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Shivering of Cold? Here's How to Cope!
How well-prepared are you against menacing cold temperatures?
Sharp penetrating cold can easily take over and turn you into an ice-cube... ready to be thrown into a delicious exotic cocktail!
But not if you're well-prepared...
Earlier, I wrote another article about how to survive in a cold hotel room. This post comes as complementary one about coping with cold in general.
Source: © iStock.com/Nick_Thompson
Following several experiences with cold, I couldn't help think out a few simple coping techniques.
Please note that these methods are not intended to those taking hikes under extreme cold temperatures in the mountains or arctic regions.
#1 Relax your muscles
Being uptight makes cold feel colder than it already is. Try relaxing your muscles, loosening yourself and it should help (unless you're in absolute freezing conditions).
In extreme cold temperatures this will not work. You will not even be able to withhold yourself from being stiff and from automatic shivering.
#2 Sip strong alcohol
Vodka, tequila are very good. Just don't get drunk. A few sips would suffice in stimulating blood flow.
The alcohol will dilate your arteries and this is especially important with the thin arteries.
Just don't make a habit out of it.
#3 Eat well, preferably warm meals
The combination of cold and hunger is terrible. Obviously: food is fuel and helps us warm up.
Focus on the high energy foods in order for your body to produce more warmth.
#4 Spicy foods
They may help not only in stimulating blood flow (and artificially generating a heat-like sensation), but they may also help prevent bacteria from multiplying.
Consuming spicy foods may prevent bacteria to spread and you'll feel warmer.
#5 Drink warm liquids slowly
The gradual intake of warm liquids helps cope with cold for a longer period.
It's not so much the quantity, but the frequency over time that helps - you can sip a hot coffee up in 30-40 minutes, even.
#6 Use hand warmers
Ingenious inventions that a few years ago, even I didn't even know existed...
There are basically 3 main types of hand warmers that are reliable: hand warmers based on battery power (tend to be quite weak), warmers that use lighter fuel (there is a risk of fire and of getting burned), chemical reaction-based hand warmers (generally enclosed in small packages and tend to last for long hours).
The ones based on chemical reactions are the most interesting ones to me. They are also among the safest ones and produce optimum warmth.
These can last for long hours (6, 8 hours are quite popular, but some producers claim more than 20 or 24 hours of warmth, even) and they don't require burning flames, nor batteries.
If you're in extreme cold temperature areas, you could tuck a few of these inside your pockets, inner pockets or near your feet.
Thing is: they are single-use... Once used-up, you can throw them away.
#7 Isolate the ends of your limbs and protect your head well
Cold generally "attacks" from out ends: feet, hands and head. Take measures to protect them.
One of the most vulnerable parts are out feet - they are in constant contact with the ground and it's easy to catch cold through your shoe soles.
#8 Don't stand on cold ground
Sometimes we have to stand for hours waiting for a train, plane, bus... And, if we're on rocky material (like asphalt, but ceramics and marble are worse), the cold will transfer to our feet.
Avoid contact with the ground, if possible. Sit and keep your feet above the ground or put them on your luggage.
#9 Stay away from windy areas and currents
The air currents are there, even if you don't feel them. Cold circulates even if there's no wind.
Stay faraway from windows and doors.
#10 Avoid getting wet
Sweat, exposure to rain, snow, dew will make things worse.
Thing is, we don't often feel we're wet. Sometimes we get wet gradually and just slightly. Enough to catch pneumonia, but perhaps unnoticeable in time.
Overdressing can get you cold, as a result of sweating.
Take account of your clothes' material too (avoid synthetic materials) and don't over-dress.
#11 Change your socks often
If you sweat, change your socks with new, dry ones.
Pay extra attention to isolating your feet from cold ground and change your wet socks.
About the Author:
Escape Hunter, the young solo traveler in his early 30's explores the World driven by curiosity, thirst for adventure, deep passion for beauty, love for freedom and diversity.
With a nuanced, even humorous approach to travel, an obsession for art and design, Escape Hunter prefers to travel slowly, in order to learn and "soak up" the local atmosphere...
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