The winter scenery in Tirol is incredibly beautiful and the list of recreational outdoor activities is endless. However, it is also pretty darn cold here. Does all this sub-zero chilliness leave you… well… cold? It doesn’t have to be this way. Here, I’ve found the best ways to beat the frigid cold:
Oh, the weather outside is–COLD. With temperatures in the single digits (or lower) and wind chills well below freezing, we’re quite cold here in Tirol in wintertime. But this doesn’t keep me from enjoying the great outdoors. Of course, to actually enjoy the gorgeous winter and the many winter activities it brings–think skiing, sledding, snowshoeing and skating–it’s important to stay protected from the cold. That’s why it’s super important to wear the proper clothing and have the essential accessories to beat the cold weather. So, here are a few tips from Tirol for surviving the cold winter in style:
Child, PLEASE Do Wear a Hat!
Although this was one of the most annoying phrases my Mum used when I was a teenager, I do cover my head nowadays. Yup, I have learned some mighty hard lessons. As now I know that heat loss from the head may be as much as 50 percent of the total heat being lost by my body. That’s why I pull a winter hat on if I am feeling chilly. A great range of those is available at the Tirol Shop: Get snow-day styles for the whole family when you shop the full selection of winter hats, caps and pompom beanies that will ensure you can avoid the chill of the air while enjoying the great outdoors. Plus, there are matching scarves that will keep you warm through the cold months. As temperamental winter weather rolls through, your skin is one of the first things to suffer. How convenient that Tirol Shop offers premium skincare products of Alpienne to battle the elements.
Have You Ever Experienced Frostnip?
I have! In fact, it happens this often here in Tirol that we even have a word for it ;-( Frostnip usually starts with numbness, prickling or tingling in fingers. As they warm up again, fingers can feel especially painful as the tingling turns to pins and needles – this process is called “Hoanigl” in Tirolese dialect. I happily put up with a lot in Tirol to enjoy time outside in the wintertime, but cold fingertips are not high on that list. To avoid ending up with icicle digits, I invest in gloves and mittens made from sheep wool, preferably from Tiroler Schafwollzentrum in Innsbruck. For outdoor activities, I recommend TirolWool gloves.
Sometimes, gloves and mittens alone don’t cut it. For those times, we’re glad to have heated gloves through Zanier, which provide snug heat for up to ten hours!
The Best at the Bottom
Thermal undies are the perfect way to fend off the freezing cold. My warm underwear of choice is made from Merino wool as Merino base layer keeps you warm, is ultra-thin, breathable, elastic, easy to clean and odor resistant. And the best: In contrast to “normal” wool, Merino wool is very fine, which gives the Merino underwear its great pleasant-to-wear sensation. Another great feature of base layers from Merino wool is its high insulating capacity. Although a Merino base layer is very thin, it keeps really warm, which turns it into an optimal base layer in the onion-shell principle. With warm Merino underwear as a base, you will survive even the most freezing temperatures. In addition, Merino underwear offers great breathability, perfect if you get into a sweat. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Available from sports stores across the country and from Tiroler Schafwollzentrum.
Zillertal Clogs Keep Your Toes Toasty
There was a time when people in Tirol didn’t know anything about UGG boots or upcycling. In days past, farmers’ wives mixed old pieces of used cloth from worn-out clothing such as trousers and jackets together with a paste made from rye flour and water to create wool clogs. You could call that a pioneering kind of re or upcycling. Thanks to globalization, those UGGs have finally made it to Tirol but we strongly recommend to get yourself a good pair of “Zillertaler Doggln” Clogs. Trust me, there’s nothing to keep your feet toasty and comfortable like these handmade clogs. Upgraded with a durable rubber outsole, you can wear them outdoors, too.
How Cold Is Too Cold For Skiing?
I LOVE skiing. But I HATE the COLD. Unfortunately, I tend to get cold at skiing. But I have discovered that wearing the right ski clothes makes a big difference when it comes to staying warm. How fortunate that you can find survival ski items made in Tirol: Sportalm and Frauenschuh make wonderful must-haves on the mountain, winter warmers that balance style and well-being.
No, I’m not talking about winter walking, I’m talking about an extraordinary material: Walk fabric. The centuries-old process of felting was discovered by Tirolean mountain farmers by accident: The fabric shrinks when being washed, becoming denser after the procedure. Moreover, boiled or felted wool is warmer, more durable as well as windproof. Various companies in Tirol still produce different types of Walk, elevating the natural qualities of the traditional material used by mountain farmers centuries ago. The three most prestigious brands are Geiger, Giesswein and Gottstein. Apart from sharing ‘G’ as their inital letter, they also share a passion and expertise in creating finest Walk and knit apparel.
Warm Your Soles: Footwear is Key
Boots, boots, boots. For almost 100 years, this Tirol-based shoe manufacturer has been making shoes for harsh, Alpine climates. The company was founded by Ferdinand Stadler, who travelled from farm to farm to make shoes for the farmers using leather from their slaughtered cattle. Today, only the most carefully selected leathers are used to create the Stadler Collection. Their excellent winter line ranges from chunky waterproof boots with a track sole that are great for stomping around in the snow to boots that are going to keep your tootsies toasty while allowing you to look stylish in the cold weather.
Designed and Handmade in the Alps
Labeled as “Handmade in the Alps”, Bernd Mühlmann’s collections always characterize beauty and simplicity. His clothing is produced in East Tirol with attention to details and use of high quality materials. The wonderful jumpers, fine trousers, coats and jackets will help you brave the cold winter in Tirol in style. The luxe pieces of Tirol-based designer Bernd Mühlmann are available in his shops at Außervillgraten and Innsbruck.
You Know You Have to Have This Jacket
A jacket that cools when it’s warm and warms when it’s cool – while also being reduced to the essentials. This was the lofty goal of Tirol-based polychromeLAB company, the highest-lying high-tech manufacture of outdoor apparel in the Alps. Using a new, innovative material that has been specifically developed to control temperature. The result is a reversible jacket, sustainably designed, engineered and hand-crafted and tested under extreme Alpine conditions at their own research station in Serfaus. The high-tech jacket is made of a light 3-layer laminate that is both wind and waterproof. Moreover, the ultrasonic-welded jacket is extremely stretchy, breathable and insulating. By now you just know you have to have this jacket. I mean, it’s going to be totally life changing, right?
Take a Hot Black Bath
A hot bath infused with Tirolean Shale Oil can really help to really warm you up when you’re cold to your core. It may smell of tar and its black colour may not look that appealing– but it works wonders. Aching joints, strained muscles, irritated skin – all of these can be eliminated with a good dose of black Stone Oil. Pure bliss!
Cheers to Winter!
Yes, I know. It’s a myth that alcohol warms up a chilled person. It actually increases heat loss. Alcohol causes the blood vessels to dilate, thereby causing increased cooling or heat loss. However, when in Tirol, do as the Tiroleans do and round out your fine dinner with a fine schnapps. It’s all about using alcohol sparingly and responsibly! And it’s about enjoyment—the refined, fruity finish of Tirol’s exquisite eaux de vie should be savoured in small sips. The spirits distilled in Tirol by Christoph Kössler, Stiegenhaushof, Lechtaler Haussegen, Rochelt and Kostenzer are remarkably sophisticated.
Winterize Your Home
Each year in autumn I cozy up my space to welcome winter – with plenty of throws, blankets and pillows to create that cozy cabin feel. Cuddly pieces made of fabrics that boast texture and add a tactile feel to spaces can be found at Ötztaler Schafwollzentrum, Villgrater Natur Shop in East Tirol and in the showroom of Tiroler Naturschlaf in Wildschönau. And high-quality candles from Walde and Docht & Wachs are ready to fill your home with some extra warmth and mood.