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Are you one of those who always have cold feet and hands? Before you invest in gloves and heated insoles, here are some tips on why and how to remedy the situation!


1. The body's priority heat is directed to the vital organs: the heart, the lungs and the head. If the body feels that these organs are lacking heat, it will sacrifice the extremities to redirect heat to them.

2. Body heat is transported by the blood through the blood vessels, the better the blood circulates, the better the heat circulates.

3. To produce its own heat the body needs to be well nourished, well hydrated and it needs to move.

4. The enemy of the extremities is humidity


1. Cover your head and neck well, even if that's not where you feel cold.

2. Make sure you start the activity day well hydrated. From the moment you wake up until the beginning of the activity, make sure you drink at least 1L of liquid (coffee, tea, juice, smoothies, water, etc.). This will ensure that you start off well hydrated, the blood circulates better and so does the heat (right down to your fingertips).

3. Do not drive to your destination with the same socks and boots that will be used during the activity. On the way, our feet sweat, result: we arrive with boots and socks already wet. It is better to leave with dry material: new socks and boots / shoes for the activity of the day just before leaving.

4. Do not sit directly on the snow or on cold surfaces (picnic table) during breaks. Instead, sit on an insulator or our backpack. We lose a lot of heat by conduction (contact), if the body starts to feel the cold, it will sacrifice the extremities.

5. Even if you think you don't feel like it, you should try to urinate. The body spends a lot of energy and heat keeping the urine warm in the bladder, instead of warming up this waste, once it is passed, the heat will start to spread everywhere again.

6. Fasten the waist belt of your backpack to free the top. If the backpack is not adjusted properly and is only supported on the shoulders, the circulation of the hands will be difficult. No circulation, no heat.

7. Make sure to keep your thighs warm. Blood to the feet flows through the large thigh muscles. If the thighs are frozen, the feet will be too.

8. Nibble and hydrate throughout the day to keep the digestive system going, it's the one that produces most of the heat.

9. Bring a second pair of socks and take the time to change them if they get wet halfway through the run. Same thing with gloves/mittens, if it's wet it doesn't work.

* Keep the second pair of socks/mittens/gloves in your coat during the activity. When the time comes to change them, they will be warm. Then put the wet socks/gloves/mittens in your coat, or pocket next to your body if you have overalls, the body heat will dry them during the activity
(WARNING, I say "wet" if it's wet avoid that, the body will get cold trying to dry it all)

10. Move!!! Shake your hands, jump on the spot, it serves to create heat but also to circulate the blood and therefore transport heat.


- Insulated skirt or shorts, a "game changer" for cold thighs!

- Hot Poc, reusable hand warmer!

- Reflective soles for winter boots, $12

- Insulating cushion for breaks, Small thermarest mattress with reflective side

- Vapor barrier sock (keeps boots dry during activity, great for touring and winter camping)

Written by Renée-Claude Bastien - CGPA Professional Guide

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