Keeping warm is a skill.

Keeping warm is about more than just what you wear.

Working outside for the Inauguration straight after three years in Arizona and Florida was the greatest slap in the face weather ever gave me. Ok, 2nd greatest, the 1st I’ll recount someday.

Regardless, I spent many winters schlepping up and down New York City as a student/worker/commuter/babysitter. So I can tell you with confidence that wear some tights under your summer dress” is the greatest load of crock I’ve ever heard in terms of winter wear fashion advice (and it doesn’t seem like anyone will stop writing these things). 

There’s more to it than that. Now that winter has decided to join us in earnest, let’s get into how you can keep from losing your fingers to frostbite.

Wool rules everything around me. — Also synthetics.

You should know by now not to wear cotton. If you don’t, DON’T WEAR COTTON.

“Not only does cotton get wet with sweat very quickly, but it will won’t keep its warmth when wet, which means it’ll freeze and you’ll have a bad day,” Vancouver-based lumberjack and snowboarder Mark Hamilton tells BuzzFeed Life.

I’m a huge fan of fleece-lined leggings and tights, which are all synthetic. As they become more of a staple, brands are making them nicer and cheaper.

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AND SPARKLY!

Don’t just get hot soup.

Get something spicy enough to make your nose run.

This morning, my fingers were so cold in the office I wasn’t able to really focus on typing because my fingers kept finding their way under my legs for warmth. So, naturally I got some hot coffee, but for lunch I went a step further.

I walked outside to a nearby shop (getting my circulation going and my body more grateful for the heat once I was inside again). Thankfully, this shop had a thai food section. I asked the lady behind the counter what the spiciest option was, and I ordered it – without rice.

My mouth is on fire, but 32 oz. of water later, I feel cozy again.

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Total taste bud annihilation.

Get a real thermos (AKA “vacuum bottle”)

No, not that thermos mug thing from Starshucks that has a lid for no reason since it isn’t actually sealed at all, an actual thermos.

There was nothing better than getting hot coffee into my thermos in the morning and drinking it little by little throughout the day, still hot, until I could get home and heat up my own again.

Whenever I finished my coffee, I would rinse it out and add any new coffee/tea I wanted in the afternoon. Kept hot way longer than in those cardboard cups they give you.

True story: I named my insulated beverage companion “Strom Thermos.”

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Popular with hikers, Uruguayan mate enthusiasts, and either goths or anatomy & physiology professors.

Dealing with Frostbite and Other Remedies

“Ooh my fingers are so cold I should run them under hot water.” WRONG! Get real, non-rumor-based, advice on this: http://bit.ly/MayoClinicFrostBite

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Lastly: A hot bath, not just a shower, can change things in a real way.

Baths were invented by Jesus to cleanse you of your sins and also let the heat permeate you a bit longer. There’s another saying in Minnesota: The cold here gets down into your bones and never really leaves.

Baths are for letting the warmth slowly work its way into your bones to temporarily knock out the cold so you can feel human again.

Try it with nice smelling salts or oils, a glass of wine, or what have you, it’s good stuff.

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Be the pig.
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