Winter survival tips for Abbey

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by mstang67chic, Sep 4, 2008.

  1. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Since Abbey is going to be having a really rough winter, I thought we could put together some tips for her to get through it. Travel tips, clothing, meals, cabin fever cures.....whatever you've got, please share. I copied my advice from her post to start things off.

    :coldday: :blizzard: :frozen: :frostbite:

    Get a coat now and get one as long as you can find. (at least past your hiney) Also, get one that fits somewhat loose. You'll have room for bulky clothes under it without cutting off the circulation to your arms and shoulders. Oh and a hood is a that ties. Even with a hat. Come winter, you'll also want to do layers as much as possible. Thickly lined water proof gloves, scarf, hat.......get the works. And spend the money to get good snowboots.

    You might also want to keep extra stuff in the car just in case. (Just keep in mind....this is stuff to have in case you're stranded. Chances are you won't ever need it but it can literally be a life saver if you ever do) Besides extra clothes, a good emergency kit for the car in winter includes: blanket, a few candles, large coffee can to set the candles in (light the candle and drip some wax in the bottom of the can to anchor the candle), matches, some of those chemical pocket hand warmers, a bag of cat litter (in case you get stuck and your tires spin....use it for traction), small shovel, flashlight (preferably the crank kind), jumper cables, first aid kit, energy and a metal cup to use to melt snow for water (melt it over the candle). Also, a good ice scraper.....the long kind with the scraper at one end and a brush at the other. I don't like letting my gas tank get below 1/2 a tank in the winter and don't forget to winterize the car. Be sure to buy winter windshield wiper fluid too.
  2. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    Heated mattress pad and warm sleep socks for night.
  3. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Good slippers are a must for around the house! We try to keep an emergency stash of canned food, bottled water, toilet paper, etc in the house on the off chance we get hit with a freak storm.

    Never try to race a blizzard! You will get stranded and it can be dangerous. Practice your winter driving skills and try not to be on the road during rush hour when the first winter weather of the season hits, drivers forget what to do from year to year. Don't follow too close on snowy roads, there may be ice under it. Clear off snow completely, not just a peep-hole in the wind shield. I find using a broom works best for a substantial snowfall.
  4. Love the sunshine

    Love the sunshine New Member

    I really, really don't like cold weather. Fall and winter are tough for me. My advice is probably going to sound dumb, but here goes...

    Anytime the sun shines through the window, take advantage of it, starting NOW. Sit in the sun and read a book, make your grocery list, just lay on the floor with the sun shining on you through the window. Even if it's only for a few minutes. It's amazing what a difference it can make. Just the warmth makes me feel better. Keep in mind, you may get some strange looks. I have been known to lay on my dining room floor and move with the sun, just to get about 30 minutes of peace and serenity.
  5. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Are you guys trying to scare me? :dont_know:

    More than once on my drive home from work I thought about just keep going south. If gas prices weren't so high, I probably would have done that. (It's only a 4 minute drive...lots of brain energy going on there.)

    My hands and feet are freezing. I have lovely slippers and a nice coat...but they are in VEGAS. Lot of good that does me.

  6. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    LMS - That's good advice about getting the sun. Even when it's cold I try to get out in direct sunlight for 20-30 minutes per day. Helps with depression that usually worsens in winter.

    Abbey -

    Flannel sheets OR flannel pajamas. Don't do both cause they stick to each other and you'll wake up with your pajamas in a knot around your neck struggling to breathe. Not that I have any personal experience or anything. *whistles* :bag:

    Flannel shirts to wear around the house, fleece throws, long warm showers or baths when you feel cold to the bone, windshield washer fluid for winter (really hard to drive when you forget to change it out and it freezes up on your windshield at 70 mph), towels along the base of outer doors, prop open the oven door after done cooking to let the heat into the house..

    And last, but not least... Raoul to keep you warm. ;)
  7. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    If your hands are cold, run them under warm water for a few minutes. You can literally feel your body warm up. I do that a lot in the winter.
  8. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Raoul is around? I'll give my address.

  9. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    If you know what to do and are prepared, you will not have to be scared. As a tornado siren tells us it is time to be safe with a danger heading our way, so the 1st snow flake tells us it is time to be safe in the event of a snowstorm. We have learned that 1st snow flake can be the 1st blizzard so we start to prepare for winter when the fall weather hits.

    Make sure you have the makings of pancakes or waffles (including butter and syrup) and hot chocolate mix on hand. Nothing like pancakes and hot chocolate on a snow day (also sausage links).

    Get the best sled you can find for slidding and set aside a few dark rocks and some sticks to build a snowman. Look into purchasing a snowmobile if you like such things.

    Snowmen make witer bearable - how can you not smile when you see one?

    Get some salt to sprinkle on your side walk. If you have a garage for the vehicle, get it ready to park in (less scaping of frost and brushing snow) - but remember, frost and snow comes when you are out and about so still keep that snow brush/scrapper ready in the vehicle.

    If you hear "no travel advise" do not ignore it. That statement is not made lightly and needs to be obeyed.

    If you make a ton of snowballs and put them on the edge of your yard, you will soon see tons of kids enjoying a snowball fight.

    Snowbanks make great snow forts. Invite the little neighbor boy over and give him a shovel to sculpture a fort out of a pile of snow.

    Actually snow is fun if it would just stay of roads and walkways.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    One of the best things to keep warm at night is to replace your top sheet with polarfleece. My folks did this several years ago and it is just amazing. A heated mattress pad and tehn the fleece topsheet and a snuggly comforter makes a bed just deliciously warm - no matter what is going on outside.

    Find out the emergency closing procedure for your work and your husbands. Around here the schools and many employers announce closings the night before - which is nice for parents who can then plan daycare and for anyone who has work closed because they can sleep in.

    Any time you are going out into the cold there should be a layer of something - coat or whatever on top of the polarfleece. The fleece is much more effective if there is something over it to trap in that extra heat.

    Look for hot packs or rice bags at craft fairs and drug stores - they really make it easier to get to sleep or get comfortable on a cold night. You can make a speedy rice bag by filling a sock with rice and tying the end. Make sure the sock doesn't have holes - I had quite the laugh one night watching husband pour rice through a funnel into a sock. It had a hole, and he couldn't figure out why it was taking so very much rice - or why I was laughing hysterically! You can add mint leaves (easily gotten from a bag or three of mint tea, or a health food store) or lavendar flowers or any other flower to the rice to make it smell great when you heat it. Don't add essential oil though - I have heard that this can catch fire when you heat it in the microwave.

    Make sure you have several extra pairs of mittens/gloves now - and hats too. don't wait until you really need them, and don't ever get down to your last pair. Make sure you have extra gloves adn a hat or two in the car.

    Insulate your house now, as much as possible - ask the inlaws what they recommend and when they do it. If you call your power company they will often help with an energy audit and with helpful ideas to save money and keep warm. I was surprised when adding the insulated socket liners on the inside of the electrical outlets and lightswitches saved us a bundle. It was several years ago, when we were living in an older house. I only did the outlets on the outer walls of the house at first - and noticed a savings of a small amount. I did the rest of the outlets and noticed even more savings.

    You may want to ask about the need for a special warmer for the car - if the engine is very cold it can have an effect on how easily the car starts. This is something your inlaws might know also. If you let your car's gas tank get very empty (below a quarter is what my dad always warned against) then condensation can occur in the tank. This will cause problems over the life of the car as it contributes to water in the fuel system. Keeping the tank full helps prevent wear and tear on the car as well as keeping you from getting stranded in freezing weather.

    That is all I can think of now. Oh - remember the crockpot! NOTHING beats coming home on a really cold day like having dinner already to eat and smelling wonderful!
  11. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    A one way ticket back to the West Coast...


  12. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Yeah, Marcie!!! :bravo:Trust me...I've looked.

  13. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Well, since I'm a Californian, born and raised, I can only imagine what snow is like. But I would think long johns would be useful, eating lots of soups and stews (with a fresh loaf of bread), scarves and mittens and boots...
  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I'm afraid I'm useless for information on this - I can count on the fingers of one hand, the number of times I've seen snow. But this information would have been useful in New Zealand last year. Also, husband & I were sleeping on the fold-out couch in the downstairs lounge (holiday unit) which was right next to the sliding glass door that led outside. It was COLD!!! Also, we could tweak aside the curtain to look out in the morning, while still in bed - and see the snow covering everything. The trouble for us - it was the day we all had to leave, and the place was thoroughly snowbound.

    We have learnt survival/protective stuff to carry in the car, from Aussie hazards such as bushfires, scorching heatwaves, getting stranded in the desert. So we did carry some emergency supplies - spare food, chocolate bars, FUDGE, snow chains, blankets. We also have a thing called an Eco-billy which can boil a litre of water, fuelled by whatever rubbish you can stuff down the chimney of the thing (including scrap paper, twigs, anything flammable). It looks like a metal cylinder, but the chimney is actually an inverted cone up the middle, with space for the fire at the wide point of the cone at the bottom of the Eco-billy. The rest of the cylinder is the jacket that holds the water next to the chimney, to get all the heat. We didn't have it in New Zealand but for trips driving round Australia, we often have it with us. I think it's an Aussie invention but it would be a useful thing to have if you found yourself stranded.

    I just had a look around to find a link for you - and just about laughed myself sick at all the classic Aussie jargon I've had exposed you all to, if I'd posted them. A number of sites included discussion from various user groups, in typical Aussie vernacular.

    If you got the smaller one, AND carried some dry scrap paper with maybe s small amount of kindling (or a small metho burner) you'd be covered, even if you couldn't find any windfall fuel. It doesn't take much fuel to heat it, we've got one and love it. We just poke more fuel down the chimney to keep it going. You would be able to fill the water reservoir with snow just as easily, and heat it. Just don't forget to also pack your tin mugs with some sachets of drinking chocolate, packet soup or noodles.

    In summer during bushfire season, we always travel with a thick wool blanket (to wrap ourselves in on the floor of car if we get stranded by fire) as well as plenty of bottled water and snacks. We've often been stranded waiting for the fire to pass, so we can get home. We carry spare medications too, these days. That's something you really shouldn't forget.

  15. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I couldn't make it through a winter without my electric blanket!!!!!!! Also, if possible, invest in a snowblower-it is well worth it!
  16. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Because I mentioned the Eco-billy, I followed a link and found something that might be useful, something to add to the candles maybe. Have a look for some ingenious ways to make your own survival gear. One of the other links suggested using a plastic hydrogen peroxide bottle to carry the alcohol fuel. Yet another suggested instead of string as a wick, using cotton balls soaked in alcohol as fuel.

    Have fun!

  17. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hot chocolate!!!!
    (with marshmallows, of course!)
  18. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Sweat pants and sweat shirt for wearing around the house (if we can get Abbey to put clothes on :) ). A fire in the fireplace- if you don't have a fireplace, they sell electric fireplaces that don't need any special accommodations- you just take it home and plug it in!

    The spray can of stuff to un-freeze the locks on the car door is useful, along with a good scraper for the windshield. Watch for black ice- it really does exist- and don't hit the break on slippery roads!
  19. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Let's see...winter tips from the Great White North.

    1) Microfibre undershirts and long johns.
    They're not scratchy like the wool ones, and they don't get stretchy and lumpy like the cotton ones. They hold their shape and fit neatly under clothes. If you want real luxury, go for silk longjohns. They're almost decadent!

    2) A very good coat.
    Mustang's advice of getting a long one (at least backside length) is good. That way you can even sit down outdoors without giving yourself a total chiller. I like the Linda Lundstrom ones...they're versatile. You can wear the inner coat, the outer one as a raincoat, the inner and outer together for warm, wind- and waterproof, with or without the fur (faux fur, really) collar and cuffs, which are also designed for warmth, not decoration.

    These coats are warm enough to get you through a Kenora winter. (That's WAY up in Northern Ontario...have to fly Bearskin Airlines to get there)

    3) A Hat. You MUST get a hat
    You lose something like 50% of your body heat through the top of your head, so a hat is essential if you want to stay warm. And there are some very cute hats out there these days. You don't have to run around looking like Nanook of the North.

    4) A heated mattress pad, AND an electric blanket, with high-thread count cotton sheets in between. And a down filled comforter on top. The soft cotton sheets will keep you from getting stuck like velcro when you're in your flannel pajamas (re: Heather's post above), and the warmth above and below you ensures that you're warm all the way through.

    5) A big fluffy robe (I usually just steal DHs) and good warm slippers. Keep them RIGHT NEXT to the bed (or even on or IN the bed if you can manage). When you've been lying all snug in that toasty-warm bed all night, getting up into a cold bedroom and putting your warm feet on the cold floor is not pleasant. With the robe-and-slippers, you can keep the warmth going right from bed to shower.

    6) A good quality snow brush for your car, with a sturdy handle and an ice scraper on the non-brush end. There's nothing worse than having to park your car outside, get snowed on, and have nothing but the sleeve of your coat to clear off the window. And the layer of ice that forms on the windshield under the snow is impossible to see through, and takes FOREVER to melt if you use the car defroster.

    The snow brush is a must.

    7) Mittens. Not gloves, mittens. Gloves are fine for milder winter days, but when it's really really cold, mittens are the way to go. That way, your fingers get to share heat. They are much warmer than gloves. Linda Lundstrom makes matching mittens for the heavy-duty winter coats.

    That's all I can think of right now.
  20. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    My best tip--
    A condo in Florida!!!