I Can’t Feel My Hands! – Marching Band Tips for Rehearsing In Very Cold Weather


It’s November and in many regions around the country it is getting cold. Marching band rehearsals can be downright miserable in freezing cold temperatures.  Here are some tips to help keep you and your hands from freezing, and allow you to still have productive rehearsals.

  • Wear warm clothes and be smart with your layers! Don’t worry about fashion. Nobody is impressed by the fool who looks great in their fashion jacket but is freezing, miserable and complaining about being cold.
  • Stay dry. Wear a base layer that will soak up any sweat (spandex, Under Armour, etc).  You need to stay dry under those layers.
  • Wear a hat that covers your ears, a hat with earflaps, or earmuffs.  Avoid just using a hood. Hoods blocks your peripheral vision and can fall down or not be allowed by your director.
  • Keep your feet warm with wool socks or double socks, but make sure your feet don’t get wet with sweat. You won’t get them warm after they’re wet.  You can also get foot warmers for your shoes, but again, don’t let them sweat!
  • Wear a jacket with decent-sized pockets and keep heat packs in them.
  • Keep your sticks warm. Try holding them backward in your pockets with the heat packs.
  • Wear thin gloves with the fingertips cut out. (Golf, batting, drum gloves, etc.)
  • Rubber surgical gloves under your gloves also helps keep body heat in.
  • Keep your fingers and hands moving, even in your pockets.
  • Move!  If you’re marching, this usually isn’t a problem, but it can be more difficult for the pit percussionists.  One solution would be doing jumping jacks or running in place every time the band is told to reset.
  • Drink water before and during rehearsal (if not frozen!).  Science has shown that a well hydrated body is easier to keep warm.

Take the time to check the weather and prepare, so you can be as comfortable and warm as possible at your next chilly rehearsal.  Good luck the rest of the season!

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