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Coldest person around

flowerhoneyflowerhoney Registered User regular
edited February 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
Please help me stop being so damn cold

I'm a coxswain (this means I dont actually row, so I dont generate my own heat) for my college crew team here in Portland. Its amazing and I love it, the only problem is I'm chilled to the bone every single morning. I've been coxing for about about a year and a half here and I'm constantly trying new things to stay warm, but its just not working. Some mornings I'm just like "this is it, I am never going to warm ever again" and I've had enough!

So basically, we practice early mornings (around 5- 5:30) out on the Willamette. The temps are usually in the 30's, and in case you dont know its a very wet kind of cold. Its also often raining.

I make sure to layer up! I've got thick wool socks, boots, a few spandex layers and fleece layers on my legs and upper body, ski gloves that keep my hands dry, a hat (admittedly cotton), and on top of this I've got a survival suit. Its basically a bull body suit that's water-proof and and pretty thick. I'm thinking of getting some new boots, I've heard xtratufs are pretty good and maybe REI will have them. And its not that I'm anorexic or anything, but I dont have the most body fat and I guess my blood circulation isnt the best

The main points of freezing are my feet, my fingers, my arms, and my face. Sometimes my legs can get chilly too, but usually that's bearable. I've tried almost everything, hand warmers, switching around the layering, more layers, two pairs of gloves, more socks, a hood over my hat, what am I doing wrong?!

Basically, I'm so cold everyday on the water and I can never seem to get warm
please helppp

flowerhoney on
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Posts

  • Judge Joe BrownJudge Joe Brown Registered User
    edited February 2011
    Usually any sort of vigorous physical activity will solve this sort of problem. I used to coach running (up here in Canada) and I had all of my runners buy "dry-fit" undergarments. Before runs, to get core temp up, we did short heats. The problem here is that once you start sweating, you're going to have a real problem keeping your temperature up when you become stagnant on the water. That's why proper moisture absorbing gear is critical.

    I can't imagine a situation like yours that couldn't be resolved by a vigorous workout prior to hitting the water, and proper gear.

  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Are you sure you're layering correctly? A solid base layer, insulating layer and outer layer done properly is better than just piling clothes on willy nilly.

    "Well, look at this. Appears we got here just in the nick of time. What's that make us?"
    "Big Damn Heroes, Sir."
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  • Judge Joe BrownJudge Joe Brown Registered User
    edited February 2011
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    Are you sure you're layering correctly? A solid base layer, insulating layer and outer layer done properly is better than just piling clothes on willy nilly.

    Indeed. There are a lot of companies that make high end hiking and camping gear that have very good insulating layers that can be removed or added to. I remember buying a jacket years ago that was thinner than my spring jacket but warmer than my winter coat.

  • brain operatorbrain operator Registered User
    edited February 2011
    For your hands and feet (not really useful for your face): a few pinches of pepper in your mitts/socks. Just some regular black or white, ground pepper. Very effective.

  • MetalbourneMetalbourne Tube's Favorite Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    There's the possibility that you can be dehydrated or anemic, too.

  • SneakertSneakert Registered User
    edited February 2011
    What the guys above me said. but also; open and close your hands constantly (do the same with your toes), this will increase the bloodflow in your hands and feet.

  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    For your hands and feet (not really useful for your face): a few pinches of pepper in your mitts/socks. Just some regular black or white, ground pepper. Very effective.

    I was unable to verify this with a quick search, and consider it unlikely to be of any real value for keeping warm. Can you back this up somehow?

    "Well, look at this. Appears we got here just in the nick of time. What's that make us?"
    "Big Damn Heroes, Sir."
    "Ain't we just."
  • dzenithdzenith Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    You could try acclimating your body to be used to the cold by taking cold showers in the morning. I know a lot of guys that worked outside up North that would do that.

  • brain operatorbrain operator Registered User
    edited February 2011
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    For your hands and feet (not really useful for your face): a few pinches of pepper in your mitts/socks. Just some regular black or white, ground pepper. Very effective.

    I was unable to verify this with a quick search, and consider it unlikely to be of any real value for keeping warm. Can you back this up somehow?
    Just a simple Google search will get you several links where this is recommended.

    And almost as many where people will tell you it's nonsense. <img class=" title=":wink:" class="bbcode_smiley" /> All I can tell you is that it works for me. I wouldn't use cayenne though, as some people suggest.

  • illigillig Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    There's apparently battery powered heated clothing out there. A few folks I've talked to that used to work on oil fields in northern Canada said they relied on that during the winter.

  • lifeincognitolifeincognito Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Just think of how cold your skinny ass bow seat is as you wait to line up for pieces.

    Many of the coxswains I knew would layer as such: under armor, cotton shirt, JL, hoodie, boathouse jacket. This sounds a lot like what you are doing already sadly.

    For their hands, a few swore by those pocket hand-warmers. Others wrapped their hands in the long sleeves of their JL. Sadly you do need to use them frequently so a nice pair of gloves is your best bet, but then they get that crew smell.

    As for legs I have no idea. I think they just tucked themselves into their jackets or brought old blankets. Vaseline on your face will help negate some of the wind on your face too.

    You guys must be crazy out in the Northwest, we didn't go back on the water until early March and that was in PA. Probably the worst thing I can end this with is that all of your rowers probably think you are as warm as the sun no matter what you tell them in the morning.

    losers weepers. jawas keepers.
  • EshEsh Sunshine! Kittens! Rainbows! Smiles! Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    You guys must be crazy out in the Northwest, we didn't go back on the water until early March and that was in PA. Probably the worst thing I can end this with is that all of your rowers probably think you are as warm as the sun no matter what you tell them in the morning.

    It's not really that cold here. I think the OP has personal warmth issues. ;-)

    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."
  • flowerhoneyflowerhoney Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I do, I do have personal warmth issues lol. I am a very cold person, but I'm not dehydrated or anemic, I dont really know what my problem is
    I dont even want to think about how the rowers deal, some of them wear shorts. shorts!!!

    Thanks for the responses!
    So I usually wear an spandex/under armor layer, a fleece layer, another spandex layer, an outer fleece type layer, and then the survival suit. I've experimented with different combos to see if there's any difference but I just pick random layers for giggles
    Just a real quick reminded, I'm the coxswain so I dont actually do any working out, and we usually get to the boathouse, figure out line-ups, and then hit the water, so there isn't exactly time for me to go for a jog or something.

    Electric clothing? That sounds so ridiculous I should look into that

  • Seattle ThreadSeattle Thread The fuck am I looking atRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Esh wrote: »
    You guys must be crazy out in the Northwest, we didn't go back on the water until early March and that was in PA. Probably the worst thing I can end this with is that all of your rowers probably think you are as warm as the sun no matter what you tell them in the morning.

    It's not really that cold here. I think the OP has personal warmth issues. ;-)
    You never met Wheels, but you just need to know two things: 1) When he's drunk, no amount of fact or logic can dissuade him from his ridiculous ideas, and 2) He's drunk all the time.


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  • the wookthe wook Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    If your core is really cold, your body naturally shuts off most of the circulation to the extremities. Thus, along with directly warming your extremities (hand warmers and such), try warming your core. In my experience, a hand warmer in the crotch can do wonders. Just make sure to have at least one layer of clothing between the warmer and your naughty bits, or it can get uncomfortably warm.

  • flowerhoneyflowerhoney Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    in the crotch?!

    that is very, very creative

    I can just see the confused and uncomfortable looks from my rowers now....

  • the wookthe wook Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I've done a lot of camping in the snow ;)

  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Battery-powered warmers are very common, and have been for many years, among hunters and other sportsmen. These are people who go out in very cold temperatures and sit in one location very still for hours.

    It also means that most of these socks/gloves are relatively inexpensive, since they're being sold to hunters rather than urban hikers ;D

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  • CycophantCycophant Registered User
    edited February 2011
    I've got a decent amount of experience working in cold temperatures, so I'll lend whatever advice I can.

    I think your biggest problem is the lack of activity. If you're just sitting there, nothing short of 20 layers are going to keep you warm enough. Your body simply isn't putting out enough heat. I'm assuming since you're on a boat though, you can just start swinging your arms and legs to increase your circulation and put out some heat.

    So the only decent alternative I can think of are those battery-powered clothing pieces, like boots and vests. That or those one-time-use activated iron handwarmers, but that can get pricey if you're using them all the time. Depending on how long you need them to last, a great alternative are the supersaturated solution based warmers, that can be reused hundreds of times by boiling them. The only downside is they only last about an hour or so.

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  • KakodaimonosKakodaimonos Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    A full 7mm wetsuit as the underlayer would definitely keep you very warm and relatively dry. Though that's a pricey option and an absolute pain in the ass to get into.

  • ForarForar #432 Already prepping for Toronto Fan Expo!Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    in the crotch?!

    that is very, very creative

    I can just see the confused and uncomfortable looks from my rowers now....

    If I recall my survival in cold water training, we lose a LOT of our heat through our head, armpits and groin. At least part of that comes from the amount of blood flow in those areas of the body, comparative layers (or lack thereof) of fat, etc.

    So adding a source of warmth near one of those places improving the situation makes sense. I wonder how comparable the effect would be to sticking one under each armpit instead?

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  • flowerhoneyflowerhoney Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    okay, alright, you guys have convinced me!

    Crotch warmers it is

    I'll look into some of this electric clothing too. Where could I find it? Just at like a hunting store?

  • DaemonionDaemonion Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    The key areas to keep warm are your head, neck, armpits and crotch.

    I pretty much wear 90% wool when dressing to stay warm and dry. However, you sound like a particularly cold blooded individual, so aside from having some food in your stomach when you are outside or doing physical exercise, I'm not really sure what to recommend other than to tell you what I wear to stay warm:

    Head
    Thick, 100% wool beanie

    Neck
    I pop the collars on my shirts and jacket to insulate my neck, but you could tuck a scarf or two into your layers

    Torso
    Merino wool Long John base layer
    Long sleeve, cotton button-up shirt, but a thick wool or cotton plaid shirt will do nicely
    Merino wool pull-over sweater
    Lamb hide vest (fur on inside, skin on the outside)
    Woolrich Stag 90% wool jacket (has a collar, too, which I pop up for my neck)

    Legs
    Wool boxers
    Merino wool Long John base layer
    Custom made, double-layer wool pants (you can just buy wool by the yard at a fabric store and take it to a tailor)

    Feet
    Thick wool socks
    Wool boot liners
    Moose hide boots

    Hands
    Those Tibetan imported mittens that you find in Chinatown and the like are the best. There are ones knit with wool string and lined with fleece. These are the warmest and only cost $8-12.

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  • SatsumomoSatsumomo Rated PG! Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    How warm is it where you actually live? Like your bedroom, kitchen etc.?

    It seems that you need to make your body get adjusted to the cold, lower down the temp on your heaters. Feeling cold is actually very linked to the mind.

    An example I experience all the time:

    If I have class at 7 am, I will leave the house at about 6, and well it's cold outside, so I'll take warm clothing to accompany. Class is over, and I'm at school, and god damn it is so damn could outside! My jacket isn't cutting it, and my legs are all shivery. It is 9 o'clock and it definitely feels very cold out.

    Next day, I have class at 9! I take light clothing, heck, not even a jacket. I'm at school at 9 and while I do feel kinda chilly, it's quite bearable. And the actual temperature is exactly the same as yesterday at 9 am.

    Difference is that when I left the house, I didn't feel as cold when waking up, and I left the house lightly covered. If you keep a pretty warm thermostat at your place, you're always going to have trouble adjusting to the cold outside.

    And last but not least, always warm your extremities. Feet, hands, ears. Usually, using double layers of socks will keep me much warmer than a double layer of pants.

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  • flowerhoneyflowerhoney Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    This is all great advice everyone! I'm for sure going to buy some new clothing this weekend and put some of this to the test out on the water!

    Satsumomo, our dorm room can vary. We turn the heat on while studying in the evening but my roommate likes to open up the window to get some fresh air while we sleep so its pretty cold right from the get go.

    So far I've only tried layering regular socks with my thick wooly ones, next time I'll try mega-layers of double wool socks! Hopefully my feet with fit into my boots =3

    Sounds like wool clothing standing out as warm stuff!

  • falsedeffalsedef Registered User
    edited February 2011
    Make sure you're getting enough sleep. It took me many random days of shivering in the office to realize that lack of sleep will cause me to feel cold no matter what I'm wearing, unless I'm warmed by a direct heat source. I'm typically cold tolerant, too.

    If you're waking up early for practice, then you might be facing the same problem.

  • ViscountalphaViscountalpha Registered User
    edited February 2011
    Well, have you tried thermal underwear first? Is that any use? Electric clothing + falling into the water might not be such a good idea.

    Are you eating during the morning too? hot coco or coffee to help warm you up?

    without moving, it will be really difficult to keep yourself warm.

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  • RaneadosRaneados Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Forar wrote: »
    in the crotch?!

    that is very, very creative

    I can just see the confused and uncomfortable looks from my rowers now....

    If I recall my survival in cold water training, we lose a LOT of our heat through our head, armpits and groin. At least part of that comes from the amount of blood flow in those areas of the body, comparative layers (or lack thereof) of fat, etc.

    So adding a source of warmth near one of those places improving the situation makes sense. I wonder how comparable the effect would be to sticking one under each armpit instead?

    apparently that head heat-loss thing isn't true, and isn't true for other specific parts of the body other than how much surface area they have to lose heat from

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2008/dec/17/medicalresearch-humanbehaviour

    the best bet is to layer up if you're being otherwise healthy

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  • MidshipmanMidshipman Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    How is your blood sugar level when you hit the water. Do you eat breakfast before going out?

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  • Judge Joe BrownJudge Joe Brown Registered User
    edited February 2011
    Raneados wrote: »
    Forar wrote: »
    in the crotch?!

    that is very, very creative

    I can just see the confused and uncomfortable looks from my rowers now....

    If I recall my survival in cold water training, we lose a LOT of our heat through our head, armpits and groin. At least part of that comes from the amount of blood flow in those areas of the body, comparative layers (or lack thereof) of fat, etc.

    So adding a source of warmth near one of those places improving the situation makes sense. I wonder how comparable the effect would be to sticking one under each armpit instead?

    apparently that head heat-loss thing isn't true, and isn't true for other specific parts of the body other than how much surface area they have to lose heat from

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2008/dec/17/medicalresearch-humanbehaviour

    the best bet is to layer up if you're being otherwise healthy

    I find this hard to believe really. I can walk outside in shorts and a t-shirt and as long as my head is covered I can stand it for awhile. I go out in the cold without a hat and I freak out.

  • DaemonionDaemonion Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Raneados wrote: »
    Forar wrote: »
    in the crotch?!

    that is very, very creative

    I can just see the confused and uncomfortable looks from my rowers now....

    If I recall my survival in cold water training, we lose a LOT of our heat through our head, armpits and groin. At least part of that comes from the amount of blood flow in those areas of the body, comparative layers (or lack thereof) of fat, etc.

    So adding a source of warmth near one of those places improving the situation makes sense. I wonder how comparable the effect would be to sticking one under each armpit instead?

    apparently that head heat-loss thing isn't true, and isn't true for other specific parts of the body other than how much surface area they have to lose heat from

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2008/dec/17/medicalresearch-humanbehaviour

    the best bet is to layer up if you're being otherwise healthy

    I find this hard to believe really. I can walk outside in shorts and a t-shirt and as long as my head is covered I can stand it for awhile. I go out in the cold without a hat and I freak out.
    Yea, if you keep your key areas warm your extremities often follow suit. That is my experience and several of my buddies are the same way.

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  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    This is the difference between anecdotal evidence and fact-based research. Keeping your bits and head warm will make you more comfortable, though it won't actually have a greater benefit to internal temperature. Of course, if you're not concerned about hypothermia and just want to be comfortable, the advice is useful.

    Also, layering:

    You should have a single tight base layer. Spandex is not as useful as a better made material that is both thermal AND moisture-wicking, like underarmor. Your next layer is an insulating layer. It should be looser fitting. You can technically have a couple insulating layers. Then your outer layer, which should be moisture-resistant and prevent air from flowing through it. Do not put a tight layer outside your insulating layer, and do not put a non-conductive layer inside your layers.

    "Well, look at this. Appears we got here just in the nick of time. What's that make us?"
    "Big Damn Heroes, Sir."
    "Ain't we just."
  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    it could be you just have reynaulds or some other poor circulation. is you clothing tight?

    look into a union suit. I wear one under my dry suit when i go kayaking in the winter and its way warmer than individual pieces. the one i use is frim immersion research but any fleece onesie will do

    sounds to me like you just aren't dressing correctly rather than having bad items.

    baselayer light to heavy
    fleece
    breathable
    shell

    also don't wear any cotton on the water

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  • SarcastroSarcastro Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I do work at -30 C fairly often, even - 40 from time to time, and I've found the very best thing is to have good boots. Like, rated to -60 boots. I am a huge fan of the Dakota line of work boots. They are absolutely amazing.

    Also, just a sidenote, maybe you want to look at work-wear, rather than athletic gear? My athletic stuff is basically all designed for wicking away sweat and being breathable, but is absolutely pathetic for sitting out in the cold. My work gear is just heavy work boots, jeans, a long sleeve shirt, a fleece vest and a rain-resistant winter coat. For the wet, you can get rubberized fleece gloves which are completly waterproof, have a solid grip and stay warm and dry in any conditions.

    I would think while rowing, the moisture and humidity would be the biggest problem- nothing will negate the insulative properties of clothing faster than getting damp.

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  • Nimble CatNimble Cat Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Yoga is a great way to warm up in the mornings. The point of many basic poses is to heat up your muscles and limber you up.

  • flowerhoneyflowerhoney Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    This is all really useful, but just as a reminder I'm already waking up at like 4:45 to get ready for practice, I seriously dont want to wake up any earlier than that to do yoga or jog

    None of my gear is athletic stuff, its like all thermal stuff and some spandex (I dont really know what else to call it, I'm just assuming its spandex) and a few fleeces

    Just looking at my clothing line-up, I feel like I'm doing it right (base thermal layer, fleece, my warm jacket, the survival suit) but for practice this evening I'll take a more in-depth look and eliminate the spandex type layers. A lot of people keep mentioning a vest, but vests just dont keep me warm unfortunatly...

    Where do I get these boots?! I'm for sure getting that I need better boots

  • lifeincognitolifeincognito Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Makershot wrote: »
    Esh wrote: »
    You guys must be crazy out in the Northwest, we didn't go back on the water until early March and that was in PA. Probably the worst thing I can end this with is that all of your rowers probably think you are as warm as the sun no matter what you tell them in the morning.

    It's not really that cold here. I think the OP has personal warmth issues. ;-)
    You never met Wheels, but you just need to know two things: 1) When he's drunk, no amount of fact or logic can dissuade him from his ridiculous ideas, and 2) He's drunk all the time.

    I think all the time is a bit much. I do sober up for work.

    Also, it is extremely important that you get more than spandex. I am not one to promote brand names but seriously, you need to get some Under Armor. Or get your team to pony up and order some choice items from these folks. One of these is far more realistic because JLs cost far too much money.

    losers weepers. jawas keepers.
  • flowerhoneyflowerhoney Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    its like all thermal stuff and some spandex (I dont really know what else to call it, I'm just assuming its spandex) and a few fleeces

    I think I've got more than just spandex =P

  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    What he means is that spandex is a crappy base layer, and I will agree. Underarmor is actually worth the money, there aren't really any brands that compete. Even if not that, get some thermal layering.

    "Well, look at this. Appears we got here just in the nick of time. What's that make us?"
    "Big Damn Heroes, Sir."
    "Ain't we just."
  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    eh under armor is crap. i don't think its particular warm either. i would grab a wool/mix layer from target to use as your base. you want something in heavyweight not light

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