Winter Wanderings – How to Pack for Cold Weather Trips

I received a lot of head tilts at work when I shared I was headed to Chicago later this week. It’s the second week of January and the temperature typically hovers around 22º. Trust me, I get it, but I saved over $200 per person on round trip tickets by waiting to go visit my family in January vs. December. I also have some pretty great little tips and tricks surround winter time travel so you can stay toasty warm, wherever you may roam.

1. Wear Your Largest Pieces on the Plane
Listen, I know it’s fairly common knowledge but it especially bears repeating on cold weather trips: wear those heavy duty pieces on the plane! Not only does this help you thermoregulate on your flight, but it frees up room in your suitcase and leaves you feeling warm when you reach your destination.

2. Layering is Your Friend
Don’t have the room for heavy duty pieces? Maybe you live somewhere warm and you don’t have a wealth of cold weather pieces? Not to worry – layering is here to keep the chill out. An easy rule of thumb is to stick with multiple, close fitting base layers made from wool, polyester, or synthetic fabrics and loose outer layers you can easily pile on.

3. Don’t Forget Accessories!
Trust me – you don’t want to be stuck in freezing temperatures without your gloves. Knit caps and beanies, gloves, scarves, balaclavas, and the like are a very lightweight way to keep the cold at bay. This is also a fun way to experiment with pattern and color. My personal favorite cold weather accessory right now is this huge Acne Studio scarf.
Reminder: Stick with wool, polyester, or synthetic fibers here as well!

4. Pack More Socks
Really. In the winter I pack twice as many pairs of socks as number of days I’m traveling. There is nothing worse than wet feet and it can also be a dangerous pre-cursor to frostbite. My personal choice here is these socks from Woolrich (they’re also my go to hiking socks).
Tip: If you’re worried about the water resistance of your footwear and you didn’t pack enough socks, you can wrap saran wrap or a plastic bag around your feet in a pinch!

5. Sunglasses Aren’t Only for Beaches
Snow blind(ness) is an actual effect that causes inflammation in the eyes caused by the reflection of ultraviolet rays from the sun bouncing off the snow. While it might not hurt at first glance it can really start to wear on your eyes, especially when driving. I try to stick with a pair with dark lenses that are polarized for even more protection.

Any cold weather packing tips I missed? Feel free to drop them in the comments!




KatyJoe Idaho

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