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Prevents ongoing cold damage
Cold Resistance is a protective effect in Breath of the Wild which allows Link to remain in places with extreme cold without suffering damage.
Breath of the Wild
Cold Resistance is required in many places in Hyrule - in the area around Mount Hylia & the River of the Dead on the Great Plateau; Hebra, the Gerudo Highlands, the Gerudo Desert (night only) and high areas in general. Hebra and the Gerudo Highlands in particular require Level 2 Cold Resistance from either multiple pieces of armor or spicy cooking.
Fire-based weapons such as a Great Flameblade perform a similar role, but do so in a different way; by raising the effective temperature around Link rather than increasing his resistance to the low temperature.
The Snowquill Set and two other miscellaneous pieces give Cold Resistance. If Link wears one piece of any of these, he will acquire Cold Resistance level 1, enough to survive in cool climates, however, he will need to equip two or more in order to reach level 2 resistance, which is required for even colder climates.
Meals & Elixirs
Link can add specific ingredients to his cooking to add a cold resistance buff to the end meal:
Link can also make a Spicy Elixir to resist the cold, which requires either a Summerwing Butterfly or a Warm Darner to be cooked with Monster Parts.
The more ingredients Link adds, the greater the level of cold resistance. Sunshrooms and Sizzlefin Trouts give longer durations and higher levels than an equivalent number of Spicy Peppers and Warm Safflinas. Cooking under a Blood Moon can also increase effects.