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jca's avatar

People who are currently in areas where it's cold: How do you handle the cold?

Asked by jca (36043points) February 20th, 2015

Where I live, in NY, it’s currently about 10 degrees Fahrenheit. I tend to be a cold person, so right now I’m in bed, pajamas on, flannel sheets, a blanket and two comforters (one is a down). My hands are cold, my feet are cold and I’ll be putting on socks later. My house is not that cold, so it’s not the fault of my domain.

I had frozen pipes earlier this week so that makes me just extra tired of this weather. I can really see why people like to spend winters down South.

This weather is not helpful as far as productivity goes and I don’t feel like going out shopping or socializing. I go out when I have to, of course but most people I know around here are postponing most social activities until warmer weather comes. One more month and the weather should start getting a bit warmer.

How about you? How are you handling the cold?

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17 Answers

geeky_mama's avatar

Um, this is normal weather for us here in the northern tundra of Minnesota.
They won’t call off school unless the windchill is -35F or lower. (And some schools / districts still don’t call off school even then), we are very used to air temperatures that remain below zero for weeks at a time. (It’s not infrequent to hear “And tomorrow’s high will be zero”)
Actual air temps (not counting wind chill) below zero for weeks at a time are not news here at all.

We get at least 3 or 4 weeks of this every winter.

I feel bad for parts of the country that aren’t used to this.. but then, I also feel bad when I see Hmong or Somali recent immigrants (of which we have a large population) attempting to adapt to their first winters here.

That said, we’re well equipped here with thick down-filled coats, good snow pants, balaclavas (face masks), hand warmers and foot warmers for putting in our mittens or boots – and my husband even wears Bunny Boots – especially this weekend when he and our son are at a Cub Scout camp out. (Yes, they are camping out in -20 in un-insulated tin huts on an Army base.)

Because I’m not a native my husband has graciously agreed to allow me to control our thermostat and I keep the house at a toasty 72.5 F at all times from October to May. (We’ve had snow in May.)

janbb's avatar

Staying in a lot more than normal – especially at night – cooking, watching Netflix, Fluthering, etc. Early nights in pjs and bed. Not getting the walking or visiting in that I usually do. Shoveling snow every two days!

dappled_leaves's avatar

First chance you have tomorrow, go to a pharmacy or a Walmart and buy a $5 hot water bottle or two. Fill them from the hottest water from your kitchen faucet before bed, dry them off, and put them where your feet go. You’ll never feel cold in bed again.

For extra comfort, make a fleece cosy for your hot water bottle. Doesn’t matter whether you can sew or not, it will keep you warm even if it doesn’t look perfect. :)

dxs's avatar

I’m the kind of person who hates being trapped inside, so any reason I can find for going out, I will. It’s really the snow that discourages me from going out because then transportation gets delayed and it’s annoying to walk through. But if it’s single digits or below, I’ll wear extra layers. Usually, I’ll wear an undershirt, a light sweatshirt thing, and my outdoor coat (I don’t know the name of it but it’s the one that’s kind of a soft velvety material buttons up with really big buttons) or a hoodie if it’s 20s or higher. If it gets really cold, I’ll wear more. For instance, today I wore a shirt, a light sweatshirt thing, a hoodie and my big outdoor coat. I also wore pajama pants under my jeans. Our apartment is kept somewhere around 64–68 degrees. I don’t usually get cold while sleeping, so I just sleep with a sheet and a blanket.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

NC but I have my -20* F parka from when I lived in Connecticut, 7* F with a wind chill Friday morning of -5* F.

JLeslie's avatar

If you don’t own flannel sheets buy a set. They make a huge difference in my opinion.

Also, I try to keep in mind it’s harder to get warm than to stay warm. Once you have been cold for a while you need it to be hot to warm back up. What I used to do was close myself in a small room with a space heater and warm up for a half an hour until I was really comfortable. Then I could go back out into the main living areas with a few layers in and be comfortable. Taking a hot bath can be good too if you can close the bathroom door and keep the while room warm. You just have to dry off and put on jammie’s before you venture back out again.

Long johns are awesome. The biggest trick to staying warm is a layer right next to your skin and then one more layer.

I’m in FL as you know so I really can’t complain, but it has been cold. I wore a turtle neck today, jeans and a winter jacket. I’ll sleep tonight in long sleepwear pants, a GAP long sleeve favorite T, and another long sleeve T that’s a little looser over it.

ibstubro's avatar

I have a vinyl jacket, leather gloves and a fleece scarf. Just this year I started wearing a ball cap, and I keep a sock hat in the car. All that get-up keeps the wind off of me, and I’m fine as long as there’s no wind.
While at home I’m baking a lot more. Cakes, casseroles…things I avoid when it’s warmer. I had a Stouffer’s veggie lasagne that baked at 400° for 2 hours. Perfect weather for that! The thermostat is at the opposite end of the house from the kitchen, even better.

Yesterday I baked a pineapple cake mix (not up-side down, just pineapple I bought at Walmart) mixed with a can of cherry pie filling and 3 eggs. Topped it with fluffy white frosting and shaved chocolate. Ice Cream Sundae Cake. I made it up, whether there’s a recipe for it somewhere or not. lol

Calling for -4°F here soon, no wind-chill factored.

I bought a good quality set of fleece sheets, and they are much better than my flannel.

CWOTUS's avatar

I’ve got to admit that a solid week of single-digit (and below-zero) mornings and nights is taking some of the fun out of the winter, starting with the 6” or so of powder that we got on Saturday night last week. I shoveled the driveway, the sidewalk, the front walk and my entry steps – as well as Willow’s tiny bathroom area in back of the house – and it seemed like every shovelful of snow I threw ended back in my face somehow. (I made sure not to “throw” those shovels-full of yellow snow in the back yard!)

More snow expected over the weekend.

As for how I handle it, I’ve been sort of “training” for this. Years ago when it looked like fuel oil payments might rival my mortgage payment for affordability (or lack of) I started to “live cold” in the winter. I gradually started turning down my thermostat about 1°F per year in the wintertime. Now that I keep the wintertime temperature at around 59°F all winter (augmented by an occasional space heater for the living room when I’m there), I think I may have found the place to stop that downward progression.

Fifty-nine degrees is pretty chill. But I dress for the cool, with several layers, fleece or a sweater, warm socks and good slippers. Except for my fingers I’m generally quite comfortable. (And I exercise my fingers in the way you see here – by typing a lot.)

I’ve got to admit, though, that it is kind of a jolt to come inside from shoveling the driveway – having worked up a sweat while doing that – and then coming inside and getting … cold.

On the other hand, I can’t argue with the results: I am in better overall health than I have been in many years (and my health is normally good, anyway). I had one cold this winter, the first that I’ve had in the last four or five, and that only lasted a week.

I am kind of looking forward to the summer, though. The grill has two feet of snow piled on top of it, which normally wouldn’t prevent me from using it even in the winter, but the snow for me to get there is up to my thighs, and I’m not wading through that just yet.

Aethelwine's avatar

By cursing at my car because I forgot to fill it up with gas on Wednesday and now it won’t start. We had -20 F windchills that evening. We still can’t get the dang thing started.

AshLeigh's avatar

Like every other Alaskan: in silence. Jackets, boots and gloves. Going from a heated apartment to a heated car.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@CWOTUS I hear you on the “living cold” thing. I started embracing “cold house” living a couple of years ago to save money. It was ok… I wore sweaters, hats, and scarves indoors. But last year I started heating again, when it became clear I wouldn’t starve on my student salary. I will admit that I get more grumpy with the cold when I’m heating, because I have outside factors to blame. When it was my choice, it bothered me far less.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@jca Where did you find the heat wave? Minus 20 F here. I just endure it and hope for Spring.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Gee I feel for you cold bugs, it was a freezing 12c or 64f and sunny I sure hate living west of the Rockies, NOT!

CWOTUS's avatar

Always consider the health and safety of those who are not dressed for the weather.

BeenThereSaidThat's avatar

Sleep read watch tv cook clean and count off the days until spring. This is the worst New York winter in years.

Berserker's avatar

Just like every day up in ye olde frozen Canada. Life here doesn’t stop when it’s too cold. School isn’t cancelled, neither is work, so I dress warm, grow some balls and do my shit. I actually got a minor cold last week. Not enough to be crucified in bed, but enough to slow me down. It sucked, but it reminds one of the importance of dressing warm when dealing with long periods of cold like we’ve been having lately.

greatfullara's avatar

i think it takes about 2 weeks for your body to get used to cold weather.being in an alpine environment is so much beauty to satisfy your soul.it feels like part of my proud identity to weather the hardships of winter.it also makes spring,summer and fall that much nicer.if your hands and feet don’t warm up,eat foods to increase your blood circulation,like hot peppers and mustard.

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