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Page last updated at 16:29 GMT, Thursday, 7 January 2010
Polar explorer's hot tips for cold
By Jemima Laing
BBC Devon

Ann Daniels
Ann Daniels lives near Exeter

With unusually low temperatures of as low as -19C reported in Devon, who better to offer tips on the cold than polar explorer Ann Daniels.

Ann, who lives in Devon, led the Catlin Arctic Survey team in 2009 with fellow Devon explorer Pen Hadow.

She says that with a bit of forward thinking any situation can be dealt with, whether you are in Devon or thousands of miles away in the Arctic.

"With the right planning this really is a time to be enjoyed," said Ann.

"You do have to take it seriously but the good thing is that we know in advance it's going to be very cold so we can prepare for it - I've lived at -50 and anything can be dealt with if you plan properly.

"One mistake lots of people make is to wrap up warm with gloves and hats and scarves then go out with thin socks and trainers on.," said Ann, speaking to the BBC Devon website from her home in Whimple.

"If you have boots you should wear them and thick woolly socks or even two pairs - but make sure not to constrict the blood flow to your feet.

Road on Dartmoor (Mike Kinsey)
The weather is so cold because our air is coming from the Arctic

"You should wear layers of clothing so that warm air can circulate between the layers.

"You lose a lot of heat through your neck so a scarf is important.

"If you don't keep your torso warm your body will go into survival mode and draw heat from your extremities to the heart and lungs."

And according to Ann, 45, it is no coincidence that our bodies tend to crave hearty food like stews and soups when the temperature drops.

"You have to make sure your body is stoked up."

Another key thing is to make sure you look after your clothing properly.

"We did this in the Arctic too, there is nothing worse than coming back to find your clothing a sodden mess the next day.

"Get in, get warm then make sure you put your clothing somewhere it can dry, that's really important."

It's a lovely, beautiful thing to be savoured and enjoyed
Ann Daniels

Ann - who has four children - spent 73 days in the Arctic from 1 March to 7 May 2009 and the team covered 434kms of frozen Arctic Ocean in temperatures around -46 degrees Celsius and she is currently training for a future project.

"I can actually do some real-life training where I live, which is great.

"I wrap my children up and we go out in it - it's a lovely, beautiful thing to be savoured and enjoyed.

"There is nothing better than seasons," said Ann

"It's been lovely to go out and do things like sledging and see our communities - people we don't see for weeks on end - all laughing and joking in the snow."




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