and avoid freezing. It makes the experience cosier and easier to handle. Ice bathing or a cold shower is one example of how you can train your brain to handle the cold better. Adapt to lower temperatures by turning the heat down and adding more layers.



Breathing

Our autonomic nervous system is the only autonomic system we can control with our conscience. To increase energy to our body cells we can increase the amount of oxygen we breathe in, and the way you breathe affects your chemical activities and general health. This breathing method is used by high altitude climbers, free divers, elite athletes and ice bath practitioners, and if they can control our heat, health, focus, energy and strength in extreme environments simply by breathing, it shows that this technique can also be used to improve our immune systems and stay warmer in our daily lives too.


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