Winter Sports Survival Tips

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Those who aren’t complaining about the cold weather and recent snowfall likely have a reason to go outside and enjoy the weather.

Breaking out the snowmobiles, the snow shoes, even a winter camping trip isn’t out of the ordinary this time of year, but all that comes with added risk.

We talked with the employees who sell the outdoor survival supplies at Bill and Paul’s Sportshaus in Grand Rapids, and they offered some tips for when you find yourself stuck out in cold weather for an extended period of time.

“The hardest thing to do is get warm again once you are outside, once you get cold it’s a downward spiral,” said outdoor enthusiast and employee Ted Nicholson.

Nicholson said the enemies of any winter activity is the cold coupled with wet.  He recommends wearing layers, beginning with a base layer of wool, especially wool socks.

The wool will pull the moisture or sweat away from your body, Nicholson said.  It also can keep you warm when the wool itself gets wet, unlike down or cotton, which is “worthless once it gets soaked,” he said.

Your top layer should include a waterproof jacket.  Lake effect snow storms can come and go quickly, leaving you wet and cold if you’re not prepared.

If you plan to do any winter camping, Nicholson recommends you bring an air pad to keep you off the ground.

Although most tips revolve around ways to stay dry, Nicholson said even he sometimes forgets to drink water.  Dehydration can happen in the winter as well as the summer.

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