The difference between enjoying a winter vacation and spending it shivering and cursing the weather often boils down to having the right clothing. Even if you’re not planning to summit a blizzard-cloaked mountain or climb tongues of ice up a glacier, having warm and waterproof clothing is necessary if you’re visiting a cold location. Make sure to bring the following items on your next cold-weather trip.
– A good hat. Hats will make a big difference in keeping you warm, and when you don’t want to carry a lot of bulky clothing, having one can be the difference between staying comfortable and feeling miserable. Make sure you carry a hat that provides coverage for your ears and part or all of the back of your neck, and opt for one made of lightweight, synthetic materials for maximum convenience.
– Boots. Cold, wet feet can quickly make a mess of any vacation day, so if you choose one place to splurge on your clothing, make it your footwear. Opt for a solid, well-made pair of waterproof winter boots. Dark colors make stains from mud and slush less apparent, and boots with fewer laces are more convenient when you have to remove them for security.
– The right jacket. Not all jackets are suitable for all situations. A down jacket, for instance, will pack down small and keep you amazingly warm in dry conditions. But it’s useless when it gets wet. Synthetic jackets, on the other hand, tend to dry quickly and repel water, but they can be bulky, heavy, and not quite as warm. A breathable fleece is great if you intend to be active, but it won’t keep you warm in extremely cold conditions. Check the weather forecast for your destination and choose your jacket accordingly.
– Gloves. Even if your head and feet are warm, if you neglect your hands you may end up with numb fingers. Bring a pair of breathable, waterproof gloves that dry quickly and have grips on them. If you shop well, you should be able to find a low-weight pair that takes up very little space in your luggage.