There is nothing worse than having cold hands when you’re out hiking. It restricts your movements and make simple things like press navigation buttons or tie shoelaces, very difficult.
Sadly, unless you only walk in the summer months, and only on warms day, you’ll likely to have to deal with cold hands at some point during your walking career across the countryside. It doesn’t matter if its -20 or even just wet and windy, two areas of your body feel the cold the most; your feet and your hands.
Across this blog, we often talk about keeping your feet warm and dry through buying the right hiking boots to protect yourself in the countryside. We don’t, however, speak much on keeping your hands warm.
Cold hands are a nightmare. Have you ever tried to do your shoelaces with cold hands? It’s really difficult and potentially could cause significant problems. Imagine if you fell over, hurt yourself but your hands were too cold to operate the radio for help.
Remember, buying the right gloves only works to a certain extent. Even if you have the best hiking gloves, it’s still very possible that your palms might be warm, but your fingertips could be freezing.
To make sure your hands are always warm on those long winter hikes, below are eight things you need to take into account while you’re in the countryside.
Keep Your Hands Warm
- Keep your hands warm from the start of your walk by always wearing a warm pair of gloves. Even if the weather is relatively mild, remember that temperature in the winter can drop any time. The last thing you want is to be in a battle to warm up your freezing fingers.
- Wearing gloves is only one way to keep your hands warm. In cold weather, as a general rule, if your core body is warm, the rest of the body will be warm. Or least you will be less cold if you are wearing the appropriate layers of clothing.
- Make sure you dry your hands as soon as they get wet. Wet hands feel much colder than dry hands. Remember this applies to sweat as well. Make sure your wearing breathable gloves that help the airflow move around your gloves.
- Cold temperatures can be bad, but cold temperatures with a chilling wind that cuts you right to the bone can make it make temperatures three times worse. To counteract it make sure you wear or have access to wind-resistant clothes and gloves.
- Wear clothes and gloves with a comfortable fit. If your clothes and gloves are too tight, they may prevent the warm blood from flowing as freely around your body as it should.
- Increase the blood flow to your fingers by keeping your fingers moving. If you’re using trekking poles, make sure you occasionally let go to wiggle your fingers around or rub your hands together.
- A more modern way to heat your hands is by using hand warmers that radiate heat like a small water bottle. Each one doesn’t last long, but they are cheap, and you get lots in one pack. Additional you can buy gloves with hand warmers.
Remember this final rule everytime you’re in the mountains or hiking in the countryside in the winter. If your fingers are cold, do something about it immediately.
Please don’t ignore it. You could find yourself with frostbite or worse.