Keeping Warm

November 18, 2008 by Michelle

When the day outside looks like this:

…and yet you’re stupid enough to be planning to spend 4 hours outside sitting still on a metal bench watching a football game, you need some tips. As a clarification, I mean spitting rain, 38 degrees, no sun with some wind tossed in kind of day.

First, you want to make sure that you have the proper undergarments. I recommend two (yes, two) pairs of silk long underwear, especially for the bottom. If you can’t find the second top, a single silk long underwear top will do. The fat cat is optional.

Next, you’ll want to make sure you have your ski socks on. The thermal kind. And go ahead, bring an extra pair of regular socks to put on top of them. To keep your long underwear from pulling up, go ahead and tuck the long underwear into your freakishly large ski socks.

Now you’re ready to add your jeans. I recommend putting on a pair that’s almost a size too big so that you can have air trapped in your jeans that will stay warm and insulated versus having cold wind blow more directly on your skin if the jeans are tights (since you have two pair of silk long underwear on already).

You’ll want to add both a long sleeve t-shirt and a sweatshirt for your top, preferrably in appropriate school colors.

Since you know you’ll be wearing a hat, don’t bother doing anything to your hair after showering other than brushing it briefly. It will get mesed up anyway, so why lose sleep time primping? Your last step at home is to add the proper accessories. You’ll notice the purple nails, as well as the earrings and necklace. These are critical to staying warm. Really, they are.

I feel like I shouldn’t have to say this, but I’ll go over the basics anyway. Wear a fleece. They’re warm and they tend to repel water. Bring a fleece blanket to cover you and your legs, as well. A poncho is helpful but not necessary. Seatbacks are definitely necessary, as metal benches conduct the cold a little too well for my tastes. Plastic covered foam, however, keeps you a bit warmer. Gloves are also a big help, as are those cool hand warmers. Just make sure you let the hand warmers get a little air as they can’t do their chemical reactions without sufficient air.

Lastly, bring along carpet squares. Why? Try putting your feet on frozen concrete for four hours. Mid hour two, you won’t be able to feel your feet anymore. And trust me, not being able to feel your feet makes walking back to your car just a touch difficult. Instead, rest your feet on carpet squares. The carpet squares keep your feet off the concrete and create a great buffer.

Oh, did I forget to mention the matching purple shoes? So sorry!

Lastly, a little chemical addition to hot chocolate sipped periodically throughout the four hours may help some people. Personally, I wouldn’t know, as it’s illegal to bring alcohol into a college game. I’ve just heard about it….
Good luck keeping warm. Brrrr! Wish me luck on the 22nd! It’s the last game of the season and at 2:30, which means we get to deal with dark as well as cold by the end of the game.


  • Kellan

    You are so cute – so funny! Great tips. I love the cold weather, but I WANT TO BE WARM – I always have a blanket – even in the car.

    Have a good evening – Kellan

    PS Fun to see you in the picture – you are darling!

  • Melisa

    Wow, you are a pro! I’m gonna come back and read this again when Lacrosse season begins in late March! 🙂

  • Karen

    I am not a sports fan, so I find this a bit crazy. But it’s good to know in case I need to be in the rain somewhere.

  • sassy stephanie

    And see, if you were in Texas, you would be in shorts and flip flops!

    Thanks for sharing in my SITS day with me!

  • Michelle

    Kellan – Wellll yeah, I’d like to be warm, too. Living in Chicago staying warm isn’t quite as easy as keeping a blanket in the car. I only wish….

    Melisa – Hey, I’ve got all sorts of tips. And having PLAYED softball outside in Minnesota in March, so I’ve got alll sorts of tips. No fingers or noses lost to frostbite yet!

    Karen – Well being a sports fan is kind of a bit crazy, so really it all goes hand in hand. It doesn’t matter WHAT I say to you though, does it? 😉

    Sassy Stephanie – Welcome! And ummm yeah. Here’s hoping we’re somewhere warm around New Years! Texas would be acceptable….

  • Weaselmomma

    Way to stay warm! I love those socks. They are the only kind I wear October through April. And purple accessories definitely keep you warmer.

  • Ashley

    Despite the cold temps it looks like so much fun! And you are very well prepared. I would never have thought of carpet square (in matching purple no less).

    Thanks for stopping by my blog today! Our parents like us both (I’m pretty sure :)) so I’ll probably get everyone a picture of both of us. I have still got to decide which ones though. Arg!!

    You can upload any photos to WinkFlash and they’ll make a canvas from the print. We were lucky enough to get a disc of the photos from our photographer. We ordered a small canvas (thinking it would be bigger for some reason) but this is a much more economical route. Their canvases are 40% this week (that’s what I’ve been waiting on).

  • Melissa

    Silk long underwear? Who knew. I need to get a pair of these. I’ve just been wearing thermal underwear for Santa’s Landing!

  • Michelle

    Weaselmomma – Thanks. And good to know that you’re in favor of my purple mania.

    Ashley – It was WAY fun. Except for the huge nasty ugly loss to Ohio State. I’m surprised that you’re the first to notice that yes I did have it in matching purple — which was done purposefully, of course.

    Melissa – Really? You’ve never heard of silk long underwear? Oh it’s the greatest thing ever invented. You REALLY need some. I’ve actually worn this under dress pants at work when I was on the first floor in the building which was notoriously freezing!

  • ann


  • Aly @ Lip Zip

    Brrrr! I thought I missed the snow until I saw your pictures and it brought back so many memories of teeth chattering, frigid toes and a runny nose.

    Visiting via BPOTW.

  • Michelle

    Ann – Welcome! 80 degrees, huh? I could go for that — AND with the win today, I may at least get a nice warm New Years bowl. Sorry about the 30 degrees part though.

    Aly – Welcome! No, you don’t miss snow. You really don’t. If you need it, take a long weekend to Denver to ski or something like that. You don’t need six months of it!

  • Kate Coveny Hood

    While DC isn’t the coldest area for Winter, I don’t like to stand around outside in the cold. Period. So I dread the upcoming days of school sports!

  • Michelle

    Kate Coveny Hood – It’s not so bad… you just have to make sure that you steer them towards an INDOOR sport. Basketball, volleyball, gymnastics — really, there are plenty of possibilities!


    These are such cool tips. I’ve never stopped to think about the air that’s trapped in pants being a buffer to the cold wind. I will remember that one. And the carpet squares. That’s awesome. You definitely live in a colder climate to be so smart about these things.

  • Michelle

    BPOTW – Ummm I don’t know if it’s being smart or stupid. You only learn these things when you’ve spent too MUCH time outside!

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