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Cold weather sailing tips

Cold weather adventures are ‘snow’ joke – find out how to battle the frostbite like a pro

By Charlotte, 24 Oct 19

Cold weather adventures are ‘snow’ joke – trust us, we’ve sailed in some of the harshest environment on earth. Biting winds, cold spray off the sea and the prospect of having to defrost any ropes is enough to put a lot of people off. However, you don’t need to be a brave, hardy sole to enjoy sailing in the winter months, it’s all about preparation. Let’s face it, the rewards are great because if you knack these habits, you’ll likely to have the water to yourself as the fair weather sailors vicariously live your adventures as they jealously scroll through Instagram!

Snug as a bug: Top sailing clothes

Let’s start off with the best way to stay as warm as possible. Step one:  wear a ‘wicking’ layer next to your skin to remove any damp and keep you. Follow this layer with a thermal inner layer, a breathable mid-layer and a waterproof outer layer; all major marine clothing manufacturers offer this sort of triple-layer system. Skiwear outlets and sports shops also offer great alternatives to more premium marine wear. However, the most important parts of the body to keep warm are the extremities: hands, feet and head, so keep these wrapped up. A fleecy hat or balaclava usually works – Musto have a good range. Some sailors like to wear two pairs of woolly socks with their boots. As for gloves, there are a multitude to choose from. Here are some of our favourites:                       

Food for thought: Food & drink tips

Being warm on the inside is just as important as being warm on the outside. Food not only warms the inside of our bodies but gives us the energy needed to keep the outside of our bodies warm.

Some sneaky easy methods to having lovely warm food onboard are:

  • Freeze Dry Packet meals – just add water, and pour into the bag. BINGO. Bonus: no washing up!
  • Pre-cooked food which only needs to be warmed up, e.g soup, stew, chilli…
  • Plenty of hot drinks. Us Brits can’t beat a good cup of tea when sailing, but coffee, hot chocolate and hot fruit squash also rate high

Click to see some of our favourite scrummy recipes when sailing:

 

 

Bits & Bobs: Extra essentials

  • Hand warmers: slip these into your gloves for max warmth.
  • Hand cream: when the weather gets chilly, it’ll dry out our skin. Prevent cracking by keeping moisturized.
  • Chapstick: avoid painful, dry peeling lips!
  • Dry clothes: make sure you always have something warm to put on, these can be kept out of the cold dampness by being stored in the bottom of a sleeping bag, making them more comfortable to change into.
  • Thermal Mugs: keep warm drinks hotter for longer, also prevents spillages making the floors slippy and cold.
  • Fluffy socks: make sure you keep your feet warm in bed, these are a must.
  • Blanket: just in case all the other items can’t warm you up, there’s nothing like wrapping yourself up like a fluffy burrito to stay warm.       

One final bonus tip; when getting into your sleeping bag, take as many layers off as you can bare. The last thing you want to do is sweat in your clothes, because then when you return to deck, the sweat will go cold. Not nice.

Have you got any tips for staying warm? Comment below.

“Happiness is a hot drink, on a cold day”

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