How to Keep Warm When Travelling in Cold Countries

A winter getaway holds its own enchantment, whether it’s a standalone trip or part of a broader travel adventure. Snow, in particular, tends to evoke excitement in me (as I’m often reminded). Given that my hometown doesn’t experience much snowfall, I relish it. However, traveling in cold regions does present its challenges. Just because it’s chilly outside doesn’t mean you want to remain cooped up indoors; you still want to explore. Yet, enduring the cold isn’t merely uncomfortable; it can swiftly turn hazardous. Fortunately, there are some simple measures you can take to manage the cold, ranging from packing appropriate gear to adjusting your behavior. Here are a few tips to help you navigate the cold weather!


When packing for cold weather, prioritize layering. Instead of opting for a single bulky sweater, choose multiple thin layers. Heat gets trapped between these layers, making them more effective at keeping you warm. However, remember to wear your bulkier items while traveling to save valuable packing space!


According to Andrew Adams of Vluchten Volgen, your choice of clothing plays a crucial role in keeping you warm in cold weather. Consider the following:

  • Base layers: These thin but efficient insulating layers are essential. Merino wool base layers are highly recommended for their warmth and quick-drying properties, although they can be pricey. Alternatively, polyester base layers offer a more budget-friendly option, although they may not provide the same level of warmth.
  • Socks: Invest in at least a pair or two of merino wool socks for their warmth. Hiking socks are also a great choice, and layering them with over-the-knee socks can provide added insulation. Don’t hesitate to double up on socks for extra warmth.
  • Footwear: Opt for boots, preferably walking boots, as they offer better traction on icy surfaces. Waterproof boots are essential to keep your feet dry and warm throughout the day. Ensure your boots fit properly to avoid restricting blood flow, especially when wearing thick socks.
  • Coat: A bulky top may not be necessary if you layer your clothing effectively. However, it’s crucial to invest in a waterproof coat to protect yourself from moisture.
  • Hoodie: Keep a hoodie handy for wearing indoors, especially in chilly hostel corridors. It provides extra warmth and comfort during downtime.


According to Sean Philips of FlightRadar Online, pack your accessories in your carry-on bag so you can easily bundle up upon arriving at your cold destination. Remember, even in cold weather, it’s important to protect yourself from the sun!

  • Gloves: Opt for wool gloves for warmth, or choose weatherproof materials like leather for wet conditions. Fingerless gloves offer versatility, while keeping your hands dry and comfortable.
  • Hat: Select a hat that fully covers your ears to prevent heat loss. Wool hats provide excellent insulation against the cold.
  • Buff: A versatile accessory, buffs can be worn around your neck, head, or face to provide extra warmth as needed.
  • Scarf: Layering a scarf with a buff adds extra warmth and protection for your neck. Wool scarves are a preferred choice for their insulation properties.
  • Sunglasses: Protect your eyes from bright winter sunlight and snow glare by wearing sunglasses, even in cold weather.
  • Thermos flask: Carry a thermos flask filled with hot drinks or soups to stay warm while exploring outdoors.
  • Pocket gel hand warmers: Keep a few pairs of pocket gel hand warmers with you for instant relief in cold conditions. They’re handy to have in case of unexpected chill.

Things You Can Do

According to Dan Eastman of Ship Tracking, making small adjustments to your behavior can significantly help keep you warm when braving the cold outdoors.

  • Consider your diet: Eating regular meals provides your body with the fuel it needs to generate heat. Opt for foods rich in healthy fats, which help insulate your body and keep you warm. Warm foods like soups, hot drinks, and spicy dishes can also help combat the chill.
  • Stay hydrated: Even in cold weather, it’s essential to stay hydrated. Carry warm water in a thermos flask to avoid drinking cold water. Cold weather can dry out your skin, so it’s crucial to maintain adequate hydration levels.
  • Stay active: Engaging in physical activity generates heat as your body burns fuel to produce energy. Keep moving to stay warm instead of standing still in the cold.
  • Observe the locals: Take cues from the locals—if they’re not out and about in the cold, you shouldn’t be either. They’re accustomed to the cold weather and likely have higher tolerance levels than you.
  • Listen to your body: Pay attention to your body’s signals. If you start shivering or feel your nose, hands, or feet going numb, it’s time to take action. Seek shelter indoors or warm up in a nearby shop for a few minutes until you feel comfortable again.

Just a few adjustments can truly impact your experience when traveling in cold regions. Layering up and minimizing exposed skin are crucial. However, always heed your body’s signals and respond accordingly. To fully enjoy your travels and explore everything on offer, follow these guidelines, and you’ll be well-prepared to tackle the cold!

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