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post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Any suggestions to offer a young lady coming to college in Fall having never experienced cool/cold weather.  What should she know?  How should she prepare?  She is from the Pacific (Marshall Islands).

post #2 of 18

Where is she going to college? PNW cold weather is different from East Coast cold weather...


But anyway, my girlfriend came from Southern California and had a similar experience. Luckily her mom was from New York and quickly rectified the "oh this thin jacket will be warm enough" situation and got her a real, thick coat.


So, advice:

  • Layer–shirts, sweaters, etc., and for the lower half of the body, ladies can wear tights underneath pants.
  • Extremity protection–gloves, hat, scarf, socks. All warm, water-resistant if possible
  • Waterproof boots
  • Excitement towards watching snow fall for the first time
  • Patience with indoors that will be overheated and outdoors that will be frigid, making it sometimes annoying to put on and take off those layers. If she has long hair, the dry air might make it static-y. Hairbands do the trick!
  • Keep the core warm, and she'll always enjoy the weather and not get annoyed by it!
post #3 of 18

Is she planning on getting out and exercising in it (aerobically, like hiking/snowshoeing/XC skiing), or is she looking for more sedentary clothing?  Big difference, IMHO. 

post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 

I'd say dealing with the cold for the first time.  What are those simple things that we have learned to do over the years that are second nature for us.  An what should she wear in say the Fall and Winter keeping in mind that an adjustment like this could be tough.



post #5 of 18

by cold, what do you mean? Cold in Maine is about -20. 20-25* F is pleasent. or do you mean Florida cold like 50*?

post #6 of 18

reducedfatoreo has most of it.


Three musts from my point of view:


First, even though the 'science' has been questioned lately, make sure she understands that she should always have a hat (a toque, eh!) available, and wear it on cold days.  (First and a half, now that I think about it - same for a good warm pair of gloves or mittens.)


Second, have a scarf or neck gaiter available.  Nothing worse than trying to hunch your shoulders all day to keep warm, and having a sore or stiff neck/shoulders all night.


Finally, get a good pair (good warm, NOT good fashionable) of winter boots.  Wear them, if there is the slightest chance you are going to walk anywhere, or be outside for any length of time.  Take them with you on a long car trip, even if you don't expect to have to walk anywhere.  Sorels are my particular favourite, but whatever works for her.


For fall, there's nothing like fleece.  Get a nice sweater or jacket, and fashionable will work here if she wants.  A shell to go over it, and she's set for all but the coldest weather.


Last but not least, make sure being out in the winter is something she looks forward to, not dreads.  Whatever it takes.  Someone that absolutely hates winter is NOT going to be warm, whatever she wears!


Good luck.  Exchange student??  Friend??

post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 

Head hands feet plus cover all skin, except the face.  However, she will need to cover the face too I bet.


I was also thinking about core, understanding the importance of core temp.


Over dressing can be a problem too.

post #8 of 18

She'll have to become used to wearing wool socks, relatively warmer pants tops, a sweater or fleece, warm coat and warm boots/shoes. Expect a lot of bad advice. It always amazes me how many people from cold climates who are not outdoor activity oriented have little idea how to dress for the cold. They spend their lives in overheated houses and work environments shuttling between such places in warm automobiles. They think they know all about living in cold places but are unaware the degree to which they have been sheltered all their lives. Make them walk anywhere or have the car break down and they're in real trouble.I'll never forget the time I went out to ski in Aspen with a girlfriend from Minnesota of all places. She wouldn't wear a hat while skiing, some image from the skiing magazines having convinced her it wasn't fashionable. Her hands and feet were constantly frozen. After buying her warmer gloves and spending a lot of time indoors warming her up I finally managed to get across the concept of heat loss and get her to wear a warm hat. Your friend may suffer a lot of similar unnecessary discomfort trying to conform to some mistaken aesthetic. Make sure she gets a pair of warm insulated boots and something like a down jacket along with the hat, gloves sweaters. Get her in the habit of "overdressing" for the cold and that will be about right.

post #9 of 18

Make sure she gets out to see some of the countryside.  Go on a few long drives so that she can appreciate the beauty of the area and that she can also get a feel for the sheer size of the place she has come to.


I had a friend in college who came to Bellingham from Hawaii.  I asked him about the cold and he was adamant that while it took some getting used to, getting off of the island was a huge deal for him.  He really appreciated the fact that he could get in a car and go without ever finding the end of the road.  He said that the loss of the Pacific island lifestyle and idylic weather was more than compensated by the freedom he felt.

post #10 of 18

I assume she'll be attending a typical college in upstate New York, where she'll live on-campus and have to walk to her classes and the dining hall.  I assume also that she's a typical teenage girl, in that fashion will trump comfort in most of her clothing choices.


She needs:


A full-length down coat with a hood 

Waterproof, insulated boots with traction soles

Down mittens

A long, wide, thick scarf

A wool hat


She'll be able to easily doff most of the above when she gets to class, as lecture halls are generally overheated.  This will also allow her to wear whatever she wants underneath, on most days. 


She can make her "fashionable" clothes warmer with:


Close-fitting silk camisoles and long underwear tops with a scoop neck

Panty hose or tights under her jeans


Finally, she may be cold at night in the dorms.  She will want:


An electric blanket or heavy down comforter

Flannel PJs

A fleece robe


post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 

Dealing with slippery conditions can cause injuries.  We grew up watching out for ice, developed technique for not falling, walking flat footed cautiously and when we fall, generally we can land with less damage.  We take it for granted, but people who have never been on ice can get hurt.


post #12 of 18

I think we need pictures of said lady to determine what clothing would best suit her body.

post #13 of 18


Originally Posted by Acrophobia View Post



She needs:


A full-length down coat with a hood 

Waterproof, insulated boots with traction soles

Down mittens

A long, wide, thick scarf

A wool hat


Damn, I grew up in aspen and never knew I needed these things, all I've got is a wool hat. How did I ever survive.



post #14 of 18

Patagonia Capilene Baselayers.  Worth every penny. You will be glad you did.  With today's hi tech clothing technology its all about layers.  The stuff that actually touches your skin is the most important because it must wick away any moisture.  Go with a thin Capilene 1 base layer and then a more expedition weight thicker Capilene 4 or 3 to go on top of the Capilene 1.


The old saying goes, if your feet and hands are cold put a thick warm hat on.  Your body will do everything it can to keep you head warm including shutting down circulation to your feet and hands and letting your hands and feet  go numb or worse. Obviously the blood flowing to your head is near the skin and exposed around your neck area.  You want to keep your neck area covered up as well.  


The outer shell layer can be on the large size and should have the ability to keep the air between the outer shell and the next layer from escaping.  The air  under the outer shell is part of the insulation that will keep you warm.  Hot air rises.  Keep the hot air from escaping the outer shell from around your neck and head.


The blood flowing though your arteries and veins is 98 degrees Fahrenheit,  Its a very hot liquid.  The idea here is to keep that blood hot because we are all hot     Some are hotter than others. 

Edited by catskills - 5/26/2009 at 12:05 pm GMT
post #15 of 18


Originally Posted by MAGGOT View Post


 Damn, I grew up in aspen and never knew I needed these things, all I've got is a wool hat. How did I ever survive.


So what you're saying is you're more manly and impervious to the elements than a teenage girl from the Pacific Islands?


Wow.  That's impressive!


post #16 of 18

Moving from a subtropical climate to 9000 feet in CO I was cold for about a month, later that winter I was comfortable sitting around in a warm baselayer with a good shell in -20 with 60 mph winds. Don't overdress to stay feeling warm or you never adjust.

post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 

I stay warm under those conditions by going in.


Maggot, you may not realize, but if you have never been in sub-freezing weather before in can be a very difficult adjustment.  Some will transition easily, but not most.  If she gets the right clothing and understands how to stay warm, I think is will help her a lot.  If not, she will probably want to stay inside from November to April.

post #18 of 18

When we would have cool days in Indonesia (high 70's) I could wear a heavy t-shirt instead of a really thin one.  The Indonesians would wear quilted, insulated jackets.


She needs sensible shoes and lots of warm clothes.  Flannel lined pants are nice.

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