When I woke up to hit the mountain yesterday, the forecast was for -10°. I want to know what all of you think: how cold is too cold to get out and enjoy the outdoors? Where’s your cutoff?
Let everyone know in the comments — I’ll be popping in and out to chat with all of you here, throughout the day!
Bonus points if you have a great cold weather story to share!
Anything below 70 degrees is a no for me
I find my tolerance for cold has changed the older I've gotten. However, my coldest bike ride was probably 15 years ago when I showed up for a weekend group road ride and it was flurrying (that's unusual in North Georgia). The only other person to show up was Bill, who was in his early 70s and a strong, wiry cyclist. We decided to go ahead and ride, but after 10 miles or so we realized our fingers were so cold we wouldn't be able to fix anything if we had a mechanical, so we bailed. But Bill's showing up brings into question my age-related aversion to the cold. Perhaps I've just gotten wimpier the older I've gotten...
I travelled from Lagos to Johannesburg fourteen years ago. Johannesburg is cold while Lagos is hot. I was told, take a jacket along with you. I was told, have a coat with you. I breezed out of Lagos, not taking a jacket or coat or pullover with me, reckoning I could handle the cold. When I got to Johannesburg, the cold hit me, with my body freezing. The cold harassed me, with my body shaking. Throughout my stay, the cold hit and harassed and stung me. As I left Johannesburg days later, teeth clattering, body freezing, limbs shaking, I was glad to jump into the plane, because I learned in a most unexpected way that forecast may be +10 degrees or - 10 degrees, travel may be to Johannesburg or the south pole, it doesn't matter. I can't handle cold.
On the farm we get anywhere from 20F (-6 C)in deep winter (super frosty mornings) to 113F (45 C) in summer if we are unlucky. In winter we have to work in that, turns your fingers blue, but you need to feed out. In summer, we start really early before the heat kicks in mid-afternoon, otherwise you risk dying. Ha ha.
That's a cold one! It's kind of an acquired taste after awhile.
Cold has never been a problem for me.
Went skiing a couple of weeks ago at -27 celcius, clear skies and the sun shining.
Today, went cross country skiing at -20 celcius (and felt even colder with the wind), no problem.
Winter is long where I live, so no excuse not to go out and play 😉
I'll be 58 tomorrow (7 Feb) and have blood circulation problems which means as soon as the temperature goes down I get cold hands and feet. In these cases, a good 10-km walk is ideal to warm my body. Last week I embarked in a 40-km trip on a rented bike (too small for me) and at the end my legs were screaming and my butt was cursing me but I was actually sweating which is a strange and nice sensation when you are supposed to shiver from the cold.
For me, more than low temperatures, the cutoff condition is when the wind blows.
Speaking of the cold, Japanese houses are infamous for been hot and damp and muggy in summer and icy cold in winter. If you don't believe me, please read this: https://giannisimone.substack.com/p/poor-life-in-rich-japan
Things are a bit different here in Wellington, New Zealand. It never gets very cold, and it never gets very hot either - last winter there were only two nights that got cold enough for frost to form. We get sleet occasionally, snow once every few decades (although hail is not uncommon).
So when I say it never gets too cold for the outdoors, I'm not really talking about your sort of cold weather. Nonetheless, a gale blowing from the south is is miserable, especially if it's raining. In the worst weather, I head for a patch of forest that's not too far away, because the forest provides some protection from the worst of the weather.
For golf, 45d is my +/-, though less windy (< 5mph) makes low 40s doable. For skiing...fresh powder? Not sure what the min is but it's low...If I was where you are, I'd be out there! For icy NE ski conditions...low 20s is +/-, again wind dependent.
Depends on what I'm doing. I walk all year round here in Upstate NY-- just fast enough to make it pleasant, but not so fast that the wind hurts my face. But I wouldn't camp and I wouldn't ski. One involves sleeping in the cold and the other involves...skiing.
I don't have a hiking story coming in from the cold. But when I was a sophomore in high school (umm ... 1972) I remember waiting outside for the school bus one afternoon with the wind chill factor of -41. No, they didn't cancel school that day. Just sent you a rough draft of my next piece for Monday.
My general rule of thumb when backpacking in cold weather is not to venture out in temperatures less than about 10 degrees above my sleeping bag rating. Therefore, with my -15 degree bag, my limit is about -5. With temperatures below that, I prefer to stay inside with a nice cup of hot cocoa.
I'm jealous! Out in NorCal it's nippy but basically balmy, with no rain coming--and I know soon enough this summer I'll be using up all my off-grid battery power to run the fans at night just to sleep, like last year. It sucks when you have a kick-ass PV array but have to run the diesel generator to survive the hot nights of climate change.
I made the ill-advised decision to move to the Great White North so I don't have a choice. I've seen children running around in tee shirts when it's -20 and I can't wrap my head around it.