Brr… it’s cold out there, and it’s going to get a lot colder if the weather forecasts are accurate. Right now The Weather Channel says next week will have a daytime low of -8C, and frosty nighttime low of -18C. We’re used to icy, windy winters here in Beijing, but this approaching cold-snap is early and a lot more severe than usual.
You may have heard that cold weather doesn’t make you catch cold, but scientists at Yale have discovered that the common cold virus reproduces faster at lower temperatures, and cold makes your immune system less effective. So bundle up next week!
Layering is the best way to stay snug. Remember the rule of thumb for children is to add one more layer than an adult would need.
- Base layer: A thin, wicking fabric that keeps you dry and comfortable. Polyester, silk, or polypropylene is best.
- Insulation layer(s): This may be one long-sleeved thick woolen jumper, heavy cashmere turtleneck, or warm fleece, or several thinner layers which can be shed off as you heat up.
- Protection layer: Gore-Tex or nylon in a tight weave; wind and water repellant is best. Down-filled is warmest. You’ll want something with a hood, because Beijing wind creeps around the highest of collars. Elasticated or velcroed cuffs will keep snow, wind, and rain from chilling your wrists.
- Mittens trap air around your finger to keep them extra toasty. They’re especially good when cycling. My (fake) Canada Goose down mittens were my snuggest winter option. Unfortunately this little kitten has lost her mitten, and Yashow (as we once knew it) no longer exists!
- If some semblance of manual dexterity is necessary (using keys, pulling zippers, picking up anything smaller than a tennis ball) then wear glove liners and thicker woolen or fleece gloves.
- Layer your socks; thin lining socks first and a thicker outer pair over the top. Make sure you still have room to wiggle your toes inside your boots. If circulation is impaired your feet will get colder.
- Sturdy, waterproof boots with a good grip. Leave the heels at home.
- Remember most of your heat is lost through your head, and dress appropriately. A hat with ear flaps or ear muffs, scarf, and the aforementioned hood. Face masks can do double duty to keep the mouth and nose warm, or try a tube scarf, or balaclava.
Photos: Courtesy of Ivan Walsh and meeshypants (flickr)