From time to time, i post journal entries on FB. This is today’s (added history as background).
03 Feb 2020
I violated my own rules in walking/hiking in snow. Good thing I’m only doing short hops.
1. don’t sweat. sounds counter-intuitive considering the air temperature is sub-freezing. Like any activity though, do it too fast and your body overheats, and then it attempts to cool down. Sweating can lead to dehydration, and because it’s cold, you won’t feel that thirsty unlike warmer areas. The other thing to worry about is that your sweat can freeze – ergo, you can get hypothermia. (history: I hiked in sub freezing temperatures before in the foot of Mt. Hood, Oregon, and I sweat a lot, when I got back to the car, i changed shirt and it froze. Imagine that freezing on you. I did better in Mt. Fuji, Japan, but I think that has to do with the fact that I had very thin sweater – not even a jacket. One of my colleagues is a retired military officer [not sure which branch] and part of their training is in polar climates – “don’t sweat” is what he constantly advises when in polar regions.)
2. Freaking out. I am not lying – I am freaking outright now. I am still waiting for my stupid luggage. Tracking indicates that It is already at the Tromsø airport, but logically, my mind could not grasp that I may not get it until later today. I still have not received calls or text on when they are dropping it off. Yes, add to the freaking out is the fact that I have a 6pm scheduled tour (no tripod!!!). (history – I try not to freak out/panic, but this seem to be a common occurrence especially when things are not falling into place. I am however, improving every time I go into solo trips. Last time I freaked out really badly was when I missed my flight from NY to LA.)
3. covered face. I felt weird covering my face, but because I am not used to have subfreezing weather, it is prudent to cover at least my nose and mouth. I find it too restrictive, but really, I should so my nose won’t fall off. (history – Grand Canyon, South Rim, Arizona. Air temperature that time was 19F/-7C, breathing felt like the air burning my nose. With a short adjustment of my scarf, I was able to cover my mouth and nose.)
4. Walking/Hiking/Moving too fast (related to #1). In cold weather, one needs to conserve energy as much as possible. This is because one’s body is already using energy to warm itself up – thus it attempts to overcompensate and leads to #1. This may cause your body to consume energy quickly. (history – TV shows and experience lol. I watched Les Stroud of the show Survivorman talking about survival in cold weather and one of his topics is conservation of energy. Of course, I ended up finding that out for myself when I hiked at Angeles National forest in the middle of winter. My planned 6 miles/~10km hike was cut to a quarter because I tried to do it too fast, and I got tired relatively quickly.)
5. Moving electronic equipment in different temperatures too fast. For example, I do walk around and take photos, but I also step inside warm shops or cars without taking the time to wrap my camera in insulation (like my scarf). Electronic gear has some moist air in it, and if you let it warm too fast, it would lead to condensation, thus broken electronics. I also went ahead and opened my camera bag within a few minutes of going inside the house – that is a significant change in temperature and is very bad for electronic gear. (history – almost lost one of my cameras after my hike in Tamanawas Waterfalls trail by Mt. Hood, Oregon. I was so excited that once getting back to my hotel room where I had the thermostat at 75F/23.8C against outside temp of 38F/3.3C, my camera and lenses started condensing. I spent the next hour wiping the camera with dry electronic wipes. My prime lens did not fared any better, no matter what I did, It had a weird streak on it.)
6. Always have full breakfast. I didn’t here in Tromsø. It sucks that the only place open that I found serves English style breakfast. I want that smoked salmon and egg with hot Norwegian coffee. Not Americano coffee please. (history: I started this in Rome, Italy. There was a day that I skipped breakfast, but by noon I ended up finding a restaurant that was not the taste I wanted plus the horrible price for crappy food this day. Note: I found that in London, only American restaurant chains open at 6am while actual British food places open at 11 — at least in Nottinghill anyway.)