How to keep warm at an outdoor market in the cold

Here are some top tips from some lovely makers on staying toasty when it’s chilly outside

Traders stand outside at markets for hours during the winter months, how do they keep warm I hear you ask… here are their top tips!

Spardha : “Keep heat packs in your pockets for your hands, and wear a heat patch on your lower back. Wrap your head and neck up too!”

Potty Potters : “Layers off for the setup, when the exertion keeps you warm. Then dress up again for the selling bit when you’re not moving much.”

Lisa Travers : “Thermals, boots not trainers, heat patches, stand on cardboard, layers, hat, fingerless gloves, stand don’t sit. Good handwarmers are freshly boiled eggs wrapped in foil. When they cool you have a nice snack. My nan used to do this.”

Cottage Coppicing : “Hot water bottle stuffed inside your coat.”

Sophie Davies : “Don’t go hungry!”

Bits and Totes : “Hand warmers. Good thermals. Layers of cotton. Wool socks. And stand on cardboard too!”

Viva Los Muertos : “Heated insoles (like the hand-warmers).”

Red Bird Makes : “Eat & drink warm food – it most definitely helps when I’m feeling my coldest. Also I’ve purchased quite a few pairs of real wool insoles for all my boots/trainers which work like a dream! Fill a flask with hot water and fill up a hot water bottle – I tuck it down my top or dungerees!”

Rose Nisbet : “A massive flask of tea and wear a hat and gloves. And do little dances when nobody’s looking!”

Collect Me : “Keep those feet warm! Thick soled boots and layer up on the socks. A long top underneath the layers so you don’t get a draft.”

Becca Thorne: I used to be a groom, so I had a lot of cold, damp winter mornings in the fields!

These are my recs: You can get special insoles for boots that have a reflective surface to keep your feet toasty. Walking boots are great because they have thick soles and they support your feet. Wool socks over thinner socks is good, and make sure you keep your ankles warm too. Cold ankles *hurt.* 

Layer! You want to be able to remove a layer if the sun comes out, without losing all your hard-earned heat. Keep your core warm and it will help heat everywhere else. Try long sleeve wool-blend base-layers from outdoor shops. Wear under a tank top, jumper, and a good coat. And wear a scarf, a hat that covers your ears and fingerless gloves with attached mitten bits that you can fold over your fingertips when you’re standing around.

A coat/cardigan/jumper that covers your bum and upper thighs is a bonus. When you’re standing a long time in the cold with just a piece of material between your thighs and the air, your thighs are both active and freezing, and that makes the capillaries expand and itch, which can be an unpleasant sensation!

Lots of people recommend leggings under trousers, but I find it restrictive, and it’s good to have a gap between layers for warm air to get trapped in, so I prefer trousers + long socks and a knee- or thigh-length coat (with big pockets for stuffing your hands in. Maybe pocket hand warmers too! Lots of people have said warm drinks and keeping nourished, and I agree. The hungrier and less hydrated you are, the more tired you get and the harder it is for your body to stay warm. Plus, warm food and drink heat you from the inside!