The blog Smarter Traveler recently interviewed me for a post on how to stay warm in cold conditions. After sharing my suggestions I tried to remember the coldest conditions in which I had been outside for an extended period of time. I think it was my first time ice climbing, in Agawa Canyon on the north shore of Lake Superior. My climbing partners and I rode a train into the canyon, it stopped in the middle of nowhere and we jumped out. The conductor said “Good luck, we’re coming back on Tuesday. Be ready.”
I remember camping and using two sleeping bags, one inside the other. My boot laces froze into stiff wires. Everything froze, including my toothpaste. None of us knew how cold it was, as we didn’t have a thermometer, but our guess was that temperatures dropped below zero Fahrenheit overnight. It was a great time and I fell in love with ice climbing. If that makes you want to put on a sweater, here are some other suggestions for staying warm.