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It's winter and you're struggling to keep your hands warm, so follow our tips to get yourself well kitted out!
Just as you wear multiple layers when you get dressed to go trekking, you can wear several gloves. Or rather, liner-gloves under your gloves that will act as a thermal base layer. This multi-layer system allows multiple air gaps to form around your hands, effectively insulating them from the cold! Remember to wear gloves which are big enough to prevent your fingers from getting squashed. Indeed, the compression slows the blood circulation in the fingers and increases the sensation of cold since the blood supply is hampered.
Gloves? Mittens? Which one to choose? Both have their supporters! Follow the guide to decide which one is best for you.
And if you don't want to choose, you can have fingerless gloves!
If your main requirement is dexterity while protecting your hands, gloves are the top recommendation for you.
If warmth is your main goal, mittens will be more suitable. In fact, in mittens, the heat is less compartmentalised and each finger warms up the one next to it. To retain the maximum heat, you can put liner under your mittens to add an extra layer of warmth.
During activity, you should not be cold because, usually, physical effort stimulates the blood circulation and sends blood to the extremities. Remember to remove an item or two (keep only your liner-glove on, for example) to avoid getting cold when you take a break.
You've arrived at your bivouac but your hands are frozen stiff? There are several solutions: hand-warmers, obviously, ideally reusable ones. But you can also heat up some water and put it carefully in a water bottle that you've wrapped in a cloth to avoid burning yourself.
And if you're lucky enough to be in a hut with a hot tap water, washing your hands with hot water works better than putting your hands on the radiator.
To avoid frostbite due to cold, there's only one solution: moisturising. Frostbite is a small injury due to the skin cracking because of the cold.
To keep it to a minimum, you must moisturise your skin as much as possible. Ideally, always have a tube of cream on you to moisturise your hands after each wash.
Your gloves or liner-gloves have got wet in the rain? dry them in a dry place but avoid putting them on a heat source. This may indeed damage the fibre and deform them!