“Let it snow!” This is my mantra from the end of December through the middle of March. Living in the Midwestern United States, I’ve learned to enjoy snow and the outdoors in winter. If you’re new to a snowy climate and want to embrace the season, read on for tips to make the most of winter and wonderful snow.
The trick to enjoying winter is to dress properly, before heading outside. Dressing for flexibility and warmth when outside temperatures range between 10 degrees F and 32 degrees F, makes all the difference between enjoying the beauty of winter and being too uncomfortable to appreciate it.
Layer clothing to retain body heat. If you get too warm when outside, it’s easier to remove a layer of clothing and cool off, then to add an additional layer to warm up.
Plan to take 10 to 20 minutes to get dressed for outdoor winter activities. If you have young children, tack on another 20 to 30 minutes to get them suited up before heading outside. Dressing in layers takes more time and may seem redundant at first, but it’s well worth the effort.
My warmest winter outdoor outfit contains the following: light standard underwear and heavier long john type underwear over them; a long sleeve T-shirt and pants (I like to wear stretchy yoga pants or jeans); a pair or two of heavy weight long winter socks; a warm thin sweater and a fleece jacket; a warm insulated winter jacket and snow pants with bib; a hat, boots, and warm winter gloves.
Outerwear clothing made with GOR-TEX® and Thinsulate™ work very well together to keep bodies warm and dry in cold weather. Gor-Tex® is a waterproof, breathable material and Thinsulate™, an insulation made by 3M™, retains heat without the bulk of traditional insulation; plus, it’s moisture-resistant. Footwear and gloves made with these two materials are my favorites — they keep my fingers and toes warm and dry even if I’m working up a sweat.
I really enjoy spending time outside in winter and have many wonderful winter memories with family and friends. Some winter activities worth exploring outside include running, snowboarding, ice-skating and ice-hockey. I like to sculpt snowmen and funny looking characters out of snow — it’s fun and great exercise. I also like walking, hiking, sledding, snowmobiling and skiing.
I’m sharing these tips to encourage folks to give winter a try – to dress for comfort, go outside and explore. Maybe it will become one of your favorite seasons as it is one of mine. Making the most of what we have, no matter what the climate is, can be exciting. Wishing you a great season!