Winter is a four-letter word. C-O-L-D. While hundreds of thousands of travelers are basking in the sun during the winter, heartier travelers are heading north to the frozen tundra. Whether it’s a ski holiday, adventure vacation or business trip, how can you best brave the cold and stay warm and comfy, cozy in bone-chilling temperatures?

Here are five tips to survive the cold, snow and ice. 

TIP #1 – Layers

Sami women know how to layer to keep warm in winter. ©Deborah M. Bernstein

It’s about the layers! Seven years of living in Minnesota and winter walks with the Hardy Hikers group taught me that. Below zero temperatures are not a problem if you dress right. Start with a good base layer. Thermal leggings and tops are a good start. A fellow Expat Club member swears by Japanese silk thermal underwear and Bridget Jones “granny panty” style long johns — silk, of course. 

TIP #2 – Warm Your Core

A warm jacket and warm boots make winter easier to bear. ©Deborah M. Bernstein

It may seem evident, but it’s important to keep your core warm.  Lush cashmere sweaters, down vests and jackets are essential on those super cold days. And don’t forget to accessorize, says fellow expat Helen! A nice scarf can not only capture and keep your body heat. It can also be a fashion statement.

TIP #3: Grip the Ice

Ice grips help your feet grip the ice, making it easier to walk on slippery pavement. ©Deborah M. Bernstein

Stay vertical. Icy patches on the sidewalks and pavement can quickly make you “go horizontal,” or “go boom,” as my cousin used to say. Ice grips with small spikes help keep you from those embarrassing and painful falls. Safety first!

TIP #4 – Warm Your Extremities

Warm wool socks, like these sold in the Oslo Christmas market, will keep your feet toasty warm.  ©Deborah M. Bernstein

Toasty toes and fingers will make you a happy camper. Fingers and toes are furthest from your heart and tend to get cold first. When your feet and hands are warm, your entire outlook on winter can change. For socks, merino or “Smart Wool” socks are my choice.  And always choose mittens rather than gloves to capture and keep body heat. 

I love my Bog boots! They are warm down to 30 degrees below zero Fahrenheit or minus 34 Celsius!

TIP #5: Boot liners and Warm Boots

Have you tried sheepskin shoe or boot liners? It’s like walking on clouds. Your feet will thank you. As far as boots go, there are so many quality winter boots out there, but my favorite boots are Bogs. They are made from durable rubber and leather. Your feet will be warm even when it is 20 or 30 below zero. Of course, there are other brands that do the same thing. Just do a little homework.

TIP #6: Wear a Hat

Wear a warm hat in winter, like these leather and fun caps with ear covers. ©Deborah M. Bernstein

Okay, our mothers all told us the importance of this, and it wasn’t just for Easter Sunday or a sunny day! If you grew up in a cold climate, you know that sticking a warm hat on your head holds in body heat.  A warm winter hat can also prevent hypothermia and make your time in the outdoors far more comfortable.

Ready for Adventure

So, now you are ready for those Arctic winds and cold. Bundle up, stay active and enjoy the great outdoors.

Don’t be a troll! Be sure to dress warmly in the winter.   ©Deborah M. Bernstein