How to Keep Warm in the Winter

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The winter season is upon us and we all know what that means: trying to manage to stay warm while we’re outside. Sure, curling up next to a fireplace or under cozy blankets is ideal when temperatures drop but it’s not exactly feasible for us to spend all winter there!

After all, we’re not bears. If you’re dreading the cold and wondering how to stay warm all season, there’s no need to worry. Our guide will give you all the secrets and not-so-secrets of how to stay toasty effortlessly.

Upper Body

The upper body contains a ton of vital organs, making it important to keep warm and protected in the cold. If you’re in seriously low temperatures, or are going to be active in the snow (like with skiing or snowboarding) we highly recommend you wear at least 3 layers of clothing. For your first layer, try for something stretchy and form-fitting that wicks away moisture.


Heated clothing has exploded in popularity in recent years, and for good reason. Heated hoodies are perfect for that time of year where it’s too hot to wear a full parka but too cold to wear just a hoodie.

Heated hoodies add that extra kick of warmth that will make the difference between shivering and actually enjoying your time outdoors. If you’re a woman and feel that men’s hoodies are too boxy or baggy, then not to worry; there are women’s hoodies too!

For fall and spring where it’s just starting to get chilly, you can also try wearing a heated vest. If you’re someone who enjoys playing soccer in the park but can’t seem to find a balance between being too hot or too cold, then these are also great options as they leave your arms free for complete range of motion without any restriction.

Heated Jackets

On the other side of the spectrum, if you’re so cold that a heated hoodie or vest just won’t do it, get yourself a heated jacket! These are just like your average softshell jacket but include heating elements inside to keep your core nice and toasty! They’re not resistant to heavy wind nor rain, but they’re ideal for cold, dry weather.

Heated jackets come in a wide variety of colors and appearances, so we’re sure you’ll find at least one jacket just right for you!

Softshell Jackets

Softshell jackets are incredibly versatile articles of clothing that surely everyone will be able to get use out of. If you’re big into adventuring, hiking, camping, and other activities in the winter then you’ll want to keep one handy. They work perfectly under hard shell jackets, offering warmth and insulation.

However, if your body temperature starts rising as you are hiking up that mountainside, you may want to just keep the softshell on by itself. Just keep in mind that they are not waterproof nor windproof typically.

Hard Shell Jackets

What is waterproof and windproof? Hard shell jackets, of course! If you’re going to be out in the elements for extended periods of time, you absolutely need a hard shell. They’ll protect you from the harshest weather conditions, and are made of the highest quality materials on the market today to offer comfort and long lifespans. This means you can be rough and really get the most out of your jacket and journey.

Offering incredible warmth and range of motion, these jackets are still breathable so you never feel sweaty or uncomfortable. You’ll also find multiple zippered pockets for you to keep gloves, IDs, cash, and other valuables safe and handy.

If you don’t particularly like the traditionally “sporty” look of hard shell jackets and want something more trendy, then you can also check out parkas. These are the most fashionable, beautiful jackets you’ll find that will still offer a ton of protection from the elements, keeping you dry and warm.

Feet & Lower Legs

Our feet and toes are some of the easiest places to lose heat from, so it’s important to pay special attention to them in the outdoors. Both socks and boots directly affect your comfort, so let’s take a look at each one individually.


While a good, thick pair of wool socks has been known to do a mighty fine job at keeping feet warm, sometimes we need something more. Heated socks are exactly that, allowing you to have complete control over the temperature. If you end up getting too hot, simply turn the temperature down or off completely!

As the batteries typically last up to around 10 hours per charge, you’ll have enough warmth to last you the entire. If you are going camping and worry about your feet staying warm at night, you could keep them in your backpack as backups while you use your regular winter socks in the daytime.

Winter Boots

Your heated socks are virtually useless without a solid pair of winter boots. There a few qualities that you have to have here. First of all, they need to be made of a durable, top-notch material that will insulate, and keep wind and moisture out.

On top of that, you want them to have high-quality soles to endure many seasons of adventures while providing enough grip that you never risk slipping in the snow or on ice.

Winter boots will vary in terms of height, though we do recommend yours at minimum, come up right under the calves. Just make sure your socks come up at least an inch higher than your boots to prevent them from chafing your legs – that can really be an annoyance when you’re trying to have some fun or even just shovel your sidewalk.


As we previously mentioned, it’s very easy to lose heat from our extremities and this goes for hands, too! While having gloves that allow for great dexterity and grip are important, hand warmers can make a huge difference. You should place them in their dedicated pocket in your gloves, keeping them safe and secure.

There are chemical hand warmers and fuel hand warmers, so make sure you figure out how long you’ll realistically need them to last each time you use them.


Staying warm in the winter isn’t all that complicated, you just have to know where to begin! As long as you follow our recommendations, you can rest assured that you will just be able to enjoy the outdoors all winter long! We hope that our guide has been able to help you know how to dress appropriately in the colder seasons. Thanks for tuning in and we’ll see you again soon!

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Richard Remick

Richard is the founder and the chief editor of Outside Pursuits. Passionate about the great outdoors, Richard spends much of his time in Colorado enjoying skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, cycling, hiking, and camping. When at home in Florida, he is most often found in the water. He loves water sports such as paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba diving. He is a certified scuba diver. Because of his wealth of knowledge and experience, Richard has been invited to contribute articles to many outdoor-focused websites, such as Florida Rambler, and has been profiled on travel websites such as JohnnyJet.

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