The importance of warm fingers and toes

By on in Tips |

For those of you who read my postcards, you know that cold weather and I don’t do well together. Yet I often visit cold-weather destinations because they are uncommonly beautiful, are unique, and have wildlife that can be seen only in very few places. So I go.

By now, I know to bring certain essential clothing: two kinds of long underwear, wool socks, jackets of varying warmth, scarves, hats, and several pairs of gloves. I layer a lot.

Before I went to Antarctica a few years ago, it was suggested that I buy hand and foot warmers. These are little things you put in your mittens or attach to your socks. The hand warmers work well, keeping my digits toasty for hours. The foot warmers not so much. However in Yellowstone last month, I figured something out after not being able to feel my toes for two days. I put hand warmers in my boots!

But I digress. The reason for this post is to remark on how important it is to remember to bring these items. Juliet and I went to Svalbard last June, knowing it would be very cold and we would need hand and foot warmers. I bought enough of them for both of us, counting carefully, packaging them efficiently, and then setting them aside. Unfortunately, I must have set them aside too far away from my duffel because I left them home. We had to spend several hours of our precious time in Oslo searching for these things.

Of course I then had dozens of them at home and in Norway, but hey, we had warmth. Miraculously, I remembered to bring them to Yellowstone. But a few weeks later, I learned that my hiking trip to Jordan involved camping. In sleeping bags. On the ground. And the temperature would be in the forties. Another use for the foot and hand warmers!

As I was disembarking the plane in Amman, I suddenly realized I had forgotten them. Again. I decided I would just have to do without them. Maybe the camping won’t be too cold.