I am learning how to stay comfortable and warm in the winter. I moved to Arlington, VA in August 2007 from South Florida where I was born and raised. Seven years later, I’m still not used to such cold winters. Winter months in South Florida are wonderful and sunny. People look forward to the winter in Florida, and come from all over to live in the Sunshine State.

This is the opposite of Washington, DC. Conversations in the winter are around finding a milder climate to visit and shopping for warm clothes. Last year, I budgeted more for winter clothing knowing that I’d be walking more because I still want the exercise, and I want to reduce my carbon footprint, even in the cold.

Here’s what I’ve learned, along with the tricks and products I use to stay warm, while still being active outdoors in the cold.

  1. I keep my hands warm with a Warmawear 3 in 1 Hand Warmer, Torch & Phone Charger – I love this tool because it has multiple uses! Keep it in your jacket pocket and rotate it in the palm of your hands. It also has a USB charging port.
  2. My feet stay dry even in the rain and snow with Kiwi Boot Protector and Kiwi Camp Dry Performance Fabric Protector – Having both warm and dry feet is one of the most important things to keep you moving and walking comfortably in the cold.
  3. Gloves with zippers on top are necessary – The zippers are a must. Recommend fitting hand warmers in your gloves. Plus you’ll have easy access to your metro card and keys, to avoid standing out in the cold searching for it.
  4. Peel N’stick body warmers keep the rest of my body warm- Now that I’ve shared tips on keeping your hands and feet warm, what about the rest of your body? I put Peel N’stick body warmers on my lower back, which make a big difference!
  5. I wear a vest and a light weight knee length coat- I recommend this clothing because it’s easy to move in. When you’re walking, it’s essential that your clothes don’t restrict your movement. Here’s a great article on why you should wear a vest

Keep in mind that you can adjust what you wear based on your mood and temperature. You can also add in a head and face warmer. I have the Carhartt hat with nose and neck cover that works well. I also suggest wearing a silk hair wrap underneath on days you don’t want to mess up your hair.

See? It is possible to stay warm and walk in the cold! Here are a couple fun experiences I had while walking with friends in the cold.

In February 2010, I was outside during “Snowmageddon” or “Snowpocalypse”. We took the metro from Ballston to the Smithsonian metro stop to experience it. I had a blast. I couldn’t feel my fingers and toes, because I didn’t know about all the tricks I do now, but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world

Winter in 2010

Note: I get cold in 70 degree weather and have self-diagnosed Raynaud disease where I have lack of blood flow to my toes and fingers.

Last December, my friend  Wendy McAllister and I met for a 3 mile walk. It was 39° Fahrenheit but we kept a positive attitude and had a great time! I got to know Wendy, enjoyed the fresh air and then we warmed up with apple cider at Eastern Market.

Below are photos Wendy captured during out walk.

Wendy and netwalk

I hope these tips and my fun experiences encourage you to still walk even in the cold. I’m still on the lookout for effective socks to keep me warm and boots that aren’t too bulky. I can often be found wearing fleece lined tights and two pairs of SmartWool® socks and still unable to feel my toes.
Oh and a bonus tip I’ve learned is to plan your schedule so you get to places 10 minutes early. This gives you time to freshen up beforehand.

If you’d like even more tips on walking in the cold, go: Here, Here and Here

Also if you have any tips of your own, I would love to hear them. Please share them with me in the comments or on social media Instagram and Twitter.

until we netwalk again®

Update: Purchase moisture wicking undershirts that can easily be removed and stored in your bag. So effective that I wore them underneath my dresses and no one was the wiser.
11/20/2016 Update: One way to keep your batteries warm is to wrap a small hand warmer around the section of the camera that contains the batteries (usually the handgrip for DSLRs).
11/29/2017 Updates: Resources in how to take care of boots and feet :