Wisconsin Winter Survival 101

As the term comes to an end, the beloved season of fall is ending as well. Next in line is possibly one of the most disliked—winter. There are plenty of reasons to despise winter; however, there are ways to prevent the hate of this season.

To survive winter, one must know what they are going to be up against. First, there will be snow, and lots of it. It’ll keep coming and coming, sometimes for hours at a time, and it won’t melt for three or more months. Secondly, the darkness comes early. There will be a lot less sunlight in a day’s time. And lastly, there’s a possibility of the polar vortex.
The polar vortex was a misfortune that took place in 2013 in Wisconsin. For over two weeks, record low temperatures swept across the state. “The polar vortex was the only time I had class canceled at all in my freshman year,” said senior Sierra Parker. “We couldn’t go outside for 10 minutes at a time. It was the most extreme cold I’ve experienced.” It was the second-coldest winter Appleton has ever had.

How did fellow Lawrentians survive this monstrous cold streak? “When I’d go outside, I’d have a jacket on top of a sweater on top of another sweater,” senior Gustavo Figueroa. Although Wisconsin can have some pretty rough winter seasons, there are ways that its residents have made it out alive with various survival techniques.

Having warm clothing is a must in the winter. Only a long sleeve shirt and jeans won’t always be able to protect from the snow and wind chills. Underarmour gear, long johns, boots and a nice, big coat can help make life more bearable during the cold times. No matter how ridiculous you might feel or look, dress in layers. This includes having snow pants, big winter boots, that big winter coat, a warm hat and mittens or gloves. Looking like the abominable snowman is worth it if you’re warm.

Beware of both black and clear ice. Black ice is ice that you might not be able to see. It can get slick on the roads and sidewalks. Just be wary of where you step and how you drive. Make your room nice and cozy. It’s worth it to come back to your dorm and can thaw from the outside. Getting plenty of blankets will warm you up. Plus, having good snacks stocked up in your room means one less trip outside.

While winter has its setbacks, it isn’t only a nightmare. When it’s not too cold outside, there are fun activities to do with the snow. You can speed down hills while sledding or skiing. Make a traditional snowman or two in Lawrence’s lawns. Go ice skating and play broomball in Ormsby’s ice rink. Be innocent and make snow angels. Make a snow fort. Pick the right kind of fight with your friends: a snowball fight that is. Catch snowflakes on your tongue when it’s snowing.

The cold season also brings about many delicious warm foods that unexplainably taste better in the winter. Hot chocolate with marshmallows goes great with reading a good book in your room. A steaming hot bowl of soup or chili will make you warm quick. A dessert food that’s not hot, but still is a winter favorite, is almond bark pretzels. Winter also has the best sugar cookies. Again, it can’t be explained.

It can’t be kept hidden; winter can be rough in Wisconsin. The most disliked of the seasons does provide some trouble for us. If you are prepared to survive though, it’s guaranteed it’ll be less horrible. One of the worst feelings is not listening to someone when they say to put on a jacket or bring a hat, and then you almost freeze to death. Don’t be that person, be proud of looking like the abominable snowman.