Bonfires aren’t just for summer. It might seem counterintuitive to attempt to warm up outside, but as long as the mercury hasn’t dipped too low, a winter fire is a lovely way to spend an evening. Set out some lawn chairs, bundle up with blankets and treats (see #4 for beverage suggestions) and start a new winter tradition. If you don’t have access to a fire pit or other appropriate site for a fire, a fire in your fireplace is just as nice. If all else fails, queue up a faux fire on Netflix and light some candles to get that warm glow.



Sometimes you need a little help to warm up (and no, we don’t mean cuddling but that’ll work, too). Stock up on products that provide heat, to cut the chill quickly. Electric blankets, microwaveable bean bags, hot-water bottles, toe and finger warmers for your boots and mittens and more can help you to make the most of the winter months.



Okay, a cup of hot cocoa probably seems like the most obvious choice for beating back the cold, but if chocolate isn’t your thing, fill your mug or thermos with something else. We love a good cup of hearty soup, a serving of stick-to-your-ribs oatmeal or — once you’re in for the night — mulled wine or a hot toddy (whisky, lemon and honey for the win!). Word to the wise: Alcohol should not be used for warmth if you’re ever in a dangerous situation involving the cold (think being lost or stranded in extreme temperatures). You might feel warmer after a slug of booze, but technically it makes your blood vessels dilate, which makes you lose heat faster.



Have you noticed that your unfinished basement is hot, but your upper floors aren’t? The joints in your ductwork might be letting hot air escape, so you’re heating rooms that don’t need it and taking heat away from the rooms that do. Apply heat-venting tape to all visible joints in your ductwork to better direct the heat where it’s needed. Multipurpose duct tape can be purchased at any hardware store.



The secret to being warm and comfortable outdoors — no matter what you’re doing — is to layer up. But there is a right way and a wrong way to pile on the clothing. First, you’re going to need a moisture-wicking base. You can have four layers on but if the bottom one doesn’t pull sweat away from your body, you’re going to be cold. Go for breathable, wicking fabrics against your skin, followed by an insulating layer (think wool or flannel) and then a layer of water-resistant or waterproof protection last.

Photo Credit: (top) iStock/Yanotai Khamchak; (middle) iStock/gmast3r; (bottom) iStock/elenabs.

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