It’s cold outside! 5 Tips for How to Stay Warm

“Don’t get cold in the first place.”

Winter has finally joined us, with a frigid -2F / -19C today (14 FEB 2016), to celebrate a frosty Valentine’s Day in Ohio. Here are science-based 5 tips for how to keep warm while enjoying the outdoors, whether that’s running, orienteering, hiking, or just playing in the snow!

1. Stay dry

In an interview with the Calgary Herald, globe-trotting adventurer Sharon Wood revealed her golden rule for keeping warm (and therefore alive) in less-than-kind wintry climates: “Don’t get cold in the first place.”

That’s obvious, you say. But is it? The cold can sneak up on you, especially if you’re tromping through icy puddles or sweating in that big parka. So stay dry, especially by dressing in layers. Backpacker recommends layering with a “synthetic, wicking base layer to pull the moisture off your skin.” Then on top of that, you’ll need a layer that insulates. Base layers — tights, leggings, form-fitting undershirts, etc. — are lightweight, easy to throw on underneath your normal work clothes, and most importantly, keep you toasty with minimal discomfort. Try not to let cotton (which can absorb sweat) touch your skin, if you can help it.

2. Protect your core

The average human core temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit; hypothermia occurs when body temp dips below 95 degrees. Obviously, keeping your torso insulated is the best thing you can do to keep the rest of you warm and humming along, especially if you pack on a few extra winter pounds.

For example, when people lose fingers, toes, and other extremities to frostbite, at work is one of the body’s natural self-preservation systems: It simply stops sending blood out in order to protect the vital organs. So, as counterintuitive as it sounds, keeping your torso warm is the number one way to keep your hands and feet feeling warm, too. (More on that in a bit.)

3. The “winter hat” might be a myth

Good news for people with great hair: The assumption that 70 percent of a person’s body heat escapes through their head is patently false. University of Michigan professor Andrew Maynard debunks the popular “dancing naked with a winter hat” myth, and explains that body-heat loss relates to “how much skin is exposed, not which part of the body you’re exposing.” That said, wearing a warm hat can and definitely will help you keep warm. (The more skin you cover up the better.) But a hat shouldn’t be depended on in lieu of down coat or jacket with good insulation.

4. Mittens keep your hands warmer than gloves

Protecting your core should be your number one priority. But you need to cover your skin to keep it from getting frostbitten. Remember: The less skin you have exposed the better. If you don’t mind having less mobility in the cold, mittens may be preferable to gloves, since clustering the fingers together helps to produce more insulating body heat.

5. Drink water

Summit-trekking adventurers agree: Water is actually “amazing” for retaining body heat. Simply put, the more you have in your system, the easier it is to keep warm. Stay hydrated — especially before you dash out into the frozen slush every morning.

via http://theweek.com/articles/453487/how-keep-warm-outside-5-sciencebased-tips

Top 5 Tips to Get Better at Orienteering

Here are five basic skills that you need to practice to help you get better at orienteering.

1. Fold your map – Always make sure that you fold your map so that you can easily see the part of the map where you are.

2. Orient your map – Always make sure that your map is the correct way round or oriented. This means that the features which are in front of you on the ground are in front of you on the map. You can also orient your map using a compass by making sure that the north lines on the map point the same way as the north or red end of the compass needle. Each time you change direction you should change your grip on the map so that the map is still oriented to north.

3. Thumb your Map – To help you know where you are on the map it helps if you mark your position on the map with your thumb. As you move along the ground you should move your thumb to your new position on the map. It is common to move your thumb to the new position at a ‘check point’ such as a path junction or some other obvious feature where you will stop or slow down and check where you are.

4. Check your control card – Once you have found a control you always need to check that the code on your control description sheet matches the code on the control. You should also check that the control is situated on the correct feature on your map. You will then know for sure that you have reached the correct control.

5. Have fun and enjoy yourself – This is the most important skill to remember. Orienteering should always be fun and enjoyable!