Close this search box.
True Self Care Logo

Traveling in Negative Temperatures: What You Need to Know

Traveling in cold weather can be a wonderful experience, especially if you enjoy winter sports, snowy landscapes, and cozy fireplaces. However, traveling in negative temperatures also poses some challenges and risks that you need to be aware of and prepare for. In this blog post, we will answer some frequently asked questions about traveling in negative temperatures and provide some tips and advice on how to stay safe and comfortable.

What are negative temperatures?

Negative temperatures are temperatures below zero degrees Celsius or 32 degrees Fahrenheit. They are common in polar regions, high altitudes, and during winter months in some parts of the world. Negative temperatures can be measured by different scales, such as Celsius, Fahrenheit, or Kelvin. The table below shows some examples of how these scales compare.


How do negative temperatures affect the human body?

The human body has a normal core temperature between 97°F and 99°F (36°C and 37°C), but it can vary slightly depending on the person, the time of day, and the activity level. To maintain this temperature, the body needs to balance the heat it produces with the heat it loses to the environment. When the environmental temperature is lower than the body temperature, the body loses heat faster than it can produce it, and the core temperature starts to drop. This can lead to hypothermia, which is a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when the core temperature falls below 95°F (35°C).

Some of the symptoms of hypothermia include:

  • Shivering
  • Slurred speech
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Weakness
  • Slow breathing
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Loss of consciousness

Hypothermia can also affect the blood circulation and increase the risk of frostbite, which is a type of tissue damage that occurs when the skin and the underlying tissues freeze. Frostbite can cause numbness, tingling, pain, blisters, and blackening of the affected areas, and in severe cases, it can lead to amputation.

Some of the factors that increase the risk of hypothermia and frostbite include:

  • Wet clothing
  • Wind chill
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Dehydration
  • Fatigue
  • Medical conditions
  • Medications

How can I prevent hypothermia and frostbite when traveling in negative temperatures?

The best way to prevent hypothermia and frostbite is to dress appropriately for the cold weather and limit your exposure to the elements. Here are some tips on how to dress for negative temperatures:

  • Wear multiple layers of clothing that are loose, dry, and made of synthetic or wool materials. Avoid cotton, as it absorbs moisture and loses its insulating properties when wet.
  • Wear a hat, a scarf, gloves, and warm socks that cover your head, neck, hands, and feet. These are the parts of the body that lose heat the fastest and are most prone to frostbite.
  • Wear a waterproof and windproof outer layer, such as a jacket, a coat, or a parka, that protects you from snow, rain, and wind.
  • Wear sunglasses or goggles that protect your eyes from the sun and the glare of the snow.
  • Wear boots or shoes that have good traction and insulation and that fit well. Avoid tight footwear, as it can reduce blood flow and increase the risk of frostbite.

Here are some tips on how to limit your exposure to the cold:

  • Check the weather forecast and the wind chill factor before you go out. The wind chill factor is a measure of how cold it feels when the wind speed and the air temperature are combined. For example, if the air temperature is -10°C (14°F) and the wind speed is 10 km/h (6 mph), the wind chill factor is -16°C (3°F). The lower the wind chill factor, the higher the risk of hypothermia and frostbite.
  • Plan your activities according to the weather conditions and your physical abilities. Avoid strenuous activities that make you sweat, as sweat can lower your body temperature and make you more susceptible to hypothermia. Also, avoid activities that expose you to water, such as swimming, boating, or fishing, as water can rapidly cool your body and increase the risk of hypothermia and frostbite.
  • Take frequent breaks from the cold and seek shelter in a warm and dry place. Drink warm fluids, such as tea, coffee, or soup, to stay hydrated and to warm up your body. Avoid alcohol, as it can impair your judgment, dilate your blood vessels, and make you lose heat faster.
  • Monitor your body temperature and your symptoms. If you feel cold, shiver, have trouble speaking, or feel confused, drowsy, or weak, you may have hypothermia and you need to seek medical attention immediately. If you feel numb, tingling, or pain in your fingers, toes, nose, ears, or cheeks, you may have frostbite and you need to protect the affected areas from further damage and seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Is it safe to travel in negative temperatures?

Traveling in negative temperatures can be safe and enjoyable if you follow the above tips and precautions. However, traveling in negative temperatures also involves some risks and challenges that you need to be aware of and prepare for. Some of these include:

  • Transportation issues. Traveling by car, train, plane, or bus can be affected by snow, ice, fog, or wind, which can cause delays, cancellations, accidents, or breakdowns. Make sure you check the road and weather conditions before you travel and have a backup plan in case of emergencies. If you are driving, make sure your car is well-maintained and equipped with winter tires, chains, antifreeze, windshield wiper fluid, and a snow shovel. Also, have an emergency kit in your car that includes blankets, food, water, flashlight, batteries, first aid kit, and a cell phone charger.
  • Health issues. Traveling in negative temperatures can affect your health in different ways, such as increasing your blood pressure, triggering asthma attacks, aggravating arthritis, or causing dry skin, chapped lips, or nosebleeds. Make sure you consult your doctor before you travel and have your medications and prescriptions with you. Also, have a travel insurance that covers medical expenses and emergencies in your destination.
  • Cultural issues. Traveling in negative temperatures can expose you to different cultures and customs that may be unfamiliar or challenging to you. For example, you may encounter different languages, cuisines, religions, or social norms that may require you to adapt or respect. Make sure you do some research before you travel and learn some basic phrases, etiquette, and dos and don’ts of your destination. Also, be open-minded and respectful of the local people and their traditions.


Traveling in negative temperatures can be a rewarding and memorable experience, but it also requires some planning and preparation. By following the tips and advice in this blog post, you can stay safe and comfortable and enjoy the beauty and adventure of the cold weather. Happy travels! 

In This Post:

Editor`s Pick:
Stay In Touch

Never miss an important update. Be the first to receive our exclusive beauty tips straight into your inbox.