How Do You Prepare For An Iowa Winter!?

For many of you this might be your first winter in Iowa, how exciting! Are you pumped for some snow?! I wanted to be proactive and help all of you out by filling you in on these tidbits before winter actually hits. That way you can go out and be prepared for when winter actually hits! Otherwise, it could get really cold all the sudden and you are left scrambling to the stores to get all your winter supplies and find out that everyone else had the same idea, but they beat you there and now there is hardly anything left! Don’t let that happen to you!! 

Some great tips for surviving an Iowa winter!

  1. Coat, Hat, and Gloves- These are really the essentials. Even when there isn’t snow on the ground it can still get pretty darn cold! Be sure to have a warm stocking hat and a good pair of warm gloves or even mittens! They may look “dumb”, but they actually keep your hands really warm. It’s also a good idea to maybe get more than one pair of gloves. I don’t know how it happens, but I always somehow lose one of my gloves at some point! You will want a warm coat! I don’t mean like a little wind-breaker coat or just some heavy sweatshirt! Spend a little money on a coat if you can because I promise it will be worth it. Try and get yourself something like a down-feather coat, or some type of heavy coat.
  2. Boots/Snow Boots- I’m sorry guys and gals, but when it snows, the ‘fashion boots’ won’t stay dry and keep your toes warm! I know, it hurts a little to find that out but I promise that everyone who wants to keep warm and dry will be wearing snow boots. Get yourself a nice pair of insulated snow boots or just a pair of insulated boots. Make sure that they are going to stay dry when you walk through snow, and of course make sure they are going to keep your toes warm!
  3. Scarfs and Facemasks- Just a forewarning, it get pretty cold in January. The wind blows and you just want to have no business with that cold air touching your skin. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a scarf or something that can cover your face. A scarf is always a pretty decent insulator also. Having something that will cover your face is going to help out a lot. It make look a little ridiculous at times, but hey, I’d rather look ridiculous than have my face go numb. That’s just me though!
  4. Long-Underwear/Insulated Compression Wear- Having long-under around is seriously a must. Especially if you plan on wearing jeans a lot. Let me tell you.. jeans do not keep your legs as warm as you would want, or think they would. So getting some long-underwear or something like runners tights to wear under your jeans will help insulate your legs from the cold wind blowing through all that denim. Also, it’s a good idea to do the same for your upper-body if you tend to get cold easy. Once again, the compression shirts or thermal shirts act as a good insulator.
  5. Hand/Foot Warmers- These are a really great purchase! You can throw these warmers into your pockets for your hands, or even put them inside of your mittens. Keeps your hands nice and toasty! You can also get foot warmers and put them into your shoes to keep your feet nice and warm, and not feeling numb!
  6. Thick Socks- Socks can actually make a big difference. Try finding some thick socks or wool socks for those really cold or snowy days. They will definitely be worth it!
  7. Shovel/Ice Scraper- If you brought a car to college with you and you plan on driving it a lot in the winter then I would suggest getting a snow shovel and putting it in your trunk. You never know when you may need to dig your car, or someone else’s, out of the snow. You will also want to put an ice scraper in your vehicle because let’s be real… you’ll be using it a lot if you plant on driving a lot this winter! A snow shovel is also a good thing to have if you live off-campus and don’t have snow removal provided for you.

I know this sounds like I am telling you to go out and spend a bunch of money to stock up on all these winter supplies. We are all poor college students together, so I can understand being on a budget! You can find a lot of these things at local places for pretty cheap. Off-brands normally work just as well as the name-brands, and they are a lot cheaper! If you’re like my mother you can always hit up Goodwill or other second-hand stores. They actually have some pretty good stuff for really cheap!

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Hope this helps you out! Enjoy the rest of the fall season! 🙂

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4 responses to “How Do You Prepare For An Iowa Winter!?”

  1. David Boswell says:

    Thanks for the tips Peter.

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  3. George Cristiano says:

    Peter, when do you think we’ll get snow? I have friends driving from chicago in december to give me their car, will it be safe?

    • Peter says:

      Great question, George! Iowa is pretty unpredictable. It’s hard to tell when we’ll get snow. Two or three years ago we had pretty much no snow. My freshman year of college there was tons of snow! It changes from year to year. I think it would be safe to say that in December we will probably have some snow on the ground. Unless they are driving in the middle of some snowstorm the roads will be safe to drive on. The state clears the interstate and highways really fast and makes them safe to travel because they know a lot of people drive them. As for within the city limits of Ames.. well, class never gets cancelled because cyride is always able to be driving it’s routes, so those roads are definitely safe. You should be just fine! Just keep an eye on the weather during the week they will be coming!

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