You’re Warm When Your Head’s Warm

A very simple trick to keeping warm in those chilly nights is to bring a toque with you. You can stuff it in the bottom of your sack and it doesn’t cost much weight, but it can be very useful for keeping warm on those unexpectedly cold nights. See if you can find a light weight skull cap style to save even more space. You’d be amazed at how much warmth you can save by keeping your head covered, because of just how much heat you lose through your head. My grandfather spent a lot of winters in the freezing bush, and would often tell me that he’d rather wear pajamas and a warm hat than a snowsuit without one. That’s probably a bit extreme, but you get the idea.

Any time you find yourself suddenly cold, whether it’s because of unexpected weather or an unwanted dip in the lake, break out the toque and put it on because it will also help raise your body temperature relatively quickly. In extreme situations the toque can be used as a supplemental first aid tool for this reason.

Basically, a toque will help maintain your body heat better and be much more comfortable hanging around the campsite – especially if you find yourself somewhere with a fire ban. I don’t know how many mornings I found myself wasting time, refusing to get out of my tent because of how much I hated the idea of getting out of my nice warm sleeping bag. Slap the toque on and it makes things much easier, and even get out on the lake a little sooner.