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Cold Hands?

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In another thread the subject of wind chill arose and led on to old duffers like me feeling the cold in our hands more than we did when we were young and mental. 

I'm a big lanky guy and the blood has a fair distance to travel to and from my oversized hands. 

To offset this I wear cycling arm warmers over my base layer. 

This adds an additional layer of insulation without the restriction of movement (around the shoulder) that another full layer can bring. 

To me (anyway) it makes sense that that an extremity which not only has 360 degree exposure to the air but swings through it deserves a bit of attention.  A really welcome extra is that they can be pulled right down over the wrist.  

 wercat 03 Mar 2020
In reply to Kenny Wilson PA16:

I was wandering up a snowy hill yesterday and it occurred to me that holey long socks no good for walking any more could serve a second life as arm warmers

Post edited at 09:06
 elliot.baker 03 Mar 2020
In reply to wercat:

My mate once forgot gloves on a hike so he used a spare pair of socks he happened to have - he's never looked back and now wears them by choice saying they are warmer than any gloves!!

I recently got some waterproof fleece lined mittens and they are like putting your hands by a toasty fire even if you are in blizzard.

In reply to wercat:

And save the planet!

Good shout,  just about anything that adds insulation will do the job.  As I ride bikes, and have several sets, armwarmers were what sprang to mind for me. 

It's an old pair I wear on the hill. 

 Basemetal 03 Mar 2020
In reply to wercat:

> I was wandering up a snowy hill yesterday and it occurred to me that holey long socks no good for walking any more could serve a second life as arm warmers


I've cut an old pair of those Costco Merino mix hiking socks (:the 4-pack ones) that had worn out heels to make wrist overs. What a difference they make! Snug fit and good coverage.

 wercat 03 Mar 2020
In reply to Kenny Wilson PA16:

yes, doing more with less is an entertaining and useful ethic!

 CEW 03 Mar 2020
In reply to Kenny Wilson PA16:

Rab used to make some wrist warmers that covered from across hand above fingers up to mid forearm - they are the only things that stop my Raynaud's kicking in. Thin enough to put gloves and coat layers etc over the top. Shame they seem to have stopped making them now. 

 Dave Cundy 03 Mar 2020
In reply to Kenny Wilson PA16:

I also wear an old pair of woolen socks over my wrists when ice climbing.  Works a treat as your wrist is where the blood is forced towards the skin.  Can't see the point of cycling arm warmers in this context, just more kit to carry with little thickness and insulation value.

I wished i'd done that when paragliding in winter, back in the 90's.  Numb hands when flying and excruciating hot aches after landing.

2
In reply to Dave Cundy:

> I also wear an old pair of woolen socks over my wrists when ice climbing.  Works a treat as your wrist is where the blood is forced towards the skin.  Can't see the point of cycling arm warmers in this context, just more kit to carry with little thickness and insulation value.

> I wished i'd done that when paragliding in winter, back in the 90's.  Numb hands when flying and excruciating hot aches after landing.


Dave, the sock thing works for you and (as we can see above) works for others.  It's clearly a more flexible option.  They will come off and on a bit more easily.  

The arm warmers (for me) go on when I know I'll be climbing or ski mountaineering in cold conditions. It would definitely be a mega faff to strip down to base layers when about to start climbing.  Mind you, I imagine that carried as an add on layer they'd be about the same bulk as a pair of cut off socks? As such they wouldn't seem to represent additional kit?  

All I can say in terms of insulation is that my hands get cold if I don't wear roubaix arm warmers and when the wind blows hard and presses my outer garments against me, my arms also feel colder when I'm not wearing them.  

It's all about options and choice from what's available among them.  

 A9 03 Mar 2020
In reply to Kenny Wilson PA16:

Like yourself, definitely feeling the cold more getting older. Good insulation around the neck and wrists seems to help (and keeping stuff as dry as possible) Do you swap yr baselayer when gearing up after the walk in ? its a popular tactic and worth a try - for warm hands too !

In reply to A9:

> Like yourself, definitely feeling the cold more getting older. Good insulation around the neck and wrists seems to help (and keeping stuff as dry as possible) Do you swap yr baselayer when gearing up after the walk in ? its a popular tactic and worth a try - for warm hands too !


I'm a great believer in scarves for the first thing you mentioned.  I wrap my flask in one and it goes on while the contents are being enjoyed.   

I've sometimes done the change of base layer in the summer for rock climbing.  However, exposing my big skinny body to the elements in winter is not for me.  Instead, although not always successful, I try to keep the work rate below the point where wicking and venting can't handle the sweat.  

If ever I feel uncomfortable, I think back to those days where Dachsteins were the only option for your hands and waterproofs were sauna suits.   

 wercat 04 Mar 2020
In reply to Kenny Wilson PA16:

> I wrap my flask in one and it goes on while the contents are being enjoyed.   

 Snap!  Or even my water bottle (Sigg)  which has boiling water added so it is warm when I set out and not chilled an hour or two later.

I find coffee makes things worse and hot juice or hot chocolate have less effect on the extremities.  Putting crampons on a bit earlier to avoid spots exposed to the chilly wind too. 

In reply to wercat:

Another good shout.

With it containing a stimulant, that's definitely a consideration and one I'd never taken into account.  

   

 Jim Fraser 04 Mar 2020
In reply to Dave Cundy:

> I also wear an old pair of woolen socks over my wrists when ice climbing.  Works a treat as your wrist is where the blood is forced towards the skin.  Can't see the point of cycling arm warmers in this context, just more kit to carry with little thickness and insulation value.

> I wished i'd done that when paragliding in winter, back in the 90's.  Numb hands when flying and excruciating hot aches after landing.

Wrist are one of the body's thin points where the blood supply is expose to the exterior cold so this is an important point. Likewise the whole arm-warmer idea and the same applies to legs and feet. You cannot keep hands and feet warm if you are allowing the blood to cool too much on the way there. 

Another trick about keeping warm is isometric exercises. Whether military OP or winter climbing belays this a way to exercise to keep warm without moving. Tense up the big muscles as hard as you can: calves, thighs, buttocks, shoulders. Hold for a few seconds, keeping breathing to ensure good O2 supply. Release. Do it again. If you get good at this then you can warm yourself in the most extraordinary circumstances. But remember that you need fuel for this! Eat!


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