Mountain Guide Dave Hahn Offers His Top Tips For Beating the Cold

Snow fell in every U.S. state but Florida this month. Brrr.  Fear not citizens!  PowerSox by GoldToe athlete Dave Hahn, the professional mountain guide famous for summiting Mount Everest 12 times to date, offers us his top tips for beating the cold.   

Hahn writes, “I’m often asked whether I like being cold, since I spend so much time in snow.  Not particularly, would be my honest answer.  But I do like playing and working in cold places, which has forced me to get good at staying warm.”   His tips:

  • Understand your body.  Think of the body the way you’d think of any other machine.  What makes it tick? In the cold, it is the circulatory system, plain and simple.  Keep the core, where the pump lives, warm and dry in order to maintain circulation to the extremities. Keep putting useful food in to give the machine fuel.  Keep putting fluid in to keep the blood moving properly.
  • Strategy is key.  If I’m going to leave my house, my tent, or my sleeping bag to venture into the coldest environments, I’m going to do it with a plan.  The ability to stay warm is often directly related to your ability to stay active.  I can’t go on generating heat forever, so ultimately, I need to conserve by getting back in the bag/tent/house.  Although it may sound ridiculously basic, I keep careful track of where my next available shelter is and whatever might stand between me and being in that place.
  • Select your gear wisely. I choose modern fabrics that do a good job at insulating while moving moisture away from my skin.  My stuff has to fit well to be of real use in the cold.  Poorly fitting gloves or footwear will end up constricting circulation, which gives the chill a purchase on your digits.  I wear PowerSox Outdoor socks.
  • Know your limitations.  Work up to more time in cold, slowly and gradually.  It can be quite important to know the difference between “numb fingers” and frostbite, and such vital knowledge doesn’t come from anybody else’s experience.  Use my tips and get out there in the uncomfortable world yourself – carefully.

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Ryan Alford