Keep Your Hands Warm

Stay warm, don’t get warm. It’s a lot of work to warm up frigid fingers, so focus on starting warm and staying that way rather than scrambling to get warm while you’re out there. To stay warm, pull on a pair of quality gloves or mittens (mittens will almost always be the warmer option) and read on to learn more. When your fingers are cold, it’s natural to focus on what you’re wearing on your hands. With a warm core, your body will be able to pump out plenty of heat to your extremities, like fingers and toes. Wet hands are cold hands, so you need to keep your hands dry. You can wear only the liner gloves when you’re hot and pull on the shells when you cool down. Hand warmer packets are a great way to warm your fingers, especially if you’re prone to cold fingers and/or have poor circulation. There are other options, too, such as gloves and mittens with heating elements built into them. If you feel your fingers getting cold, stop and take the time to check on them and warm them up.

Some people accept cold hands as the price of admission to wintertime fun. But Hannah Olson, an REI Outdoor School instructor in Minneapolis, says if you’re suffering through outings with frigid fingers then you’re doing it all wrong. And we have reason to believe her; Hannah has camped out in temps as cold as minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and believe it or not, she actually had fun doing so. She shared with us how she does it.

Here are eight rules for keeping your hands warm:

1. Stay warm, don’t get warm. This may sound obvious, but your No. 1 priority is to stay warm. It’s a lot of work to warm up frigid fingers, so focus on starting warm and staying that way rather than scrambling to get warm while you’re out there. To stay warm, pull on a pair of quality gloves or mittens (mittens will almost always be the warmer option) and read on to learn more.

2. Take care of your core. When your fingers are cold, it’s natural to focus on what you’re wearing on your hands. But don’t neglect the rest of your body, especially your core (torso). Wear warm layers and adjust what you’re wearing based on your activity level and changes in weather (learn more about layering). With a warm core, your body will be able to pump out plenty of heat to your extremities, like fingers and toes.

3. Stay dry. Wet hands are cold hands, so you need to keep your hands dry. A good pair…

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