• Aria Zoner

3 Ways to Increase your Tolerance to Cold Weather


Is Old Man Winter your arch nemesis? When he arrives to your tent fly, do you shoo him off in hopes of a warmer guest arriving in his place? When his snow angles fall in droves, do you find yourself having a hard time dealing with them? Or worse, when it's cold and snowy, do you avoid going outside altogether?



If you said yes to any of these questions and want to do something about it, then you’re in luck, because today, I have 3 powerful and proven ways to increase your tolerance to cold weather that will soon have you laughing in his face and back outside enjoying nature again.


"Similar to increasing your tolerance to weight when you do reps at the gym, building up a tolerance to cold weather is best done by doing reps on the trail." AZ



3 Ways to Increase your Tolerance to Cold Weather


Option 1: Initiate your Fight or Flight Response


Year-round hiker Aria Zoner stands up to Old Man Winter

The ancient Zen philosophy “chop wood carry water” is more than just a mantra used to meet responsibility and master challenges, it’s a motto for how to survive winter.


Old Man Winter can be a real bully but you can build up your resistance to him by fighting back. Don’t be lulled into a state of immobility, his secret weapon, or you could be left frozen by the time morning arrives. Movement is your friend here and your greatest power. Instead of just lying there shivering in your sleeping bag, make the effort and do some push-ups, crunches, or sit-ups which will rewarm your bag and let you sleep peacefully for a while.


A better rest pays off the next day because the colder it gets the more active you need to be. Just how active? Well, not as active as my favorite bird and personal hero, the Arctic Tern, who spends the majority of its year traveling. The idea here is work hard enough to stay warm but not to sweat. Never let Old Man Winter see you sweat. You don’t need to put on Dry Idea Deodorant to do this, you just need to stay motivated and maintain your pace.


Option 2: Build up your Nerve Force

If you want to become tolerant to cold weather, you need to build up your Nerve Force.


Nerve Force is not just the ability to summon energy, withstand extreme circumstances, and control vital processes of the body at will, it’s the expression of your overall strength and immunity.


Nerve Force is something that must be built up, similar to the way a body-builder builds up his muscles. Thru repeated exposure to cold you can build strength in your skin; and behind it, your nerves. Don’t expect to be Superman on your first attempt at this. In fact, you may even get sick. But in the long-run this is good, as it shows that a purging of your Lymphatic System has taken place.


The Lymphatic System is where toxins in our body are stored and flushing these out is a byproduct of being (therapeutically) exposed to cold.


If you’re not quite ready to jump into a half frozen creek, find a shower. After getting nice and warm, switch to cold water only. Ouch! The shock that you feel is Old Man Winter. Stand your ground and fight back. When you can't take it anymore (which will be in like 2 seconds the first time but 5 minutes in just a few days) turn on the hot water again or turn off the water and let the feeling sink in. Say to yourself: "I'm not cold, I'm alive!"


WATCH: How to Build Nerve Force
Option 3: Eat to Meet the Occasion

It’s no secret that animals and peoples of the artic use fat in their diets to survive cold weather. Inside our body, fat functions similar to the way oil does in your car, it lubes and protects. However, not all fats are created equal. Fatty foods like doughnuts and fried meats are unhealthy because they contain fats which are chunky, thick, and hard to digest. These kind of fats will leave you immobilized prematurely. On the other hand – foods like olives, avocados, and pine nuts give you long-lasting energy because the fats that they contain are thin and easily digested. They're also noticeably easier to clean up when it comes to doing the dishes.


Clockwise: Avocado, Olive Oil, MCT Oil, Pine Nuts, Chia Seeds, Ghee, Coconut Oil, Flax, Walnuts, Brazil Nuts, Hemp Seeds, & Almond Butter


These 12 fatty food sources are each great for producing body-warming energy!


In Summary:
Aria Zoner - Greeting the morning sun on Mt Whitney

The good news here is, you don’t need to look like a walrus in order to be able to endure cold weather. All you need to do is:


  1. Initiate your Fight or Flight Response

  2. Build up your Nerve Force

  3. Eat to Meet the Occasion


When combined, these 3 Ways to Increase your Tolerance to Cold Weather become an unbeatable recipe for defeating Old Man Winter – once and for all.


#WellnessonTrail #LongDistanceHikingHowto