A First-timer’s Guide to Traveling to a Winter Country

group of people enjoying the snow

Snow-capped mountains, frozen lakes, marshmallows roasting in a pit, cuddling before the fireplace, sledding, and skiing—these might be the images that Hollywood films and Instagram posts ingrained in our minds when we think of winter countries. While these are all true and a visit to Lake Tahoe or Aspen could be the adventure of a lifetime, it’s worth noting that preparing for winter countries is unlike your usual trips to tropical paradises.

Visiting winter countries where the temperature falls below the freezing point means preparing for the kind of physical torture the cold can bring. A pair of Nordica snow boots, waterproofed gloves, heavy-duty boots, and thick puffer jacket will help you survive the bitter and biting cold. The rules are different in winter countries. Instead of thinking of one set of clothes for each day you’re going to stay there, you have to carry a truckload of clothes with you for maximum comfort and warmth. Here are some of the things you need to remember if you’re planning to visit Aspen, Sapporo, Banff, or Iceland:

Layer yourself with multiple clothing

Forget about everything else and just remember this one thing when visiting winter countries: layering. The first layer should be your lingerie and followed by thermal clothing to keep you warm. Next, put on thick long-sleeved sweatshirt and jeans. Make sure that you’ve already put on your socks at this point because bending down when you’ve put on multiple layers of clothing will be very difficult.

Then, you need to put on your down jacket that should cover at least until half of your leg. The final pieces of clothing that you need to put on are essential to your survival: a scarf wrapped around your neck, a beanie to cover your ears (or maybe you prefer an earmuff), and a pair of thick smartphone gloves so that you can still use your phone (if it does not die because of the cold) without needing to take off the gloves.

Keep yourself hydrated

People naturally think that because it is cold, they don’t need to drink plenty of water. Besides, it’s difficult to pee with that layer of clothing. The cold weather, however, strips your body of moisture. When you are dehydrated, your body has a harder time keeping a core temperature that will help keep you warm. Drink water even if you are not thirsty. You’ll be surprised to know that drinking water during extremely cold weather will not make you pee all the time. The dry wind carries moisture away from your skin through evaporation.

Do a lot of exercise

girl doing exercise at home

Before you go sightseeing, try and do exercise to keep your blood circulating. The more active you are, the more heat your body will produce. Exercise also increases your heart rate and keeps your blood pumping. This will raise your core temperature, making you feel warm even if you have a moderate thick jacket while you run through a snowfield.

Bring the right accessories

As mentioned above, you should bring the right clothing for a trip to a winter country. Aside from that, you may have overlooked the fact that you also need polarized sunglasses and sunscreen. Sunburn in winter? Yes. Sunburn is still possible during winter as the sun gives off the same level of heat, except that the coldness saturates the feeling you get during the summer season. As for sunglasses, since the sun tends to be lower in the sky during winter season, it may be in your line of sight and pose a problem when you plan to drive under these conditions. A pair of polarized sunglasses will protect your eyes and line of sight.

Traveling to these winter wonderlands is exciting. It will surely be a fun activity for everyone. Still, make sure to pack and bring all the necessary clothing and accessories to keep you warm and away from flu and ice burns.

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