Preparedness is key to enjoying the outdoors in winter. Keep a few rules in mind before you venture out. The Mayo Clinic says, “Before you or your children step out into cold air, remember the advice that follows with the simple acronym COLD — Cover, Overexertion, Layers, Dry.”
Cover: Wear hat, scarf, bandana and other protective covering to prevent heat from escaping from head, face and neck. Mittens are more effective than gloves because they keep your fingers in closer contact.
Overexertion: Avoid activities that would cause you to sweat. The combination of sweating and cold weather can cause you to lose body heat more quickly.
Layers: Dress in warm, dry layers. Protect yourself from wind, rain and snow with proper outerwear (waterproof, breathable fabrics).
Dry: If sweating is unavoidable, make sure you have extra clothes to change into, especially socks. Get out of wet clothing as soon as possible.
High energy snacks and drinking plenty of water are important too. If you are planning to spend a long period of time away from shelter, carry a thermos with a warm drink, plus those disposable hand warmers for heat in a hurry. Make sure to seek shelter when shivering sets in, a warning sign of hypothermia.
When you come back inside — from walking, running, hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, skating, snowmobiling or simply playing in the yard — treat yourself with a Maine Warmer. Microwave it for a few minutes and bring quick relief to cold hands, feet and core.