Anyone Have Ideas On How To Keep Warm In This Icy Hellscape?

white witch

I am thinking of trying to transform myself into The White Witch, because, as a human being, 20 degree weather is not working out for me. I am not keeping warm. I don’t even have great ideas on how to keep warm. Warmth is actively attempting to flee my extremities. I came back from lunch, and it took a good half hour until I could type like a person again. My fingers, they froze up on the walk back. I was wearing gloves. iPhone friendly gloves, but still.

A lot times, I think, “Jennifer, what if there was some kind of Road like apocalypse? How long would you survive.” And the answer is always “I would spontaneously combust within minutes. Not because of climactic changes or anything, just because my human body is too weak to handle pretty much any changes.”

I think I would do better in a Mad Max kind of world with very hot temperatures, for the record, and maybe a cannibal warlord would make me their concubine, if I were lucky.

But that’s not the point. The point is “how are you keeping warm in this terrible icy hellscape that has descended upon us?”

Do you take hot showers? Baths? Do you just stay in bed with a space heater? True story, I have 5 layers of blankets on my bed at the moment, and one of them is fur. Another one is a comforter. I would say it feels comfortable.

Does that episode of the Twilight Zone where the sun moves farther away from the earth scare you as much as it does me? Hell, let’s just talk about how cold we are. How cold are you? Can you type with your fingers? What do you do?

Picture via The Chronicles of Narnia

Share This Post:
    • sdk5

      you should get an electric blanket, hot water bottle, or heating pad for bed. wear lots of layers that fit snugly. wear thick warm socks. get a really warm hat that covers your ears. wear cashmere lined leather gloves and really warm boots. don’t turn the heat up too high.

    • Fabel

      I have a space heater blasting from under my desk. It dries out my hands & eyeballs, but those are minor issues compared to the alternative (frostbite. Indoor frostbite.)

      • Samantha_Escobar

        The space heater, man. I got one last week finally and it is a godsend, but it does make it VERY difficult to move out of bed. They’re really cheap, though; I only spent $35 on mine including shipping!

    • Jessie

      Both my apartment and office are barren arctic tundras where day dreams of warmth go to die icy deaths. I have taken to blasting the space heater from under my desk and never taking off my wool socks. I am weighing the pros and cons of showering with them on. I am lucky in that my manfriend’s spirit animal is a pizza oven – so between him and my 3 blanket minimum rule – I am quite toasty as I sleep.

    • Erin

      My bedroom is the entrance to the Arctic, but my bed is the toastiest! I have flannel sheets, down comforter, quilt my grandma made me, and three thick wool or fleece blankets. I also sleep with two body pillows-one on either side of me. They have flannel pillowcases so once my body heat gets trapped under the cover they hold warmth like it’s their job. And on the rare occasion I am convinced I have to leave my bed I rely on knowledge passed down from my dad-who worked outdoors for 37 years- on the importance of layering properly. If you happen across me any day it is below 50 degrees, I will most likely be wearing a minimum of two layers….

    • Alle

      I’m from Australia, where it’s never colder than 32 (and even then, only for very brief periods). Living in Chicago has been an eye-opening experience. Here’s what I know:

      - Animals stay warm for a reason. They live outside and they don’t die. It stands to reason that products derived from them would be pretty warm! I’m not saying go buy a giant mink coat–though, full disclosure, I have two fur coats that belonged to my mother & great-aunt respectively)–but think about stuff that comes from animals. Leather boots will be warmer than plastic ones. Wool is warmer than cotton. Cashmere is warmer than everything.
      - LINING. I just bought a wool coat from J Crew with some crazy lining in it, and it’s amazing. Heavy as balls to pick up, but I swear I could climb a mountain in it. I think it’s called Thinsulate? Anyway, it’s great.
      - Layer. Yesterday is was like -20 with windchill here. There were frostbite warnings. I wore a wool sweater under a cashmere sweater under my aforementioned coat, and fleece-lined tights under my jeans. I felt a bit like a butternut pumpkin stuffed into a condom, but I didn’t freeze to death.
      - Get leather gloves. Use your iphone or whatever when you’re inside.
      - Wear a hat. Thank me later.
      - Good boots are essential. I have two pair of Fryes and I don’t ever want to wear anything else.

      That’s about all I can think of. Good luck, fellow Glossies of Winterfell.

    • Lynn Maxon

      Alle’s suggestions are top-notch. Invest in handwarmers, fingerless gloves, in merino or cashmere. Cashmere socks are also the awesome-most. Land’s End makes some excellent earwraps that are half off right now, warm ears and no hat head. As a matter of fact, they have a lot of cold weather stuff on sale right now. Also, get some quality boots–something light yet impervious to cold. Sierra Trading Post has a great selection with low, low prices (compared to full price) which will make you feel better about only wearing them a few days a year, especially when you dig them out and slip them on.

      For sleeping, run do not walk and purchase a heated mattress pad. It will change your life, really. There are good ones that won’t break a $50 bill.

      Try to never get too cold, seriously, it will make a difference.

    • Samantha

      I moved someplace warm.

    • Cynthia Lee Harris Thomson

      I’d start with silk long underwear, and additional layers of wool or polypro as necessary, concluding with all the down you can afford, then a set of huge mittens (softness bonus for cashmere linings) for over your gloves (just stash the phone in a pocket til you get indoors). Indoors you’ll want to keep the silk long johns (tops and bottoms!!) and one or two layers over that, fingerless mitts so you can type and keep your wrists warm, and maybe even a lap blanket if your desk/chair are somewhere drafty. Sleeping is aided by an electric mattress pad (a recent addition at our house and well loved by the cold child), down or polypro or wool (or all three) over you, and a squishy pillow that makes a reasonable seal between your neck and the covers and keeps your ears warm. Pillows on the sides are good, as is a partner or cat. Hot water bottles are friendly but they gurgle, sometimes leak and cool off too fast.

      I’ve weathered a lot of New England winters, and kept riding horses outside through the last decade – these are all things that work for me. But then, I have fainting and melty fits when it gets too hot – good luck though!

    • Nymph1816

      I think you’ll be fine, it will warm up eventually. Where I am it was -6 around 10:30, so you’ll be fine at your 20 degrees. One thing that helps is being all the way zipped up/gloved/hatted for a minute or so before you go outside. A warm beverage also helps you warm up after being outside. Plus the weather is going to be better tomorrow! And, with any luck, we’ll have a good spring.

    • MR

      You get used to the cold, if you allow yourself to. I learned this living in the northern Andes, cause there was no central heat then, and the tempertures dropped to almost freezing during the rainy season, their Winter. There’s very low humidity Upstate, so even though the temperture is about 10 degrees colder than Nyc it only feels like 5. But for you, I know a nice goose-down coat would be the trick. Also keep your head warm. :)

      • MR

        PS. That was almost freezing during the late night and early morning during that period when you were bed.

    • JennyWren

      For me, it’s not so much the cold as the static. I’m getting shocks off EVERYTHING at the moment. The other day I got a shock off a dog I stopped to pet, fer cryin’ out loud…

      Anyway. The bed thing. I have generally found that duvets are far, far warmer than comforters. This might be a cultural thing- I’ve never felt as European as the day I spent watching my duvet be delivered to the U.S. ahead of me on the UPS tracking webpage- but the extra spacing for the fibers really seems to keep the heat in better. They are VERY expensive in the U.S., but you can very often have them delivered internationally from European department stores and have it work out cheaper. You’ll need to order sheets at the same time though since European bedding comes in different sizes.

      I’m also campaigning for someone to invent comforters or duvets with an extra flap in the middle to seal the space that’s left when two people are sharing a bed, because that seems to act like a wind tunnel.

      And to add to what everyone else says, LAYERS. I’m wearing about five at the moment.

    • Allison

      I am having a cold weather related conundrum – I am absolutely freezing, yet I continue to eat ice cream, despite shivering. do I hate myself?

      I have no good ideas on staying warm. I’ve been spending a lot of time shivering.

    • Eva Rinaldi

      Wisconsinite here. I walked two miles to work today. It was -9.

      LAYER YOUR CLOTHING. As in, two shirts, two pairs of tights, two maxi skirts, a knee length skirt, a winter coat, gloves, a scarf, and a ski mask if it comes to that. (That’s what I wore to work today.)

      Turn on the space heater and cover yourself in blankets. Go to thrift stores or on vintage clothing websites and buy everything made from wool that you can get your hands on. SWEATER TIGHTS are your new best friend if you work a corporate job, even under pants. It will get dry from the heater in your place, boil big pots of water all the time or get a vaporizer. Take hot baths with a cup of whole milk and 4 tsps of olive oil. Eat a bit more than you usually do, because warming yourself up burns more calories. Not too much, but some. Even if you can’t, drink more hot tea. Make soup.

      Most importantly? If you’re going outside, embrace the fact that you will go numb. It will not hurt anymore once you do. You can survive being numb for long periods of time, it’s an adaptation. And always, always, always keep a path shovelled on your sidewalk, you never know who might be walking by.

    • Shae Rosa

      Hm Excessive layers (silk long underwear – it’s a thing), a 100% wool dufflecoat found on Ebay for cheap (it goes down to my knees, resulting in only my face and my lower legs being cold), and immediate submersion in a hot bath upon arriving home from work. Also, forced air heating – tilt laptop/tv/whatevs towards it and stand over it. Toasty.

    • Lauren

      I lived with my dad who never got around to paying the heating bill…so I went a few winters of my teenage years without heat in my home. Anyway, my method of keeping warm was putting a space-heater right next to my bed and then making a fort around and over it, encasing the space-heater and my bed. I kept very warm unless I left the fort to fetch some…you know…necessities and then I would pile on the sweaters, even faux-fur lined snow boots, earmuffs and maybe even my puffy down-filled winter coat. I also went to friends houses to take hot showers because no heat = no hot water. Or I’d boil water and take a sponge bath and then spend $5 on a hair wash and blow-out at this beauty-school down the street from me. Fun times, very fun times.