2 January, 2024
Embracing the winter chill is all about mastering the art of staying warm and cozy. As the cold season sets in, it's time to gear up and embrace the great outdoors with a collection of kit that'll keep you snug as a bug in a rug. Remember what the wise woman once said: "There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad equipment."
Layering is the key, and having spares at hand can make all the difference. Modern fabrics have revolutionized the way we combat the cold, allowing us to breathe, wick away moisture, and regulate heat, ensuring maximum warmth without compromising comfort. Hats, gloves, and those secret weapons, we all swear by add a personal touch to our battle against the cold.
Here are ten essential pieces of gear designed to make this winter super toasty, the warmer you are, the more you'll relish being outside, taking in the crisp air and snowy landscapes.
My secret weapons to keeping me warm are: my thermal vest, wrist warmers, a flask of tea, two hats, and the best waterproofs you can find.
Here we go:
Long-sleeved thermal rash vest: I love mine and it makes a massive difference. I first used mine last year as I swam through the winter months. I also use it as a base layer when not in the sea. It's super cozy and one of my favourite bits of kit.
Thermal Undies: we all know layering is the key to keeping warm and you have to start with your thermal undies. My favorites are made from Merino wool and I have just bought a new pair from the M and S range for Women they also have M and S range for Men
Check out the Cotswold range: Merino wool products are expensive but they have years of wear in them.
Keep an eye out for them in the sales.
Rechargeable hand warmers: you can find these in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and types. Most can be recharged using electricity, microwave, or hot water. Top Tip: Check how long they last for.
It is also a good idea to have some instant hand warmers ready to use (they are activated by air) when your rechargeable ones run out. Top Tip: If your feet are cold slide them into your socks to keep your feet warm.
Bru Kit This is an integrated cooking system for quick cooking on the go. Ideal for fresh brews on the trail, hot soup, and nutritious one-pot wonders. Super handy for windy cold days
Brukit is built on the basis that sometimes you just really need to boil water or make food quickly. It’s efficient, fast, and simple. An integrated system for fast boil times. A built-in heat exchanger and windshield minimises heat loss so your fuel goes that bit further. I have put this on my Christmas list!
Perfect for every sea swimmer, the Mermaid purse wearable hot water bottle. The unique Mermaid’s Purse is a comfortable adjustable rucksack designed to hold a hot water bottle. A hot water bottle is placed into the purse which is made from a soft jersey and cozy fleece. You can wear the purse over a base layer and a jumper over the top your purse can keep you warm for hours. Note: the hot water bottle is not included.
Socks have come a long way from my old skis worn in my teens. We now have socks of every kind and all sorts of technical fabrics, blister busters, thermals, wicking, anti-odor, and quick drying. To keep you warm try Heat Holder socks these have an Innovative knitting technology with a UK PATENTED long loop cushion pile to hold more warm air.
Or try Waterproof socks from SealSkinz: these socks have a three-layer bonded construction that combines a 100% waterproof hydrophilic membrane between a premium Merino wool interior for warmth and sweat-wicking, and a durable exterior with 4-way stretch for great fit and wearability.
I am looking for other recommendations for waterproof socks – let me know your thoughts.
Self-heating army rations: I have used these on several occasions. I had a heated curry after 7 hours of walking on a wild and windy Hadrian’s Wall and I still remember how I felt eating it, 8 years on! it was hot food from heaven. Expensive but worth every penny.
An alternative is to take a flask of hot water and dehydrated food. When you are ready to eat, just add water wait 5 minutes and you have a hot lunch ready to go. Expedition Foods have a great range. I can recommend the porridge with strawberries and the mac and cheese.
I always have one of these in my rucksack Silver Foil blanket you can pick them up from £4 and you can wrap them up again and reuse them and then if you need to move along to the next stage of keeping warm buy a Survival bag: from as little as £6 they are made from heavy-duty polythene material that is not only windproof but also waterproof and lightweight, making it an essential piece of emergency survival equipment.
The first item is undoubtedly the strangest listing on this blog but the kids will love the Milisten Unisex nose warmer. I never even knew this was a thing! You can get them in all sorts of colours.
The second is a Ginger Rocket Drink – this is a HOT FIERY ginger drink recipe, the main ingredient is ginger syrup, this is my recipe and works as a treat when you need a boost. It’s like a fiery hug from the inside out.
You will need hot water, 1 teaspoon of ginger syrup, a squeeze of honey, a sprinkle of chilli, a dash of cinnamon, juice from ½ a lemon, and a teaspoon of lemon rind, then play around with the quantities to suit your taste, as this is like rocket fuel from the inside out.
You now have lots of ideas to ensure you stay warm and cozy during the winter months. It is vital to be prepared, embrace the new technological fabrics, and carry spare gear, all will play a part in your cozy strategy.
It is important to celebrate the power of a little ingenuity, a thoughtful approach can bring a smile even on the coldest days. Ultimately, the goal is simple: encourage you to bundle up, be prepared, and enjoy your outdoor adventures over this festive period!
Let me know how you get on with my Ginger Rocket drink!
My very first adventure was on a Tall Ship called The Sir Winston Churchill when I had just turned 18.
I have loved adventures ever since. Although I still get seasick 30 years on!
I would describe myself as an everyday adventurer. I try and squeeze adventure into my every day from walks, swims and runs to film, podcasts and books. I am always on the look out for communities to connect with and adventures to be found.
I have just hit 50 and my adventure journey has changed so many times over the years, from a 20-year-old canoeing and sailing instructor, to a Mum with young children teaching them to embrace the outdoors through camping, building dens and cooking on open fires, to a mum of young teens when we surfed, coast steered, climbed Ben Nevis and swam in the North Sea!
My boys are in their late teens now and are slowly flying the nest, it is here I find myself now, ready to embrace the next stage of my adventure journey.
Embracing my new found freedom and loving being outside, I am ready to do some exploring!
My adventure journey has included Moonwalks, marathon walks along Hadrians Wall and the South Coast, firewalks, abseiling down castles, coast steering, a cross country ski marathon in the Arctic Circle, a wing walk and training in an Environmental Cold Chamber at the University of Sussex at minus 20!
I have just come back from running a 1/2 marathon in Greenland - the biggest and most extreme event I have ever taken part in. This Arctic adventure has definitely left me with a fire in soul for more adventures.
This year I am off trekking in Peru, visiting the Amazon Rainforest, hiking around the Isle of Wight and organising a mega sea swim for over 500 "mermaids" to celebrate International Women's Day.
When I am not on an adventure I am working with my beautiful VW Camper Van called Daisy on photo shoots - if you want you or your business to stand out from the crowd then its time to book a branding shoot with Daisy.
Photo Shoot Dates: Private shoots also available on request
Check out The Big Mermaid Dip for International Women's Day in Brighton - March 11th - Watch out for March 2024 Dates
Nicky Chisholm aka #PinkNicky
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