Monday, December 31, 2012

Day 120 - Cold Weather Walking

Vultures at Rest
 Today I just needed to walk -- really walk.  Walk off a morning of mainly sitting, walk off the big breakfast I ate, and walk just to get some speed up, since my recent walks in snow and ice have not allowed for any sort of speed.

I chose a new subdivision near where I live.  There has been a lot of earth-moving going on there lately, which I take as a sign that the developers are optimistic about the chances of selling off 30 or 40 new lots.  I walked on new roads with just a gravel base and then through the rest of the established portion of the development.  During my walk, I saw a couple of hawks and a deer.  Nothing was really close enough to photograph.  On my way out of the neighborhood, I spied a couple of tall pine trees with at least 40 turkey vultures perched among their branches!

The temperature was 34 degrees, with overcast skies and no wind.  As I was walking, I was pondering what in the world to write about in today's entry, so I decided to share with you my cold weather walking tips.

First of all, dress in layers, because you may get a little warmer as you walk.  You might want to either remove a layer, unzip your jacket, or follow the suggestion of dressing a little cooler than you would for standing around outdoors or sitting at a football game in winter weather.

I wear a pair of leggings under my jeans and an undershirt or camisole under my top.  You could invest in a luxurious pair of silk long johns, which I would probably do if I lived in Maine.  My Maine friend Chris suggested to me that I wear a pair of knitted leg warmers, which could be pulled off after my walk.  This would be very handy if I were going to run errands or eat lunch in a restaurant afterwards.  My top is usually a turtleneck.  I am so glad I did not throw away all my ugly, faded turtlenecks from the 90's!  They are coming in very handy right now.

Muddy Ice
I have a mid-weight winter coat that I am using right now.  I might have to get a down-filled jacket from LL Bean if we get any sustained stretches of days with high temps in the 20's and wind chills of even lower.  I have a hood on the coat, which really helps to break the wind on gusty days.

For winter footwear, I wear tall socks (not the low top ones) with my sneakers.  If it is slushy or raining, I wear my rain boots with a super thick sock like hunters wear.  If it is snowy I wear my lace-up waterproof hiking boots, again with the super thick socks.  I have not been walking yet in snow that is taller than my boots, but if that happens, I do have a pair of winter snow boots I can break out.

I wear a hat or band that covers my ears.  I recently bought a hat that has a small feminine touch, but those Scandinavian hats with the ear flaps are appealing, too.  The only problem is that I get an awful case of hat hair when I take it off.  I also wear a scarf that is not scratchy or itchy.

I wear my North Face eTip gloves, but they are a little thin, which is great for using the buttons on my camera, and I have a pair of flip-top mittens that I can pull over the gloves.  My friend Joan recently gave me a new pair of thicker, fleece lined gloves with the touch sensitive tips, so I wore those today.  Thank you, Joan!

Don't forget to wear a skin moisturizer with sun block and to take along a lip balm.  Cold weather makes for dry skin and lips.  Sunglasses may be needed, too.  And last, but not least, my number one cold weather accessory is a package of tissues!  Cold weather makes your nose run, and believe me, it will!

Snow and ice also present challenges about where to walk.  I don't want to slip on icy sidewalks, and if the road has been plowed, it is difficult to walk in the street.  I much prefer walking directly in the snow, such as in a field or in a park.  It just seems so much safer than taking a chance on the slippery stuff.

For my readers who live in warmer climates, none of this advice pertains to you.  However, feel free to sympathize with those of us who are out walking in the cold.  The fresh, brisk air we breathe in while we are walking is keeping us healthy (or so I tell myself!).

Hurricane Sandy Relief: Donate to the Red Cross, and I will mail you a 5 x 7 print from any of the photos I have posted on my blog OR any photo on my website.

Forward to me via email a receipt for donating to the Red Cross. Tell me whether the photo is from the blog or the website, and Include its title along with a mailing address. The name on the receipt to the Red Cross must match the name of the mailing recipient. Send the receipt and the photo request to

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Cam's rules for the Daily Photo Walk:
  1. walk every day
  2. the walk must be in addition to any other planned activity for the day
  3. post a photo every day
  4. use my Nikon P7100 (it is a very convenient size and weight)
  5. no weather excuses
  6. walk only where it is safe to do so

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