How to become a master of Minnesota’s arctic winters

As a native Minnesotan, I have dealt with countless winters full of the worst possible conditions. From slippery roads to frostbitten toes, there’s a lot that can go wrong if you aren’t prepared. For other Minnesotans reading this, you probably have a handle on winter survival. However, for students who are from out of state or out of the country, a Minnesota winter is an entirely new experience.

Let’s start with the basics. One of the fundamental ideas all people living in Minnesota must know is to dress in layers. Everyone knows that it is much easier to take a layer of clothes off when feeling warm than it is to add layers, but waiting outside at the bus stop starts to feel cold in just a sweater and scarf if layers aren’t worn.

For those with a car, it can often take a considerable amount of time for it to warm up. Because of this, allow time for your car to heat up for at least a couple of minutes so it will be nice and toasty while driving and it will prevent trips to the auto shop for broken parts. If unable to wait inside of a house for the vehicle to warm up, keep a blanket in the car in order to contain body heat.

Going off of cars, another thing to consider is the possibility of having to wait in the snow for a while if your car spins into a ditch. In preparing for this scenario, it is a good idea to keep some winter boots, hats, mittens, socks, blankets and even some food and water in the trunk.

If an accident does happen, always have a plan; this will shorten the wait outside in the cold. If your car has stopped working or spun off the road, call a tow truck and they will come to the rescue! From there, it is best to find a reliable auto shop for any repairs that are needed.

Walking outside anywhere during the winter is inevitable, so it would be a good idea to invest in some hand or feet warmers. Stores such as Walgreen’s and Target sell ones that stay warm for hours.

College students from around Minnesota also have some great tips for winter living.

“Cider, cider and more cider. Also knitted hats and hot chocolate with your Netflix binges!” said Shelby Batterson St. Kate’s, ’18.

“Just don’t go outside; that’s how you stay warm,” said Jessica Randolph, U of M Rochester ’18.

“If we’re talking about Gustavus, then I’d say don’t forget your scarf since it’s so gusty up here on the hill!” said Devyn Wallem, Gustavus ’18.

The basic rule to keep in mind for being warm in Minnesota is to be prepared. With below zero temperatures and things like black ice and icicles ready to spear a person at any second, Minnesota’s winters can be unforgiving. Hopefully this advice will help to make you a master of this frozen tundra.

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