What’s your best cold-weather survival tip?

Anyone who’s lived here a few years has plenty of strategies for getting through the winter. But days like these call for fresh ideas. What’s your best cold-weather survival tip?

Comments texted to MPR:

A hot bath followed by a blanket and a book. Never fails. -Ellie Hutchison, Shoreview, MN

My best cold weather tip is to always have a spare blanket or sleeping bag in your trunk just in case. A good shovel too if you have room. -Alan, Ham Lake, MN

If you wear enough clothes, like 3-4 pairs of shirts and pants, you can’t even feel the cold. Wear gloves, etc. too! -Shaun, Moorhead, MN

Dress warmly and enjoy the cold, hang out in the fish house! -Kathleen Kallis, Lake Bronson, MN

Wear headphones and a hat! -Katie Banken, Saint Paul, MN

Winter survival tip: Get outta Dodge! Mexico is nice. -Jeremy

A vacation planned to a warmer climate to look forward to in February. -anonymous

Eliminating cotton and replacing it with wool and high tech synthetics. Add a down coat and you’re bulletproof! Mom always said: “there’s no bad weather, just bad clothing.” -Ann, Cottage Grove, MN

Mukluks are my cold weather survival must. -Lynley, Minneapolis, MN

Two words: long underwear. -Cindy, Arden Hills, MN

Tucson, AZ or any winter escape that allows me to see grass for even a week is my mental relief! -Leigh, Plymouth, MN

Bundling. I still walk the half hour to work and its beautiful. -Sunny, Lauderdale, MN

My strategy is to forget fashion. Go for Carhartts and polar wear! -Christine, Isanti, MN

  • Renee

    Think function, not fashion. Completely cover your body. What you can’t cover up, put vaseline on. It serves as invisible skin, a great wind and weather protector. A neccesity for kids in this weather.

  • Brian

    Stay indoors more. When going out, layers are your friend.

  • Sarah

    Dress appropriately! Too many people complain all winter about the weather and then go outside without a hat, scarf, or mittens – some don’t even zip their coats. If you dress weather-appropriate, winter temperatures are not a problem and you can enjoy the beautiful snow!

  • The double scarf!

  • Bob

    Wet is cold,, dry is warm.

    Dress appropriately, if you get snow on yourself brush it off. If you do get wet find shelter and get dry.

  • Val

    If I allow myself to think about how cold it is, I get ticked off. I’m not sure why or at whom, but it’s kind of a “whose idea was this?” reaction. So normally I just try not to think about it and go about my daily routine. I know it will end eventually, and when it hits 20 degrees again it will feel soooo good.

    When all else fails, I remember that I could be living in International Falls.

  • Marsha

    Save the cotton for summer. I walk my dog all winter–we were outside for about 2 miles this morning and I was very comfortable. I don’t wear any cotton next to my body. It absorbs perspiration and is too clammy and cold. And enjoy!

  • Beth

    I wear snow pants all day, indoors and out. It’s my corkey trademark i suppose. They have pockets, can go outside, they don’t get wet outside , they cover my torso, they’re more stylish than sweatpants and don’t get stiff in cold like jeans. Space heaters can be dangerous, so many of my co-workers throw a blanket over their legs if the office gets chilly. I just wear my snow pants.

    When i can’t wear snow pants, I tuck in my shirt. It’s important to seal the torso.

    Last but not least, eat and move around. Intake calories, then burn them off. Generate your own heat.

  • I run a winter clothing company, so I never stop moving until the summer temperatures return.

  • Krista

    This isn’t a lifesaver, but it makes my cold winter mornings just a little bit more bearable. Before I go to bed at night I put my socks on the radiator and when I get up in the morning I have toasty warm socks!

  • Warm Skin Weather Guard, applied on exposed skin, and under clothing for

    an extra layer of insulation. Warm Skin,

    manufactured here in Mpls, and renown

    for its use during 2 polar expeditions, and widely used

    by the NFL; WS protects the skin by

    acting as both a barrier cream and

    deep moisturizer. Warm Skin cuts that biting

    feeling and makes the bitter cold tolerable.

    Sold widely at the Co-ops and local

    sporting stores.

  • C S

    One word….Scotch

  • Heather

    Hot chocolate with a tiny pinch of cayenne.

  • Charles

    My car block heater works well in weather like this. Even though I live just outside the Metro, I spent four years up north in the Red River Valley and still go north on an semi-regular basis.

    The farther north you go the more need you have for an block heater even with today’s cars. Newer cars can still start with an decent battery, but an block heater makes it even easier to start and even more so it allows the car to heat up faster when you are on the road. When you start an car on an -20 to -25 morning it is an nice thing to have.

  • bsimon

    Do some work outside.

    You have to be dressed properly, of course. But once you get outside on a cold day and are reasonably comfortable for as little as 10 minutes, the cold no longer feels so bad.

    Option 2: woodstoves. I can get our living room up to 80 pretty easily. Getting toasty warm in front of a wood stove makes going outside much much easier.

  • Embrace winter in all its frosty glory. If you deny the inevitable, you just make it worse for yourself and anyone within earshot of your complaints.

  • Ben Chorn

    ALWAYS have a pair of gloves in your coat pocket and in your car.

  • Ekkeb

    Get your car washed. It is great for mental health to have a clean car and it will last for the length of the cold snap as there is no slush to splash it.

  • Mark Weinberger

    Dress properly, stop whining about it, and get out an enjoy the snow. Whether you’re skiing, snowshoeing, or taking a walk, nothing is more refreshing than an outing in cold, crisp weather.

  • Ann

    Sit in the pools of sunshine streaming in your south-facing windows until you’re warm to the bone. Wear as little as you can get away with. 🙂

  • Laura

    Silk. Long. Underwear.

  • Chuck

    Tongue + Flag pole = BAD 🙂

  • Lisa Letourneau

    Get your old house insulated. Contact NEC for information about current loans, rebates and tax credits; they’re very helpful and the process is quick and easy. It’s a great time to be doing work like this, and a win-win-win for your comfort, your pocketbook and the environment.

  • Take your time. It’ll be there when you get there.

    Be prepared. Can you take care of yourself or are you going to expect your cell phone to solve all your problems?

    Keep hydrated. Real cold is almost always really dry.

    Loosen up. Driving your modern, heated car whilst mummy-wrapped in hats, mittens and scarf makes you look darn silly.

  • Daniel

    Layer, layer, layer, with silk as the innermost layer. Also bulk supply of those handwarmers. I also sit and watch in awe and envy at my two Norwegian elkhounds, with their thick double-coat of fur, outside for hours alternating between frolicking and sleeping like babies in the snow banks and sub-zero temps.

  • stu klipper

    I have stood at the South Pole four times over.

    And, I have recently stood at the North Pole.

    My advice for staying as warm as possible, clear and simple, wear your warmest clothes (best in layers) and your heaviest boots (better if they’re insulated).

    And if you are going to be outside for a long time, stuff you pockets with chocolate bars.

  • Krista

    outdoor/car survival: extra blankets, gloves, socks and hats.

    indoor survival: nintendo wii- discgolf & skateboarding are seasonal sports here 🙁

  • Andrea

    For sunny days: Put on a hat of thick wool or fleece that covers your ears. Wear a winter jacket with a hood and pull the hood up over your hat. Now tie a wool scarf around the neck of your hood, covering your nose. Be sure to also wear long underwear under your pants and arctic-proof mittens and socks. Put on insulated winter boots with flat soles and good treads. Take a walk, feel how toasty warm you are, feel how clean and fresh the cold air is, and notice how brightly the sun shines on the snow. Then go home and have hot chocolate. Heaven! Sure to chase the winter blues away!

  • Sarah

    SmartWool Socks. I have a thin pair I layer underneath my “fashion” socks. They keep my feet warm and dry.

  • James

    Set your boots on their sides to dry at night.

    The water vapor will rise and be replaced by warm dry air. To give boots a jump start on drying stuff with balled up newspaper, the paper will wick the moister.


  • Emily

    Remember that the cold can kill you, If you are out walking and start to feel sleepy and think “Oh I know, I’ll just take a little nap and warm up and then keep walking after I’m warm again,” this is a sign that you are about to FREEZE TO DEATH and you need to find shelter!!!

  • Robin

    Keep your head covered so heat doesn’t escape. Dress appropriately, in layers. You won’t look so cute in that mini-skirt if your legs are blue. Take every effort to remain dry, even if it means changing clothes when you get to your destination. Remember, there are boots for show and boots for snow – makesure you wear the right ones at the right time.