The 10 Best Ways To Survive a Midwest Winter

Published: January 3, 2015

Anyone who has ever stepped foot in the Midwest at anytime between the months of November and February will know that one of the most horrific displays of mother nature's fury can been found in a Midwest winter. The days get shorter, only to be accented by bitter, biting cold, while the flat land only accentuates the strong gusts of cold winds. If you're a native to the territory, your eyes will water and your fingers will start to freeze just thinking about it. For those who are lucky enough to live in warmer climates, you may never fully understand what an absolute bummer this kind of winter can be. Luckily, there are a few different ways in which to survive such a horrific, frigid season. And so, the "10 Best Ways To Surivive A Midwest Winter," looks at the most crucial necessities and entertaining solutions (based on my own experience) to make it a beautiful Midwest springtime. 

  1. A Heavy-Duty Winter Coat

    No winter is survivable without the proper gear. At the top of everyone's list should be a warm, durable, wind/water/apocolypse-proof winter coat. While you don't have to be as "fashion-forward" as George Costanza with the classic black, puffy coat, it is definitely important to invest in something that will keep those freezing temperatures from frost-biting every inch of you. Fortunately, the Midwest is just as famous for its love of outlet malls as it is its long winters, so you should be able to find a trusted brand at a reasonable price if you're looking to bundle up! 

  2. (Real) Boots

    Next to a warm coat, the second quintessential winter wardrobe piece is most definitely a good pair of boots. The Midwest boasts a flat, picturesque landscape, but it won't do you any good to be viewing it while frozen to the pavement or flat on your back after slipping on ice, so find a solid pair of boots with great traction and warm liners. While Uggs might go over well in Australia, you might want something a bit sturdier for this neck of the woods. Without good boots, you'll never manage to get out of the Midwest winter that you're so desperately trying to survive. 

  3. Layers, Layers, & More Layers!

    Behind a coat and boots, everything else that relates to winter wardrobes can be summed up as "layers." In fact, just when you think you've layered enough, you'll probably need to add just one more layer for good measure. Always do the layer test before trecking out into that forzen tundra. Run outside in your layers, if you freeze on the spot, you most definitely did not layer enough. When the temperatures start to dip below 0 Degrees (fahrenheit), with windchill adding about -20 degrees to that, that extra flannel undershirt could make the world of difference. And do NOT forget that this layering tactic most definitely applies to socks. 

  4. Indoor Space Heater

    If you're unlucky enough to be stuck living in the Midwest come winter, you're probably going to find that you'll be spending most of your times indoors, seeing as how the outside world is totally uninhabitable. So you'll need to preapre your home, and when your indoor-heating system begins to struggle under the immense strain of winter, you might find yourself needing to bring in the reinforcements. An indoor space heater is a necessary expense in order to keep yourself thawed from December to March. You'll be glad to hear that they aren't all that expensive either! It's a small price to pay for keeping all of your toes!

  5. Kleenex

    If you're anything like me, you'll need to add an army of kleenex to the list of your winter essentials. Once the cold starts, so do the colds. The tunes of sniffles and sneezes become just as common as Christmas carols and sleigh bells. Keeping some spare tissues on hand will help to ease any unfortunate nasal drippage that is bound to occur.

  6. A Sun Lamp

    As silly as I know it may sound, you'll be thanking me once the days start shrinking and the sun starts clocking-out early. Vitamin D is a crucial piece to the puzzle when it comes to staying healthy and happy, especially during the winter months. By using a sun lamp, you can soak in a few yellow rays and avoid a bout with those seasonal blues.

  7. Heated Blanket

    While the blanket doesn't necessarily have to be heated, it certainly does help beat back those cold winter nights. I say from experience that there is nothing quite as wonderful as cuddling up with a good blanket and a book, especially if its by an open fire. But, book and fire aside, a heated blanket should be on everyone's list this winter, especially if they're looking to survive it in the Midwest. You must be warned, however, that if you decide to purchase a snuggie, I cannot be held responsible for the social repurcussion.

  8. Warm Beverages

    "Hello... Is it TEA you're looking for?" Why yes, yes it is. No winter survival kit is complete without some sort of hot beverage. My favorite just happens to be a nice, hot cup of tea. However, you can chose whatever floats your boat. The nice thing about the Midwest is that there are enough coffee shops and bars to provide warm drinks (be them alcoholic or otherwise) to all those who chose to seek refuge from the bitter cold. So go ahead and have another coffee with Kahlua because the Midwest winter isn't going anywhere and neither are you!

  9. Car Scraper

    Unfortunately, it is no longer socially acceptable to board up your house and hibernate the winter away. You will at some point have to exit the confines of your cozy home and heated blanket in order to brave the roadways. You've got enough to worry about with icy drives and sheets of snow without having to fret about poor visibility, so make sure you're prepared for iced up windshields with your very own car scraper. They're most definitely a Midwest necessity, and all drivers should own one. Just make sure you give yourself enough time in the morning to put some elbow grease behind those scrapes if you ever hope to chip it off in time for work!

  10. Hope

    Don't you worry! Winter doesn't last forever, even though it might feel like it to a Midwesterner. So if you're a native or just picked a horrible time to visit, make sure you don't start winter without the essential glimpse of hope. We all know spring will get here eventually! So in the meantime, we buckle down and try our best not to freeze!

All-in-all, a Midwest winter is survivable, so long as you're prepared for it. Make sure you have all ten of these important things if you're looking to make it through to spring! Best of luck to all of those braving the cold. WARM wishes!