When you work outdoors, you get cold fast. Long hours outside in the fall and winter can quickly become uncomfortable, or even dangerous, if you’re not prepared for it. Just because it’s cold out doesn’t mean the work stops.
There’s a long list of professionals whose jobs keep them outdoors in all seasons. Construction workers, landscape architects, foresters, tree planters, park rangers and maintenance crews, tour guides and more spend long hours outside in all kinds of conditions. Construction workers can also wind up dealing with high winds on buildings while national parks staff need to be ready for anything. If you hate the thought of being cooped up in an office all day long, these are great careers, but you need to be ready when you show up for work.
First, you need to make sure you’re prepared with the right clothing and gear. Quality work coats and jackets are a must-have if you’re going to be spending hours outside in the work. You need work clothes that are warm but also durable and not something you’re afraid to get dirty. Practical and effective are the watchwords when it comes to your coat.
You also want to layer up. You should wear at least three layers to stay warm outdoors. The first should be able to quickly wick moisture away. If you’re working, you’re going to sweat, even if it’s freezing outside. The second layer should be breathable but insulating, such as fleece, while the last layer should protect you from the elements. That means windproof and waterproof, as that can significantly change how your body responds to the temperature.
In addition to layering, you should take extra steps to cover your extremities, including your hands, head, and feet. Your work gloves should be insulated to keep your fingers from freezing while your hat should cover your ears to protect those parts that get exceptionally cold quickly. Even if your core is warm, your extremities still need protection.
When it comes to your feet, wearing thermal socks for working outdoors can make a huge difference. The warmest thermal sock available is made by a company called Heat Holders and you can order their socks straight from their website or find them in stores. They are seven times warmer than a basic cotton sock and use a special thermal yarn and knitting technique to make them more insulating. Thermal socks from Heat Holders use a patented long looped pile to better hold warm air, as well as a brushing technique that improves how much warm air their socks can hold. If you’re looking for thermal wear from a company that cares about your comfort, you can also check out their hats, gloves, and other thermal wear.
If you’re working outside in the cold, keep in mind some of the signs of cold stress, a condition that leads to hypothermia and frostbite. Slurred speech, shivering, confusion, loss of coordination, drowsiness, shallow breathing, and a slowed pulse are all major warning signs. Stay safe and head to work prepared!.