How to: Stay Warm
Whether you’re caught in a blistering snowstorm or locked in a walk-in freezer, you need to keep warm, lest you become a human snowman (and dead, too). First thing to know: you need to eat. The warmest thing you can cover yourself with is…yourself. Your body is a heat-producing machine, but like any machine it needs to be properly fuelled. Staying well fed isn’t just about producing a “winter layer”: eating healthily and regularly means your body is ready to take on the cold to the best of its ability. And stay in shape, because good cardio and healthy blood flow mean you won’t suffer from cold feet (literally).
We don’t want to sound like your mom, but bundle up. You don’t need to parade around in animal pelts, but never be afraid to cover any part of your body you think could use some thermal backup. You don’t even need to sacrifice style here: Long underwear is a great, hidden way to keep the legs toasty. Now, of course, some situations can’t be prepared for, so here are a few specific tips for desperate times: If it looks like you’re going to be spending a long night in a cold place, you should try to find an enclosed environment—like a car or a shack, somewhere that will retain heat. Failing that, try to start a fire.
If you have a companion of any sort—human or (friendly) animal—stay close. The combined body heat may be just the booster you both need. If you’ve fallen into cold water or through the ice, you need to find a warmer, dry place and ditch the wet clothes immediately. Wrap yourself in something dry, like a towel, and warm up your torso and head first before rubbing your arms and legs. Do not immediately cozy up to an intense heat source, like a fire or a radiator, as the sudden temperature change could cause blood and organ failure. Instead, keep insulated and, if you can, slowly drink something hot, like tea.