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Russian Lifehacks: How Not to Get Cold in Winter
November 22, 2018 12:36


Sometimes Russian winter can be really freezing. The general advice is to put on warm clothes. But what does it really mean? Find clarifications in the article.

Rule 1. Multilayer

Using  several layers of clothing helps, on the one hand, to retain heat, and on the other, to remove excess moisture from the body. 

First of all, this rule concerns the body. It is its lack of warming that often causes frostbite of the extremities, since the body is forced to throw all the resources for heating vital organs. To avoid this, you should use a three-layer system of winter clothing:

Moisture wicking base layer (thermal: long-sleeved T-shirt and tights).
The middle warming layer (sweater).
The top layer protecting from wind and moisture (jacket or down jacket).

The principle of layering should be followed for other parts of the body:

Wear two pairs of socks.
Use shoes with an extra footbed.
Put a hood over the hat.
Wear gloves under mittens.

In this case, the top layer (jacket, shoes) should be spacious enough to accommodate all the others. If you do not take into account this nuance, you will be restrained in movement or freeze faster (for example, narrow shoes interfere with normal blood circulation, that is, the natural heating of the feet).

Rule 2. Right Fibers

Base layer

For the whole winter forget about cotton. It absorbs the moisture that the body releases, but leaves it inside. Finally, you find yourself in a wet and cold T-shirt and freeze to death. The best alternative to cotton is thermal underwear made from high-tech synthetics or merino wool. It removes moisture from the body, allowing it to remain dry and maintain a comfortable temperature. True, synthetic fibers have one drawback: they quickly accumulate an unpleasant odor, so have to be washed frequently. Also a good choice would be silk thermal underwear. It perfectly retains heat and does not absorb moisture as much as cotton.

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Middle and upper layers

The best option for the middle layer would be a fleece jacket or a sweater made of natural wool. 

When choosing the top layer  consider what you are going to do outside. If heavy fur coats and sheepskin coats are still suitable for a walk, then during some sport activities they will be terribly uncomfortable. Here, the ideal choice would be membrane jackets and down jackets. These models remove moisture and do not allow it penetrating inside, they are resistant to the wind and also quite light.


Choosing socks, abandon cotton again in favor of high-quality synthetics (for example, polypropylene) and wool. You can combine both options  -  put on two pairs of socks. 
Choose shoes with high and non-rubber soles (rubber gets cold quickly). The lining and additional insole should be made of natural fur.


Don’t choose spacious and cotton hats. Much better – hats close-fitting to the head, made of wool or acrylic with fleece.

Rule  3. Consider external factors and type of activities

Always consider the force of frost and choose clothes depending on it. For example, underwear from synthetics and wool can be selected for different temperatures.

Also, depending on the weather, adjust the number of layers of clothing. If necessary, wear not two, but three socks, a few sweaters. Do not forget that there may be gloves under the mittens, and a hood on the hat. 

Always consider planned activities.  If you are going for a long walk through the forest park, make sure that the wind will not blow under the jacket. If you intend to spend time actively, choose  outerwear with some  ventilation. In the case of an intense street workout, it is generally better if you are a little cold at first, otherwise after a couple of minutes you will start sweating.

Special attention is given to winter tourism. If you plan some winter ecotours, you should think of an extra set of clothes. Take spare mittens, socks, and even a down jacket.

And some more tips

If, despite all the tricks, you feel that you are starting to sweat, try adjusting your body temperature yourself. Remove any item of clothing, such as mittens or a hat, so that the body gives off extra heat. 

Slow down. Try to synchronize the movement with a quiet breath: take a step on the inhale and step on the exhale. This way, you can cover a long distance and avoid excessive sweating. 

And remember: the perfect advice for everyone does not exist. Choose clothes individually, taking into account your own thermoregulation, your reaction to different fibers and other factors. 

Experiment and you fill find a perfect clothing for freezing Russian winter.

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Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Russian winter Russian fashion Russian designers Russian lifehacks valenki 

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