Be Ready for the Cold

Cold weather sucksI dislike the winter. Its not that I personally have anything against the season, I just hate the cold. When I was younger, I remember getting bundled up and playing in the snow, but those days are long gone. When I was in the Navy, I spent the majority of my time in southern Georgia (Kings Bay), where there were no snow days or freezing rain. I would be out on the boat bass fishing on January 1st. Now, here I am in Ohio in the beginning of January, and its 7 degrees right now. Tonight its supposed to get down to a low of -9, and tomorrow is a high of +5 degrees. I guess it is my fault, though, I did choose to come back here when I got out of the military.

I guess its not just southeastern Ohio getting this cold blast right now. It looks like even quite a few southern states are feeling the effects of this “polar vortex.” (I don’t know if that term was made up for what we are experiencing now, but it sounds cool, regardless.) If you have to go out in this (yes, I have an outside job too) please keep in mind these few tips to battle the cold and to stay safe.

     Dress for the occasion

Compression ShirtMy uncle always told me to dress for success. For today and tomorrow, success equals not getting frostbite. Keeping the core of the body warm is easy. You want to dress in layers of dry clothing. Compression shirts are awesome, and work really well in the cold. Most people think of Under Armour, but there are less expensive options that can give you the same amount of protection.

Another thing that is recommended is that you remember your extremities, since that is the first place where frostbite will set in. It is easy to keep your core warm, but we don’t always think of everything else. Wear a hat. Preferably one that covers your ears, and maybe comes down to the top of your neck. Don’t forget about covering your neck also. When I work outside in this weather, I wear this balaclava, with this hat, and that keeps me warm for under 20 bucks.

Gloves are good, but mittens are better. I personally don’t like mittens, but I do have a pair that the in-laws got me a couple of years ago for Christmas. The “mitten” part folds back, exposing your fingers so that you can still have some dexterity when you need it. Also remember, especially you ladies, to wear shoes that are appropriate to the temperature.

     Mind your car battery

Recondition BatteryThe cold weather takes a toll on your car battery. Of course, parking your car inside a garage is the best defense, but not everyone has access to a garage. If your battery is newer than 3 years old, you should be ok. If it is older than that, you may want to keep an eye on it in case you have to go out in this. In some states, its a law that you have a spare battery in your car. Before you go out and drop 100 bucks or more on a new battery, there is another option.

All batteries can be reconditioned. In this guide, it covers the different types of batteries (batteries for your car, laptop, cordless power tools, rechargeables…), how to test batteries, and exactly how to recondition batteries. Of course, this guide isn’t free, but you can recoup your costs very quickly with this guide. I’m not only talking about the money that you will save yourself from buying a new battery, but you can charge a very small fee to family and friends and make a quick profit. There are people that use the information in this guide to make a very lucrative income from working at home.

     Take an extra blanket

emergency blanketNo matter the season, you should always have extra blankets with you when you travel. For some reason you may break down, your phone don’t work, and you just have to sleep in the car. Or whatever, create your own scenario. When the weather is colder like this, you should always carry one more blanket, per passenger, in your car in case of an emergency. You never know what may happen and how long it may take for help to arrive.

This is, of course, not an all-inclusive list. There are other things to remember when extreme cold weather strikes. As always, common sense prevails. Got a suggestion or a tip? Feel free to share it with me and others down below.