Keeping Warm

     In France, almost everyone wears a scarf when the weather is cool. It makes sense. Keeping your neck insulated is a good way to preserve body heat. You can lose a lot of heat from that area because arteries carrying a lot of blood pass close to the skin.
     Scarves are just as practical in northern Minnesota as they are anywhere else in the world, but not as many people here wear them. A scarf seems like a little overkill to me, although I’ll admit they look nice. Instead, when it’s cold out, I’ll often wear a fleece neck gaiter, a simple cylinder of soft synthetic insulation that slips over your head and surrounds your neck. Sort of like a glorified turtleneck without the rest of the turtle. Neck gaiters are  smaller and easier to pack along than a scarf, and they do a remarkable job of preserving body heat. Plus, they’re cheap. Look for them wherever outdoor gear is sold. I’ll be packing mine during this weekend’s cooldown.
      And here’s another tip. I learned this from polar explorer Paul Schurke of Ely, who operates Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge. If your fingers are cold, take off your gloves and lay your hand alongside your bare neck. The warmth from all that hot blood coursing through your arteries will help warm your fingers. Try it. It works.
       Wishing you a warm weekend despite the elements.