How to stay warm while working outdoors in the cold by Ryan Tattle — Posted on 07 Dec 01:05 , 0 comments


Minus 76˚F (-60˚C)! 

The coldest place people live on earth... Oymyakon tucked away in Siberia where temperatures plummet to -76 degrees in winter...

The ground so frozen solid that to buy the dead it takes 3 days to just dig the grave!

We can learn a lot from people living in such extreme conditions, people still have to work and live there daily lives - thankfully we can become wiser without actually going there!

Here are 2 top tips for keeping warm while working outdoors in the cold: 

KEEP doing these 2 things:

  • Creating heat - moving, eating, hydrating
  • Conserving heat - wrap up and keep dry

 

temperature comparison to mars

 

Life happens - even in the extreme cold

It might be cold outside... but as we mentioned before, life and work go on.

You need to think about keeping safe and avoiding conditions like hypothermia, frostbite and trench foot.

Learning how our body's work (see our previous post 'Are you always cold? Why some people feel it more than others') and using that knowledge to help us maximise comfort and safety, and even push us to develop new innovations to help.

We need to do 2 things to maintain our internal body temperature, and cope with working in the cold:

  • Create heat
  • Conserve heat

 

Creating heat

  • Using our muscles increases our body's internal heat production. More movement, more heat. So even if you have to jog on the spot, or jump up and down, keep moving.
  • Our metabolism creates heat, and eating boosts our metabolism. And of course, it fuels our body to work. 

Eat. A. Lot. Of. Calories

 

Conserving heat in the cold

Let's look quickly at how we lose heat in the cold and how we can reduce the loss:

Conduction

Touch something cold, your body loses heat to that surface. Touch ice... it begins to melt and your hand gets cold! Heat is transferred to the ice from your skin. 

APPLICATION: Protect your body from contact with the cold. Wearing appropriate clothing, gloves, mittens, hats, layers, and boots will all help. Layers are super important, trapping the air which then warms from your skin's radiating heat.

Radiation

This is when heat radiates/transfers from your body to the environment. 

APPLICATION: Appropriate clothing again, layers, insulation - anything that stops heat being lost to the cold air from our body's. Trap that air!

Convection

When the cold wind blows you lose more heat. The temperature will feel, and effectively be, significantly cooler.

And...

Getting wet in the cold, including through sweating, drastically increases the risk of hypothermia. Keeping dry is vital.

APPLICATION:

  • windproof layers,
  • face mask
  • mittens
  • shelter
  • covering your face
  • walking with your head lowered helps. 
  • And keep dry!

Evaporation

You lose heat in water droplets through sweat and breath. Sweating reduces your temperature as well by using the energy released in the evaporation process to cool the blood underneath your skin.

APPLICATION: Work in a way that doesn't cause you to sweat much. Again, stay dry.

 

 convection, conduction, radiation and evaporation on the body

 

Understanding how our body's work, increases our understanding of the core problems we as humans face. This then enables a new way of thinking which brings on innovation.

And one of those innovation examples is UThermic's Coldscreen.

uthermic coldscreen warming cream 

 

3 ways Coldscreen keeps you warmer while working outdoors

(Remember: Create heat AND conserve heat)

  • Extra warmth is created on application
  • Improved circulation of skin and extremities, helping to warm them
  • Coldscreen's barrier function helps to reduce heat loss, and conserve heat. As your body creates heat through muscle activity, Coldscreen helps to retain it.

See our previous post on "Warming creams and lotions: A beginner's guide" for more information on this and other similar products. 

 

Working in the cold?

Remember these 2 top tips:

KEEP ON

  • Creating heat - moving, eating, hydrating
  • Conserving heat - wrap up and keep dry

 

Living life without being so limited and restricted by the cold is one of our passions, and we have shedloads of exciting information to come. 

Never miss a post - Drop your email address into the box below and we'll make sure to include you in our fortnightly "Inspired By Warmth Community Series".

Leave your comments below, we'd love to hear about your experiences, what works for you, and what the coldest place you have ever been to is!

 

postal working in the cold