If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me how I survived the winters in Boone, I would be one wealthy girl. As an incoming freshman coming from Charlotte, I was extremely considered with the fact that I’ve never experienced temperatures under 29° or seen more than three inches of snow. I know I am not the only one who has expressed concern with the winter and let me tell you, it’s not as bad as you think. Now I am assuming you’re asking yourself how I came to that conclusion, but here’s the truth: being prepared with the right gear. If you have the right layers and protection from the wind, you are going to be alive and thriving during those harsh winter months. To make it even easier for you to understand, here is the exact list of what I’ve used to survive November-March in Boone:
- The NorthFace 3-in-1
You might be thinking, what an overkill, a three in one jacket what type of person could ever need that. I read up on the pro’s and con’s of this specific jacket and others like it but his was my ultimate final choice. It has an insulated fuzzy underlayer that can be zipped out when needed and keeps the warm air in when attached. The outer shell is the perfect raincoat during the months that you won’t need the insulated part and a necessity when the snow is coming down.
- Bean boots
If I am being honest, I was a complete hater of these boots prior to coming to Appalachian, but I am on my fourth winter with mine and my butt is thanking me. This boots are going to save you from some killer falls on the ice when you’re walking to class on those icy mornings while keeping your feet warm as well as dry.
- A buff and hats
These are typically used in snowboarding and skiing to protect your face from the wind while going down the mountain but trust me, your face will thank you later. The wind can be brutal while walking between buildings and being able to pull this over my nose has made all the difference in my warmth. Let’s not forget to mention the importance of keeping your head warm. Get yourself three solid, warm, wool beanies to throw on before walking out of your room for the day.
- Wool socks
While you’re on L.L. Bean.com you might as well add a few pairs of wool socks to your cart because they are going to become your best friend during the fall and winter. Save yourself the pain of feeling like you’re developing frostbite like I did and get yourself some high quality socks.
Now, I am not talking about the ones you add as an accent to an outfit. I am talking a thick, wrap around scarf that is coming to protect your chest, face and body from the snow, sleet and wind.
- Gloves and mittens
Please, Please, PLEASE get yourself a pair of waterproof gloves that are going to keep your hands warm and comfortable. I would also recommend purchasing a few pairs of the thinner gloves or mittens that you can keep in the pockets of your jacket or in your backpack just in case.
- Flannels and layers
The biggest tip I can give you about surviving a winter is one word: layers. I have detailed some specific items you should purchase to help create the layers that will ultimately decide how warm you are going to be. Layering is so important because for the most part, the buildings on campus BLAST the heat (thankfully) so you want to be able to strip away from of your protection from the wind while in class. I would recommend bringing some flannels, thin long sleeves, baggy sweaters, and thermal shirts. If you have those you’ll be set to start layering all the things listed above.
These things are just the basics, there are about 300 different brands of all the items that i have mentioned above so don’t focus on one of them and think that's the only option. Heading to stores like REI, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Target and others will help you see all the options out there for you. The moral of this story is, being prepared is key to survival of a Boone winter and with the proper attire, you have nothing to worry about.