In keeping with our theme of staying warm because it’s cold outside, I thought I’d share with you a story of our dog sledding adventure with Voyageur Outward Bound in Minnesota in 2006.
It all started because my husband complained about the weather here in Chicago. Fitting complaint, especially since it’s expected to get down below zero this weekend. I wanted to do something fun, unusual, and educational. I picked the Outward Bound class because I’ve always wanted to do one, to experience it and challenge myself. The hallmark of Outward Bound is that you spend some time, one night or more, camping by yourself in the wilds. I thought, what better way to learn how to stay warm and have fun all at the same time?
Two weeks before we left, my husband shrugged and said, “Well, if I don’t like it, I can always hang out in the lodge and drink hot chocolate.”
On an Outward Bound Expedition?
“Didn’t you read the stuff I sent you on the [non-refundable] class?”
Blink. “Well, I looked at the pictures.”
He looked at the pictures.
“DO YOU REALIZE WE’RE GOING THIRTY-FIVE MILES ACROSS THE ICE IN THE BOUNDARY WATERS?” Panting.
Another blink. “Oh.” Pause. “So, no lodge?”
Gritted teeth. “No, dear. No lodge.”
Cautiously, “So, you still want to go?”
Rousing endorsement, that.
So we get there, and the first thing we learn is the Heat Triangle. Here’s how it works:
There are three parts to keeping warm in severely cold weather:
1. Layered clothing
2. Food and hot drinks
You can work on any one of the legs of the triangle to warm up. One of the most effective techniques is to swing your arms back and forth like a windmill. This will bring the blood to your fingertips and warm up your hands. I use this frequently back here in Chicago when waiting for the bus or the train.
And my husband? He survived and had an awesome time with the dogs, the cold, and yes, even the hot chocolate.