TO STAY WARM, DRESS LIKE A TEN-YEAR-OLD
Ten-year-old Little Olga, that is, when she lived in Western Siberia…
A few days ago, I almost felt like cancelling a trip to my beloved New York City just because it was 18 degrees outside and windy. A friend and I were to take in some exhibits at the Museum of Modern Art, then meet up for lunch with yet another former colleague.
When I take the train in to the City from Connecticut, I typically walk from Grand Central Station to most of my Manhattan destinations. Today, walking in sub freezing temperatures did not seem too appealing... hence the near cancellation. Then I thought, what is the big deal for a Siberian girl like me?
I had to remind myself of the one time I recalled from my childhood when schools were closed up to fourth grade as temperatures dropped to -41. That was Celsius, but at that level, it's just about the same as -41 Fahrenheit. In a word, COLD.
So what did the ten-year-old little Olga do on this unexpected day off? She bundled up and went sledding, alone. It was frigid, but sunny, the snow crackled under my feet and the breath bellowed out of my mouth in a steady stream of steam, yet I was warm and comfortable, dressed appropriately for the temperatures. Walking up the hills with my sled was invigorating.
What do you wear to stay warm?
Layers, preferably wood or other natural fibers. For my trip to the City I chose spandex tank plus a cashmere pullover and a cashmere cardigan; the latter could be easily taken off indoors, where it might be too warm for all the layers.
Boots with fur or wool lining or nice, thick wool or cashmere socks. The Russian wear was “valenki”, which are made of thick felt and are rather amorphous knee-high boots.
Fur coats are best, but wool is okay to be politically correct. Longer is good.
CRITICAL!!! I’ve heard it said that much of one’s body heat is lost via the head, so little ear muffs are not doing much to keep you warm; just protecting your ears from the wind and maybe frostbite, which is important too, but a good, full hat will do that as well and more.
Important not only for comfort, but to prevent frostbite. Digits are exposed and don’t get the same circulation of warm blood. Mittens are better than gloves to stay warm, if that fits into your fashion style.
Again, wool is best - important for sort of “sealing up” all the inadvertent little attire openings around the neck through which cold wind might enter. Also, in extremely cold temperatures it helps to breathe through a scarf, to warm the air a bit before it hits your lungs.
Basically, it’s all common sense. Main points - keep your head and feet warm and you’ll stay comfortable.
By the way, I did not cancel my trip that day. The walk was a “piece of cake”, in fact quite lovely, brisk and enjoyable in the crisp December sun. All my weather precautions worked and we all had a great day. Enjoy the outdoors in all temperatures, just be smart about it!
Note: image courtesy of firstname.lastname@example.org