Remember the acronym C.O.L.D to keep yourself warm when hunting, fishing, recreating outdoors in winter

Ice fishermen can do themselves a favor and stay warm by remembering C.O.L.D. photo by Mike Schooonveld

If ice fishing or other activities tempt you outdoors these days, the one thing that can ruin the experience is getting cold.

So what can you do to stay warm?

A friend of mine stationed in Alaska when he was in the army told me they were taught to think “cold” to stay warm in temperatures of 40 to 60 below zero. Not think about the cold, but think of the letters: C, O, L and D.  An acronym reminding them of four aspects of dressing for extreme low temperatures.

C is for Clean.  Clean clothes are warmer. Dirt, oil and grime contaminate the fibers in cloth and clothes and lower it’s insulating effectiveness. Freshly laundered garments have more “loft” to them, as well. The fibers are springy, light and those minuscule air pocket are what makes the cloth warm. Even if the clothes are not dirty, they may be compressed.

O is to remind people not to overdress. There’s no surer way to get cold outdoors than to get overheated initially. Don’t bundle up until you look like the Michelin Man and for sure, don’t bundle up at home and then hop into a heated car to travel any distance to where you plan to participate in an outdoor activity. The body doesn’t adapt well from going from it’s shedding heat mode to it’s conserving heat mode.

L stands for layers. Remove layers of clothing when you are traveling or active. Add layers when you stop or begin to feel the chill. Each layer adds another thickness of insulation and the air between each layer conserves heat, as well.

The D in the acronym stands for dry. Nothing chills human skin more than moisture. Wet feet will do it so wear waterproof foot gear.  Wet hands will do it, as well so avoid getting your gloves wet. Most important is to keep your inner garments dry from the normal sweat and moisture that comes through the skin.

Avoid cotton, which absorbs water like a sponge and requires heat to dry out.  Instead, choose synthetic material such as polypropylene as a foundation layer.  Moisture easily passes through this material into the outer layers where it can escape to the atmosphere.

When planning your next outdoor excursion into the winter weather, stay warm.  Think C.O.L.D.


Categories: Blog Content, Bloggers on Hunting, How To’s, Ice Fishing, Michigan – Mike Schoonveld

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