Essential Winter Gear

One of the most frequent questions I get from friends and family is about how we deal with the persistent cold during the winter months. I think that they’re perplexed that it doesn’t seem to bother us overmuch when the temperatures do not get above 30 degrees. I think the answer lies in the fact that we made sure that we had the right winter gear to get us through those single-digit days. Below is a list of what I consider to be winter essentials when the temperature dips below 40 degrees.

1. The Right Jacket
Truth be told, I have an entire coat closet filled with jackets of all shapes, sizes and materials. However, when the weather gets cold, I consistently reach for a single jacket: My L.L. Bean Insulated H2OFF DX Storm Coat.
You can’t see the full length of the coat in this picture, but it hits right below the knees. Even though the jacket doesn’t feel very heavy, the outside is waterproof and the inside is insulated to keep your body heat inside. There are three different types of weather conditions in which I rely on this jacket: rainy (I don’t bother to carry an umbrella since it has a hood), windy and coooold. This jacket has been indispensable. With regard to sizing, I’m 5’11” and about 140 lbs. (when I’m not incubating a human) and a medium fits me just fine.
2. All-Weather Boots
I bought my Merrell Spire Peak Waterproof boots before I took a January trip to Portland, Oregon three years ago.
These boots are total workhorses. They look great, keep your feet warm and I have literally worn them for more than 20 hours straight (walking all day and then flying at night) and they didn’t hurt my feet one bit. They have great arch support and I love that on really rainy days, they can double as galoshes without making me look like my preschooler or my undergrads. They are a bit pricey (as is the jacket), but after three years of heavy use, both items have been worth their weight in gold and I imagine I will have them for many years to come. I’m considering getting the Irishman a pair of the men’s version for Christmas this year. Hmmm, I should probably move on that.
3. Hand Protection
Another thing we could not do without are insulated, waterproof mittens. The absolute first thing to get cold when you’re playing or walking outside are your fingers. We have mittens like these for all three of us.
4. Ear Protection
Ear protection can come in the form of a fleece hat, but both the Irishman and I prefer a fleece band that covers your ears.
You wear this around your head like a headband of sorts and it gives you warmth without completely messing up your hair (in the event that you have to look somewhat presentable when you come in out of the cold). I wear mine running, playing, walking or just around the house if I’m too lazy to get up and turn on the heat.
Well folks, that’s pretty much it. Everything else is just gravy once you have the basics of your winter gear purchased. Happy Holidays and stay warm!

One thought on “Essential Winter Gear

  1. Jessica December 21, 2010 / 5:14 am

    I just always think of you living somewhere WARM. I live in Wisconsin and the only thing i have an actual pair (but I do have plenty of single riders) are those stupid magic gloves…you are much smarter than I! That coat and boots look awesome.

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