Staying Warm Without Power

It might be difficult to stay warm when there is no power and the air is chilly, whether this is because of winter or the local environment in general. Even in the summer, some places can get chilly enough at night that protection against hypothermia may be required.

Although it may be simpler to keep bodies warm than entire places, the following advice offers techniques to achieve both. The people will undoubtedly be able to stay warm if the dwelling can be kept heated. In many instances, even when it is impossible to heat an entire house, the occupants can still stay warm.

Create a Fire

The most typical solution is to start a little fire if you find yourself in a situation where you have no idea how to stay warm without electricity. Building an open fire should always be done outside for safety reasons. You need a variety of fire-starting techniques, along with dry tinder and wood to burn, to succeed. This is effective in mild to moderate weather, but when it gets below freezing, you’ll need to find a safe way to make a fire inside to stay warm.



Even just having a fireplace can be very helpful during a power outage. Getting the wife and kids to gather around the fire can make a significant difference, as this author personally witnessed during the Texas disaster. When it becomes cold and the lights go off, it’s important to have logs available. It is essential to keep a supply of wood in a dry location and having some matches or a lighter on hand also helps.

In addition to offering a heat source, primitive cooking is another option. Grab some cooking utensils and feed the family like you’re going camping in Yellowstone. The body can also benefit from some hot chocolate or coffee. Even if Frankenstein disliked fire, it might be a man’s closest ally in a severe winter storm.

Supply of Emergency Power

Although there are many different types of generators, having an electrical backup may mean remaining warm and having access to the outside world. Electrical backups can range from expensive, whole-house gasoline generators to charging stations designed to power smaller equipment, like the heater in this example.

Being organized is, however, a vital component of this survival requirement during a power outage. Plan and store some gas cans somewhere safe to use to fuel the generator. Keep those charging stations charged and prepared, especially as winter approaches and the temperatures begin to drop.

Also, necessary to keep on hand during a power loss are a few space heaters that are powered by electricity or batteries. Gather the family around and plug some into your backup generators or charging stations. Even while it’s not ideal, this can prevent frostbite.

Use a Propane Heater

Utilizing a propane heater is an additional common method. Because of the built-in safety safeguards, portable propane heaters are typically permitted for interior usage in small spaces like garages, sheds, and campsites. The heater does require a connection to a gas tank, which is the one drawback. If you keep enough of these on hand, the heater will keep you warm even during a prolonged power outage. If the power outage lasts longer than your propane supply, you will need to decide on a renewable source of heat.

Kerosene Heater

Kerosene heaters are already a common source of extra heat for many households. They’re the main source of heat for some people. When using a kerosene heater indoors, be sure to install a carbon monoxide detector for safety. The drawback is that you must have enough kerosene in storage, and your supply will ultimately run out. Kerosene is more stable on shelves than gasoline, which is a plus.

Controlling Body Temperature

Make a cup of soup or heat some cocoa if you can cook over a small fire or a wood stove. Warm liquids will aid in warming your body from the inside out. Exercise and physical activity will help you warm up more rapidly by increasing your body temperature. Spending time cuddling with your loved ones, or even your pet is another approach to increasing body warmth. Because mammals are built-in heaters, snuggling benefits everyone by keeping everyone warm. The coldest person should be positioned between two others for added warmth.

Woman holding hand warmer outdoors

Use Hand Warmers

Stockpile oxygen-activated hand warmers in addition to being ready to dress in layers during cold weather to assist maintain body warmth. Hand warmers can be worn in mittens or gloves to keep hands warm and toasty, in boots to keep feet warm and dry, and at night in your sleeping bag. You can use hand warmers to help a person who is hypothermic warm up by putting them in their armpit and groin region. The best thing about hand warmers is that they are versatile and reasonably priced. They can be used to warm infant bottles, ease tight muscles, or prolong the warmth of hot liquids.

In addition, hand warmers can be used to dry out gadgets by removing moisture and warming batteries, so they don’t lose power as rapidly in the cold. Hand warmers are produced as single-use items and typically last approximately 5-7 hours. If you don’t want the warmth for the whole 5-7 hours, you can save the hand warmer and use it again later by placing it inside a zip-top bag.

To deactivate the warmer, make sure to expel as much air from the zip-top bag as you can. Simply unzip the zip lock bag the next time you need to use the warmer; the warmer will turn back on when oxygen contacts it. Use caution when applying oxygen-activated hand warmers to the skin because they could become hot enough to burn.

Layer Your Clothing

To keep your body warm in cold weather, it is always a good idea to stock up on clothing. Wearing multiple thin layers keeps you warmer than wearing just one thick one because the air between the layers acts as additional insulation. Because air is trapped between layers, it sometimes seems warmer to use numerous thin blankets than one thick one.

Base Layer 

It’s important to wear a base layer next to your skin that will keep your body dry if you want to layer clothing efficiently, especially while you’re outside in chilly weather. Use quick-drying fabrics that wick away moisture as a base layer, like merino wool or silk. Thermal underwear is popular. Avoid wearing cotton and polyester textiles next to your skin because they will make you perspire and make you feel cold. Extremities will stay dry and toasty with a warm cap, gloves, wool socks, and sturdy waterproof boots.

Protective Layer

By trapping a layer of air adjacent to your body, the second layer of clothing acts as insulation and helps you keep warm. The best material for your insulating layer is natural fibers. Look for materials like goose or merino wool. Unlike goose down, which loses its insulation when wet, wool keeps its insulation when wet. Because they dry quickly, are breathable, and light, fleece tops or insulate materials are excellent choices for a second layer.

Waterproof Layer

The outer layer should ideally be waterproof and windproof while still being breathable. A durable water-repellent coating, or (DWR), should be present on the cloth. By doing this, you can prevent water from soaking through the fabric and make beads and rolls instead. To block the wind and light rain, the water-resistant fabric is typically made of tightly woven fabric, like nylon. However, in extremely wet conditions, it will become soaked.

If you plan to be submerged in water, look for waterproof shells that are not breathable. These will be made of polyurethane-coated nylon. These can be cumbersome and difficult to move in, but they are excellent for cold, wet weather. They are ideal for low-intensity athletic pursuits like fishing, but not so great for activities that need a lot of movement while wearing them.

Stay in Enclosed Areas

You will feel warmer if the area you’re in is smaller. Your home can already contain constrained rooms, or you may need to build some. Closets, baths (although avoid turning on a hot shower because the moisture would eventually make the bathroom colder), small bedrooms or workplaces, or any other small area would be ideal restricted spaces. Smaller areas, like a tent, will warm up faster than bigger ones when utilizing a battery-powered space heater. Without a battery-operated heater, body heat may effectively heat a small area.

Create your cramped area whether you live in a studio apartment or a house without modest rooms. Chairs and blankets can be used to create a tent. Simply set up three or four chairs in a corner, cover them with a thick blanket, and hide underneath. There is no setup necessary for sleeping bags or blanket cocoons, which are also effective.

Create a compact, cozy space by sitting, standing, or lying close to one another if you’re with other people or animals. Huddling, a technique used by penguins to remain warm in the arctic is exactly this. A group of people cuddling together saves one person from exerting all of their energy to stay warm. The ambient temperature rises when people (or wildlife) are crowded close together, which is how the human body instinctively adjusts to it. Last but not least, lock up any spaces in your house that aren’t in use. As a result, heat is trapped in condensed areas, making it more challenging for the air to cool.

Be Active

Light exercise will raise your body’s temperature. To keep your skin and clothing dry, the trick is to keep everything light. Your hands and feet receive more blood when you exercise lightly, which makes them more prone to frostbite. Your internal temperature rises as a result of increased blood flow, keeping you warmer for longer. When you begin your light exercise, adjust your clothing layers to prevent perspiring. After you have finished moving, wait until you are entirely dry before re-layering your garments. Lighter exercises include brisk walking, stationary walking, push-ups, squats, dancing, crunches, light kickboxing, etc.


Use candles if you have access to them in a small space. There are candle lanterns available nowadays that produce enough heat to warm a small area. Use lanterns instead of individual candles whenever possible because they present less of a risk. Additionally, contemporary candle lanterns come with little cooktops that let you reheat some canned goods. If the power goes out, this should ensure that your food won’t be cold.

Keep Your Blinds and Curtains Closed at Night and Open Throughout the Day

Take advantage of the blinds and/or curtains you currently own. Make sure windows are open during the day when the power is out to get as much heat from the sun as you can. Close the blinds at night to keep the warm air inside and prevent drafts. 

Reduce the Area You Need for Your Heat Source

It’s crucial to keep the area you’re heating under control while utilizing a fireplace or other heat source during a power outage. Other rooms that aren’t proximally next to the space you’re trying to heat should be sealed off. Close the doors to all other exterior rooms if you and your family are huddled around the fireplace in the living room to keep the heat contained there. Additionally, covering windows makes a space a few degrees warmer and helps keep cool air out. If employing a heater and backup battery, put the family in a smaller space so that the heat may more easily circulate within it. A great heater can increase comfort and provide much-needed warmth in a tiny space.

Solar Generator

You can use a solar generator to power your electrical heater, but it won’t keep you warm by itself. A solar generator can capture solar energy and transform it into electricity for whatever you need to power as long as the sun is shining, even in the winter. You won’t need gasoline or wood with a solar generator.

Quick Visits in Your Vehicle

It’s common for survivors to find a great heater sitting in the garage, but it’s crucial to remember to open the garage door or back out into the driveway to avoid any risk from harmful vapors. However, you can stay warm during a power outage by charging your phone briefly inside the vehicle and turning on the heater for a short period. It can also provide a connection to the outside world, warm relief, and toasty toes.

Having some blankets and a survival kit in the trunk can come in handy if someone is stuck in a car during these power outages. While waiting out the weather in the car, a few water bottles, some food, and additional blankets or clothes can be quite helpful. Emergency thermal blankets are also reasonably priced and aid in maintaining body heat when it is most necessary when an unexpected power interruption occurs.

Family of five suffers in no heating and no electricity during an energy crisis in Europe causing blackouts

In the event of a protracted power outage during the winter, staying warm is crucial to your survival. In addition to hypothermia and frostbite, failing to stay warm can make a person sick at the worst possible time with even the most common illnesses, such as colds. And one of our most fundamental needs for survival is heat. You need to have a backup heating alternative in case something goes wrong and the electricity goes out after a calamity damages the system.