Six Winter Essentials to Keep in Your Backpack

As the temperature is slowly decreasing into the low 40's, everyone on campus is starting to get a taste of the cold Evanston winter that is ahead. While it’s fantastic to live next to Lake Michigan in the summer and early fall, the cold wind from it can cause 52-degree weather to feel like it’s below freezing. The following are six winter essentials that are small enough to fit into your backpack and will help you survive the cold winter ahead.

1. Hand Lotion

Hand Lotion is something I don’t think about until my hands are so cracked and dry that it feels like my skin will fall off. Most hand lotions come in small sizes that are perfect to slip into a pocket in your backpack or purse. There are also scents for every type of person, so you can have your own little spa treatment in class. If scents aren’t for you, go with a scentless ultra-healing lotion that will have your hands feeling buttery smooth by spring. My person favorite is the EOS line of hand lotion.

2. Gloves or Mittens

Gloves or Mittens are a must during the winter. Try to find a pair with e-tips that allow you to navigate your smartphone touchscreen without removing them. They are super useful during walks between classes when you want to send a quick snapchat, but don’t want to freeze your fingertips in the process.

3. A Blanket Scarf

A blanket scarf is exactly what is sounds like, and during the winter it’s my saving grace. Not only do blanket scarfs protect you neck and face from the frigid temperatures, it doubles as a portable blanket. It comes in handy for classrooms that are always cold, even in Winter, and late night study sessions.

4. Lip Balm

Nothing is more annoying than chapped lips. They can really become a problem if not treated, and become as dry as the Sahara Desert in summertime. Like hand lotion, lip balm comes in all different flavors and healing levels. Find the one that works best for you and never take it out of your backpack.

5. Fuzzy Socks

Fuzzy socks are the quickest way for you to warm up anywhere you are. They’re also portable and don’t take up more than a couple of inches of room in your backpack. Trust me, when it’s 30 degrees out and you want nothing more than to curl up in your bed, these socks will come through for you.

6. A Winter Hat

A winter hat that covers your ears will be your saving grace come January when the wind off the lake in unforgiving. Your ears are important for listening and learning, so protect them with a cute knit or fleece winter hat. I personally love pom hats, because it allows me to relive my childhood. Try to find one in your school's bookstore that keeps you warm and shows off your school spirit.

Photos from: EOS, Amazon,,,, The Norris Center Bookstore