The arctic is a stunning environment to operate in, the skills and drills you learn there are massively transferable.

Things can take a little longer to do, so your personal admin needs to be slick otherwise that time delay can see your core temperature drop.

In order to retain heat in the core, your body reduces blood flow to the extremities which act as radiators cooling the blood down.

Step one in keeping your extremities warm is to keep the rest of your body warm first, you are designed to keep warm from the core outwards, with hands and feet being the lowest priorities.

The main reason your extremities get cold is that your overall body core temperature has dropped. Whilst skiing, your core will retain sufficient heat, often with just one or two layers under your smock.

So if your core is insulated, it’s likely you are radiating heat needlessly through your head or from your footwear to the ground. If your feet are cold put on a hat as the old saying goes.

Wrists and ankles have little insulation so ensure the wrists are covered with thumb cuffs, wrist warmers and wear long wool socks and leggings for the feet.

This video details a drill that can be used when the feet have become submerged or have become cold over time.

Note how the feet are not warmed enough just being under a smock, it must be skin on skin for sufficient heat transfer to take place.

It is a useful practice that can be used anywhere.


Nick is the founder of Trident Adventure. We deliver unique adventure experiences from mountain trekking in Morocco, retracing WW2 escape routes across the Pyrenees and Arctic ski tours. Nick is a former regular Army Sapper, Firefighter, Mountain Leader and served 8 years with the SAS (R).
See more from Nick Wildman

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