For, especially those whose chores involve being outdoors all the time, winter is never a great season. On one end, there are dangers of frostbite and hypothermia, while on the other, injuries caused by walking on slippery hiking trails and snow covered peaksincrease tenfold. For those of us who love hiking and scaling the peaks of Ireland we need to be aware of the potential extremes of the weather on our peaks in winter.
The season also condemns millions to the boredom of staying indoors, lazing, and perhaps doing nothing worthwhile. Unfortunately, there will always be winter and its punishing conditions every year. Someone who knows the hazards associated with it often has to think ahead and plan accordingly.
Staying safe once the weather turns gloomy and hostile and temperatures hit sub-zero figures means avoiding frostbite and hypothermia, and most importantly, wearing warm winter gear. That essentially means you’ve got to buy the right, first-class cold-weather gear.
What Should You Wear During Winter Activities to protect from exposure to the elements?
There’s no way you are going to just stay indoors and wait for spring while the rest of the world is out hiking, swimming and kayaking. With the right extreme weather gear as well as good weather and water safety practices, you can join in the fun and enjoy winter, like anyone.
Of course, the list of the best cold winter apparel varies and includes different suggestions. When scaling some of the highest peaks in Ireland, it gets quite cold. At the top of our mountains in the winter you will experience snow and sub zero temperatures. To stay safe, insist on:
- Mountain fleece jackets - any one piece that breathes easy and dries quickly, and has generously sized pockets. You can order one from an online shop or visit a store dealing in winter clothes.
- Balaclava – this is a winter stable, although the best one to buy should have wind protection panels.
- Thermal pants – tight pants that can clamp onto the feet and keep the warm air from escaping when it’s released from the skin.
- Fur trim jacket – another popular cold weather jacket that’s beautiful and still very comfortable in winter.
- Thermal socks – heated socks have no substitute and they are perfect for winter’s outdoor adventure.
- Cold weather boots – the list of this is endless, but just make sure you pick the right pair.
- Warm pants – fleece pants are perfect. But aside from that, any standard cold-weather pants you can lay your hands on.
As well as wearing the above outfit, be mindful of the inherent risks associated with overexposure to low temperatures lest you be diagnosed with frostbite and hypothermia. Before you begin scaling a peak in winter, try to:
- Monitor the weather and limit unnecessary trips outdoors, especially if it’s freezing cold, wet, or windy.
- Put on several layers of warm clothes, wear mittens (instead of gloves), and a warm balaclava.
- Also, wear socks and boots that will keep your feet warm and dry.
If it is a suspected case of frostbite, the best measures could include:
Moving the victim into a warm room where you can remove the wet outfit and perform first aid measures against frostbite. That means you will also have to put dry gauze between the frozen fingers and toes and warm the frostbitten area with warm water for 30 minutes.
For hypothermia, especially if the victim is already shivering severely or the individual’s body is already chilled from being soaked in rain or having been submerged, the best measures would be:
- To remove wet clothes and give them warm drinks.
- Warm them with a blanket.
- Providing CPR, if the victim is unresponsive and isn’t breathing normally.