Keep your hands warm.
- Frozen fingers loose their dexterity and it is easier to work/survive in the winter if your hands are working properly.
- If need be you can warm your hands in your arm pits (closer to the skin the better) or with your crotch.
Cover your head.
- Your head is a heat sink. A vast majority of your body’s heat loss is done through your head (this is also helpful info during the summer when you are over heating).
- Your body cools itself by a process called evaporative cooling. When you sweat the water molecules evaporate from your skin cooling it down. Thing is the water doesn’t have to be sweat to cool you, and evaporation doesn’t require heat.
Carry an easy to use lighter.
- When you need a fire in the winter, you need it now without trying to fight with your ignition source, so make sure you have an easy to use and dependable lighter at all times.
Your body is naturally 98.6oF use that to your advantage
- Columbia has a material called Omni-heat which has small mylar dots that reflect your natural body heat to keep you warm
- Dogs body temperatures are around 101 oF they make great sources of heat as well.
Think small when it comes to shelter
- When you are building a shelter don’t try to build the Taj-Mahal. Give yourself just enough space to be comfortable but easy to heat with your own body heat. Tents that have lower ceilings are more likely to stay warm with just your body heat than a large family tent.
Waterproof breathable really isn’t.
- If your dwr fabric gets saturated with water some of it will come through
- If you are more than just a little bit active like say hiking, your body WILL produce more moisture than can pass through the micro pores of the DWR fabric. So use the pit zips on that jacket to let moisture out.
- Remember if your boots are waterproof, that means that if water gets over the top and into the boot, it will hold it in.
Wool, Polartec fabric and Gore windstopper fabrics are the bomb.
- Cotton sucks as an insulation, just don’t or you will regret it, if you live
- Down is a great insulator if it stays dry
- Wool is about the best natural insulation available but it will wear quickly
- Polartec fabric is pretty awesome when it comes to insulating, but Gore windstopper fabric is even more so.