A brief and ugly summary of surviving cold climates
For visitors and writers alike.
You were never meant to be here. Never forget this. You are an ape of the equator, built to run the savannah and swim in tropical waters. Whatever terms and conditions your body has, they are void here. Mother nature never certified to function in a Death World.
Enduring the cold is never a matter of “how much” as much at it is “how long”. Think of it as the water levels of the vieogames you have played. No matter what equipment enables you to remain longer, you can’t stay there indefinitely. The coat that keeps you warm and toasty for three hours in -15 is enough to keep you functional for an hour of -40.
Whatever the locals say, listen to them. Err to the side of caution if you must. You may not endure what they can endure, but you SURE AS FUCKING NOT cannot survive what they say cannot be endured.
That being said, alcohol is a filthy fucking liar and so is anyone who offers it to you. The warmth it gives is an illusion, and a sign of damage. You are worse off feeling comfortable with a mouthful of whiskey as you are freezing your gonads off stone cold sober.
Winter tires. Studded winter tiers are a MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH when you drive on a frozen road. That being said, whatever the locals tell you that your car will need to run as theirs do, take it. Taking the risk of being pranked is worth survival, and you can always stab their tires in the spring if they were shitting you.
Eat. For the love of god, make sure that you eat. Heavier meals might be unpalatable at first for someone used to lighter nutrition, but maintaining bodily warmth in a cold climate takes up a lot of energy, and you will feel tired and drowsy for a long while shile your metabolism adjusts to producing more heat than Mother Nature ever intended. The skinny people in your party are especially vulnerable, ensure their well-being on a regular basis.
If you have a smartphone/other essential technology on your body, keep them close to your body to keep them warm. They were not designed to be frozen any more than you were.
Sleep is death. SLEEP IS DEATH. Never, ever stop to rest in the cold, if you do not have the means to make a fire/otherwise produce heat. The cold tires you out because keeping warm takes energy, but taking a rest will not return your energy. If you feel the need to sit down and rest because you are tired because of the cold, call for help. This is not a hyperbole, if you feel like you are too tired to go on in a cold climate, CALL A FUCKING AMBULANCE. If you fall asleep in the snow, you will not wake up. Hypothermia can and will literally kill you.
Avoid skin-to-snow-contact if you can. It hurts because you were not supposed to do it. Consider ice to be like acid. Touching is bad for you.
Feel free to add to the list if you feel like I missed something.
1-9-17 // Some photos I took at Niagara Falls. The snow was covered with thick, sleek ice. Walking came with the risk of falling. It was a frozen wonderland at sunset. I wore two pairs of gloves because it was so bitter cold, and windy, but my fingers went numb anyway. There was mist flying into our faces from the falls. Only two other people were there besides my friends and me. Despite the conditions, or perhaps because of the conditions, I think it was worth it. This visit was beautiful, and I’m glad we went when we did.