Appropriate Cold Weather Dress

As we head further into winter and slowly inch into colder weather let me break down a few things. To be honest here, it saddens me that I have to spell any of this out, but since I haven’t figured out how to bottle common sense and sell it I’ll break it down.

Dress in layers for starters. Indoors or outdoors you should dress in layers. That way as the temperature fluctuates throughout the day you can remove or add to help regulate body temperature and keep yourself at a comfortably warm temperature and also keep yourself from any unnecessary sweating. One of the quickest ways to become cold is to have moisture of any kind on your skin or soaked into your clothing and sweating will do just that. Here’s a clutch tip from scouting. Always have an extra pair socks at hand.

Speaking of socks, can someone explain to me socks with crocs or sandals? If you are one of those people that thinks this is an ok fashion choice I hope you roll an ankle. (Side note: if you allow your signification other to walk out in public dressed as such it’s time to re-evaluate the relationship.) As for that being your excuse that allows you to wear them in colder weather that makes you an even bigger idiot. Please don’t send me links showing these new “outdoor socks” either. They are garbage and as I stated before. Moisture will be your undoing.

Let me pontificate on one more point. Ladies, if you are going to wear a skirt in cold weather so be it. Your dress choice is your own, but I beg of you some common sense please. Get the thick thermal tights. Helps retain body heat better. Props to my wife on that one. (Honestly hate hearing about how cold someone is and then realizing underdressed they are. I have no sympathy for self inflected problems.) secondly if you opt for the mini/micro skirt there’s no a pair of thermal tights that are going to help you but me thinks that if that was go to choice I doubt tights of any kind were a thought.

I could go on about other proper cold weather attire for hours but since I have better thoughts to get down I’ll stop here. These are just some general thoughts I have and the two most egresses problems I have noticed since the temperatures have started dropping.

Cold Weather Delay’s

So in my neck of the woods we are finally starting to get the much colder weather. With that comes the negative wind chill factor. With that also brings the inevitable school delays. This confuses this shit out of me.

For starters, when I was a kid negative wind chill factors would never result in a delay. In fact I am confident that it never crossed an administrators mind. Minimum of 2 inches of snow had to be on the ground to even consider the delay. Countless times I can remember standing at the bus stop with my friends freezing our asses off.

Other parts of the country and other nations must laugh at us when they hear about these delays. Now, before anyone gets on their high horse and starts touting the safety and well being of the children are paramount please just shut up. We have been surviving on this planet just fine for hundreds of years in all sorts of environmental conditions. A few minutes of cold  temperatures at the bus stop isn’t going to harm them. If it does it’s because you as a parental unit failed to prepare and educate them on proper cold weather attire.

Let me zero in here. The delays are unnecessary and a waste of time. This might be the beginnings of me acting like the cranky old man, but the youth need to toughen up a bit.

Driving In The Snow

We’ll after much delay some snow has finally returned to my corner of the world. With the return of the snow we also have the hundreds of drivers who forget how to drive safely in the snow. I am sure I have stood up here on my soap box and pontificated about it in the past, but here are the highlights again.

The most important thing to do is STAY in your lane and maintain a safe speed. You may not be able to maintain the speed limit depending on wind, visibility, and slick road conditions and it is acceptable to go below the speed limit. However, it is not acceptable to be at an almost negligible speed and still traveling. I don’t care if you have your hazard lights on you are now officially a road hazard.

At the same time don’t speed either. The only thing you are going to hurry up to is getting in an accident.

It’s common sense people. Don’t be on the road unless you have to and if you are drive safely.

Old Man Winter’s Last Breath

Now is the time of year where I live where we start heading into consistent higher temperatures. However, there is always one last cold snap for a couple of days before I can officially warmer weather is here to stay.

Just to be clear I am a fan of colder weather. I like to be able to see my breath. I like the bite of frost. I enjoy the shit out of hoodies and jeans. I also find it easier to warm one self up and than to cool off. Also, if you should happen to have a significant other, or a really awesome friend, or a pet it’s totally cuddling time.

If I could figure out a way to move to Maine I would. I’m not knocking warmer weather and associated activities I’d just rather a parka over a wet suit.

Holiday Decorations

While taking my daily constitutional (walk) I noticed that a few people still had Christmas decorations still adorning their houses. I’ve also noticed in the past people leave Halloween decorations up a little too long, but whatever. I understand that some people will leave Christmas decorations up until almost the end of January to celebrate “Russian” or Orthodox Christmas. This is all fine and dandy, but there is a limit.

We are past St. Patrick’s and heading towards spring solstice. All decorations should be removed no later than 2 weeks after celebrating the final day of the holiday. That’s 14 days there and it includes 2 separate weekends to work on it. After that point your house just looks ridiculous because everyone else got with the program.

Please don’t tell me it’s because the weather is bad. Dress yourself weather appropriate and get on it. I also don’t give exception to the elderly either.

My grandfather put  up and then took down his own decorations. And when he couldn’t do it all himself anymore he scheduled time with myself, my sister, my mother, my uncle, or one of my cousins. If a family member isn’t an option find a trustworthy neighborhood youth and offer up 20 bucks and some lunch for a few hours worth of work.

Proper Winter Weather Atire

While throwing a final layer of ice melt before turning in for the evening I had to take my glove off so I could use my nails in order to open the can. In that short amount of time (approx. 30 seconds) my hand cramped up and started to hurt and my skin immediately became flush. Depending on the temperature and wind conditions you can experience frostbite within the afore-mentioned time frame. I will also point out that it can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 3 hours, again depending on wind and weather, for someone to die from hypothermia. That brief moment of discomfort brings me to my point(s) of explaining correct cold weather clothing. It’s more so if you are going to be outside for a prolonged amount of time.

So starting with your base layer will e underwear. Ladies thongs aren’t gonna cut it and gents neither is the banana hammock. I recommend a boxer style undergarment which allows your neither region to “breath”, but also be adequately covered. (Ladies I believe those are called boy shorts.)  On your feet you could put a no-show sock on, but its optional.

For the next layer pay close attention. It is very important to have a layer that wicks away moisture (sweat) from the skin. Any sort of moisture near the skin despite how many layers you may have on is going to cause you to get cold. Something similar to the material the UnderArmor is made from will suffice. Don’t use cotton materials. It will hold water like a sponge. Everything I just said in the paragraph is very important. This is the part most people fail on and that’s how you get sick or worse.

Moving to the first thermal layer you have a few options. First off you could invest in a good set of thermal underwear, but if your like me and on a budget there’s other options. A long-sleeved shirt of some kind and a pair of pajama pants will do. Also a pair of cotton socks that reach up to your shins.

Your second thermal layer should include a regular t-shirt and jeans or whatever work pants you would normally use. I also suggest putting on your final set of socks here. Depending on your footwear you can either go with a second pair of cotton socks or kick it up to a thick pair of wool socks.

Before moving on I want to remind everyone that it is important to remain dry as possible especially your feet. Bring an extra pair of socks to change into. I can also suggest some talcum powder to aid in keeping your feet dry.

Depending on what you are doing outside you may just move onto boots and coat or it might require an extra layer of pants. Basically, if you are going to be working or playing in deep snow you will want to put on a pair of snow pants. This allow you to move around in knee-deep or higher snow without getting wet and  stay warm.

When it comes to foot wear forget anything other than a good sturdy pair of boots. They will provide ample ankle support and should have enough for your foot with extra layers of socks. FYI: UGG’S DO NOT COUNT!!! Do consider the type of boot you wear though. A standard work boot will be ok for most things, but there are boots suited specifically for deep snow.

Moving to top body coverage. If you are wearing snow pants they are most likely an overall style and are at least covering part of your back and chest. Otherwise a heavy coat with a hood is suggested. The reason I suggest the hood is because it is easiest to cover up your head and neck with the hood. Otherwise you will need a scarf and ear muffs at the minimum. Depending on the weather conditions you may also consider is some sort of face covering and eye protection if weather is severe enough. Although I normally also have a hood of some kind I normally trade-off my scarf for a shemagh. That way if need be I can wrap my entire head in it and have negated needing ear muffs and face protection as well.

As the old saying goes most of the bodies heat escapes from the head. Always wear a hat.

Finally the hands. One trick I picked up from marching band is to wear a pair of medical gloves underneath my other gloves. This helps wick away moisture because of the powder most gloves have inside them, but also provides another layer of warmth. Once more depending on the weather conditions you might want to use a s then mitten as your net layer or you could jump right to the durable glove.

If you haven’t noticed I talked about layers a lot. When you start moving around and doing things your body will produce heat. This way as your warm up you could remove a layer or two allowing your body to breath. That way you don’t over heat or drown in sweat.