“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.”

Snow, glorious snow has finally fallen, blanketing the land in a gleaming coat of sparkling, fluffy, powdery whiteness.  Time to throw your bodies into the snow and rejoice in gladness.  Let the (snow) angels sing!

“Boo hiss!”, comes from the masses.

“You are gagging me with your flowery description of something that can only be described as a gigantic mess – treacherous white stuff.”

” Has she gone off the deep end?  If not, maybe she wants a little push in that direction?” 

“This is the end of fall!  That wonderful time of year where we can wander through the leafy splendor haphazardly dropped in our footpaths. Now it is just this constant mess, and the shoveling, oh the shoveling and blowing of snow.  A big pain in my rear.” 

” Forget that, I’m going to go hibernate like the proverbial bear underneath my layers of ‘blanket simulated’ fat, and veg out on the couch in front of the television.  And when I want exercise, well, I’ll just run down to the gym and work out on…oh yeah, that gross piece of equipment left slimy by the previous cardiofreak who rained sweat all over it.  Whew, the air is a bit ripe in here, too”, pulling at his/her shirt, “I never really noticed that before…”

Ok, ok, I get it, so some of you still think I’m a bit wrong in the head.  But just listen here for a minute, I won’t take but a few moments of your time.   I really do believe that Sir Rannulph Fiennes had it right in saying  that “there is no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.”  When you look around yourself (and its ok to give your own person some scrutiny), what do you see?  No hat.  Gloves stuffed in a pocket. T-SHIRTS in the  middle of winter.  Even skirts!  With no stockings???  And don’t even get me started on the guy who is still wearing shorts (yes, I am talking about you Billy)!  This is all roses, except for the moment you step out the door and you realize, gasping for air, this is absolutely brutal out here.  Wonder why people don’t love winter?

So now let’s talk a little bit about appropriate clothing choices.  Over the years I have developed my own personal strategy of dealing with the cold.  I’m not saying I’m the most fashionable person out there, but I am certainly among the ranks of the practical (and penny pinching).  My arsenal now includes:

Base layer (moisture wicking):  hanes thermal underwear, replete with powderpuff pink roses – yes, you heard that right ($); polyblend thermal tops – one thin verion, Goodwill ($) and one slightly thicker, REI ($$)

Mid layer options (for insulation):  a saggy maroon poly sweater, picked up at a thrift store at least a decade ago- now in need of some serious stitching along the shoulder ($); two faux cable nit pattern poly shirts (one grey, one green – for when I’m feeling like a tannenbaum) ($); fleece lined snow pants ($$)

Shell layer (to provide protection from the elements):  “Russels” – I’m not sure what else to call these, but for the uninitated midwesterner they are lined nylon pants which have a tieable cinch cord waist and zippers at the ankles (provide semi-protection from the elements + insulate) ($$); a darn good jacket – my most recent is a Columbia given to me by my husband at xmas more than 5 years ago which has a midlayer fleece which can separate from the outer shell ($$$)

Feet:  a large acquisition of smart wool socks gathered over the years ($$), as well as some random brand poly liner socks ($); insulated Salomon winter boots ($$$)

Hands:  big black puffy winter gloves from REI ($$); poly stretchy liner gloves from just about any retail establishment – even grocery stores sell them now ($)

Head/neck:  a  purple Turtle Fur neck/face warmer ($); a Turtle Fur fleece hat or knitted Burton snowboard cap ($ – end of year clearance deals); I can also pull up my jacket hood in the fiercest of winds

Several of these items picked up fairly inexpensively and without special ‘super powers’ (like the pair of Under Armor pants and thermal top recently purchased for my son to keep out the chill on his Nordic Ski team outings -$100!!! Yikes!!!).  I will say though, that nothing beats a good pair of warm boots and gloves – DO NOT HESITATE to sink money into those apparatus.  They are the two things that can make even the most bada*% of us cower and run for the indoors.  And after years of trying out various cheaper brands of wool socks, I now suck it up and sink my money into the more expensive Smartwool brand socks, there is just nothing that stacks up to them (I swear they are not paying me to say this). 

Once you have mastered the art of staying warm, you can then branch out even more and start to discover there are ACTIVITIES (stay tuned for these in future posts) that you can actually endure, and perhaps even enjoy? Just trust me on this one.  Then you might want to branch out for more specialized gear such as the Scott ski goggles I purchased just last year ($$-$$$) for cross country skiing.  When I pull those puppies on over my face, it is like a warm cusion of air buffeting my eye sockets from the icy chill of winter.  “Hellooo Cancun!” exclaim my eyeballs.  And back in the days when we used to swap gifts in my husbands family, I was given a nice pair of waterproof, insulated snow pants from one of his brothers (approx $50).  It can get downright tropical underneath those layers!  Layers, my friend, indeed, are YOUR friend.  Seasoned outdoor enthusiasts rejoice.

 While you could board yourself up inside for the duration, I beckon you to heed the call of the wintry world.  It’s going to hang around for awhile anyway (I hear rumors of a blizzard this weekend), so you might as well get out and try to enjoy it. 

 Stay tuned in the future for:  keeping your children warm outdoors

~urban wanderlust


~ by urbanwandernlust on December 11, 2010.

3 Responses to ““There’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.””

  1. Gloves and boots… couldn’t agree with you more. My circulation is awful, so I’ve struggled with cold fingers/toes for years. My current hand and foot gear is pricey, but does the job, and is absolutely worth every penny. Good for you for getting out in the cold rather than complaining about it like so many others!

  2. I love the title of the post (and quote it originated from) — very true.

    • I had to do some searching to figure out exactly where it came from myself. The saying floats around in my head every time I try to come up with a reason not to go out in “bad” weather.

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