SnowDopers: Help this tropical guy out

Having lived in the tropics all my life, I am now at a loss as to what I should wear, if I wanted to play in the snow.

Yes. It’s pathetic.

I would assume that it’s common knowledge, since there’s practically nothing on that on the internet… but if say I wanted to go sledding, or just romp around and throw snowballs, what would I need to wear? Jeans? Trackpants? Some kind of specialised snow pants? Just any old parka, or some baggy metallic stuff that you always see snowboarders in?


Jeans are fine, although you might want to wear long underwear underneath, depending on how cold it is. (You can get these very thin, silky leggings that help immensely.) Then just layer. Long-sleeved shirt, sweater, jacket, gloves, scarf, hat.

Hehehe. I just remembered that I asked my boyfriend-at-the-time what to wear in the snow when I moved from California to the Midwest, and he told me in all seriousness, “snow pants.” He had me going for about five minutes before he started laughing at me.

Well, with jeans you’ll probably feel very cold (since you’re used to +80 I’m sure). The best outfit would be some sort of snowboard pants (nylon type windbreaker material) over the jeans and a nice jacket (fleece, goose down, whatever). A tooke (knit hat thingy) is a must and some good gloves and you’re set. You could add a scarf but I’ve never worn one in my life.

With than on and some outdoor running you’ll probably feel hot inside all that clothing unless it’s really cold (say, neg 30 C) then the snow doesn’t pack at all so there’s no more snow fights (except with ice).

When I go out in the snow to play for a while, like to go sledding, I just layer my normal clothes. I’ll put on a pair of leggings or long underwear and then layer warm-up pants and/or jeans over them. Lots of layers on top, try a thermal shirt or just a long-sleeved shirt, then I like to wear a fleece vest because it keeps your trunk warm without adding bulk in your arms. Then a sweatshirt or sweater. I like to wear something with a turtleneck to keep snow from going down my shirt. If you are really going to get snowy, not just be outside, the more waterproof the better. That’s when I like to wear warm-up pants on top because they don’t soak up the water like cotton or denim does.

Make sure you have a warm coat and waterproof boots - get boots that are big enough to wear at least 2 pairs of socks, one thin pair first and then a nice thick wool pair. Make sure your feet are not crammed in the boots, you need room to wiggle your toes or your feet will never stay warm. There is nothing more miserable than frozen feet.

A good pair of gloves and a winter coat and a knit hat and scarf and you’re all set. You’ll feel very fat and stuffed with all the layers, this is good. You can always take something off - if you are active and sledding, skiing, shoveling, etc. you may be suprised to find how warm you are and can take a layer off. I usually get hot while sledding.

I wear ski bibs (just got a new pair on eBay for an astounding $10.53) over jeans or long underwear. Keeps the snow off ya. Snow will melt onto jeans, so if you are really playing in the snow (not just walking through it) ski bibs or other waterproof snow pant is a must.

Boots. I like higher boots, but get something at least high enough that your snow pants will overlap the top. Snow in boots = no fun.

A good heavy jacket,what you wear under it is up to you. I like a tee-shirt with a sweater/sweatshirt under.

Gloves - heavy ones, or heavy mittens.

Hats - there are a lot of cute ones, something that covers the ears is needed.

Scarfs come in handy when it’s really cold, you can wrap them around your lower face.

Waterproof gear is a must. Snow melts quickly on the body, and cold + wet is the biggest outdoor activity stopper around.

You can buy something called a gator that’s kind of like a turtleneck without the shirt part, made of fleece. They’re vastly better than scarves for keeping the heat from escaping through the neck of your jacket, and for keeping your neck and lower face warm.

If you’re going sledding for an hour, don’t invest in fancy stuff - wear layers (although jeans get wet and stay wet), borrow a good winter coat, hat, and mittens (best) or warm gloves from someone, and have fun. If you’re going to go skiing or something, definitely get a ski bib/snowboard pants, a really good pair of warm socks, long underwear, a gator, and the stuff mentioned above.

I used to wear a pair of lined canvas coveralls - the kind mechanics wear, but with a quilted flannel lining - made by Carharrt. They were free, though, a gift from my sister’s ex-husband, who used to work on snowmobiles and thus had to spend lots of time wearing that outfit. My mom took them in for me so they’d fit and I wore them through high school when I wanted to play in the snow for longer than a few minutes. I’d also wear heavy boots, two pair of socks (my feet tend to get cold in the best of circumstances), a pair of gloves and a hat.

Last winter I didn’t have the coveralls anymore, but I didn’t do much playing in the snow, either. Mostly I’d just get into impromptu snowball fights with my friends while waiting in line to go to a movie or something. I couldn’t stand that - if I got hit in the leg, the snow would melt into my jeans and I’d have a cold wet patch for hours.

Jeans are terrible for winter fun. As you know, when jeans get wet they get very restrictive and nasty. Throw in some freezing temps and you get a fun-killer.

Despite what TV and movies tell you, brandy (or any booze) is not a good way to get warm. Just in case you were thinking of a way to stay warm from the inside out… :slight_smile:

Jeans get stiff and itchy if you have to wear them wet, too. Is there anything worse than having snowy, cold, wet jeans and having to sit in them for a while? As they warm up they itch. Doubly bad if it soaked through to your underwear.

I’d second that…I prefer to wear thick cordoroys out in the snow if not the ugly snow pants. Of course, you’ll be stylin’ in a pair of moon boots too (and of course Freezy Freakies brand gloves if you can find 'em!)

Sorry, winter time brings out the kid in me.

Bah. My one concession to winter weather is a good pair of gloves. REAL SnowDopers wear nothing hardier than jeans and a hooded sweatshirt outside.

(Please? I need someone else like that in this climate so I’m not the only idiot who goes outside without a jacket.)

I have a pair of cheap nylon pants I slip over my jeans either when out in the snow or golfing in the rain.

lno, I have thin goretex gloves, and I’m happy. What I can’t live without is warm feet. Good socks and boots are tops on my list.

If it’s below 10 I’ll wimp out and wear a hat.

It all kind of depends. If I’m just walking from my car to work I could get by with a tee shirt and flip flops. If I’m playing outside for more than an hour, I go with freedom of movement, so goretex pants over fleece pants. Maybe silk long undies if its really cold. Turtle neck with a down jacket. Aforementioned goretex gloves, and earmuffs for long term, since I got frostbite on my lobes once as a kid, so my ears are pretty sissy too.

The answer to this really depends on how cold it is, how much contact you’re going to be making with the snow, and how long you’ll be out there. If it’s a soggy, wet snow, you’ll be unhappy in jeans. If it’s a dry, powdery snow, you’ll be OK until you get inside and it starts melting. Fleece or Gorotex are probably better ideas, but I often cross country or downhill ski in jeans without problems (except for my complete lack of fashion sense).

However if you’re going to be out in the back country, the key aphorism to remember is that “cotton kills”. Cotton gets wet and stays wet, and wet is a bad thing to be when it’s cold out. At the very least, you want an inner layer of something like polypro or even silk on your torso – something that doesn’t lose its insulation value when it gets wet. Even a day out cross-country skiing with a cotton jersey can be pretty unpleasant. Dressing in layers is recommended – if you get too hot, you can always strip off a layer or two.

Another aphorism is that you lose something like half your body heat through your head. It may not be that much, but when it’s cold and windy, wear a hat or a hood.

Somebody may have said this and I missed it…but it’s essential that you tuck the ankle part of your boots into your pants, not the other way around. Same thing goes for the mittens - tuck the mittens into your sleeves. It sucks to have a crusty ice balls getting into your mittens.

Umm, the Prince Charles gay threads are here and here.


A slight hijack here…
Are ski bibs available for rent at ski places? I’m thinking of trying out skiing when I visit Switzerland with S.O. some time in December. Thinking that just a short go at skiing isn’t worth buying all the fancy stuff. Any tips regarding which ski resorts in Switzerland are more beginner friendly? Seems like Zermatt is one of the most popular, but it doesn’t seem beginner friendly…

Also, for the jackets, is advisable to get one with cotton stuffing? Saw the post by Finagle advising against cotton. Would a jacket with a synthetic outershell, but with cotton stuffing be good?

Colorado Rockies resident here.

GOOD mittens should have a gaunlent on them that is secured OVER your coat about halfway up to your elbow. I like Outdoor Research mittons. A liner and a shell. and the shell has a cord that you tighten around your wrist. So, when you take them off to use your fingers on something, they hang at your wrist.

If I’m gonna be in the snow working on something, I go with Jeans, and gators. Gortex overpants if I have to lay down in it.

Gators are like high teck spats. They cover over your boots from your ankle to below your knee. Keeps the snow out. And I find that the extra layer helps keep your feet warm. A must for me. Again Outdoor Research makes good ones that are easy to get on and off.

If I know its gonna snow say 8" inches or more, I take my gators when I leave my house. There is a good chance that I may have to walk up my drive when I get back.

As far as a coat goes, just about any ‘ski’ type jacket will do. As long as you layer. Fleece is great. I pretty much live in fleece vests in the winter. Or if it’s cold. Down vests.

Neck gator to. It’s basically a fleece tube that you put around your neck,chin, mouth whatever. Much better than a scarf. If you have two, one can be used as a hat.

If I’m just going to work, or back and forth to the shed or grill some steaks, It’s running shoes and a light fleece or down vest. Gloves? Nah. And we have snow on the ground 6 months out of the year. It’s gonna be white outside until April.

Another doper against jeans. I do a lot of outdoor stuff and when phrase I learned as a pup was:

“Cotton kills.”

Once it gets wet, either through water, melting snow or persperation, cotton draws heat away from your body, lowering your core temperature and making you colder.

Here’s what I wore/will wear today:

8 degrees(F) - hiked with the dog for 1/2 hour. I wore wool socks, hiking tennis shoes, heavy fleece pants, a capilene t-shirt and a mid-weight windbreaker. Light capilene gloves and a stocking cap.

25 degrees(f) - run with dog, one hour. Same socks and shoes. Light long capeline underwear and lighter fleece pants. Capilene long-sleeved shirt and a windbreaker. Light capeline gloves. Head band that covers my ears.

If the wind was blowing or the snow was deeper, I’d probably wear a pair of light wind pants.

I miss warm weather, when my wardrobe choices for going outside are tennis shoes or sandals, shorts or swimtrunks, t-shirt, a hat if it’s raining.

Where as now I have to choose between:

Shoes: Running shoes, trail runners, light hikers, hiking boots, snow boots, really deep snow boots.

Socks: three thicknesses of wool socks, capilene socks

Pants: three thicknesses of fleece, wind pants (two thicknesses), snow pants. And gaiters.

Shirts: capilene short sleeve, capilene long sleeve, three thicknesses of fleece, two thicknesses of wool

Coats: three thicknesses of fleece, long coat, short coat (4 to choose from), long very heavy coat

Gloves/mittens: light capilene, heavy capilene, wool mittens, leather mittens, heavy gloves, gloves with the fingertips cut out, gloves with lighter fingertips

Hats: ear band, Elmer Fudd hat, stocking caps (two thicknesses)

and a face mask for when it gets really cold.