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5 Ways to Stay Warm During a Wisconsin Winter

Going to UW-Madison definitely has its perks. Jump Around on game days, watching the sunset at Memorial Union and waking up early for the quaint downtown Farmer’s Market are just a few of the charms that Madison has to offer. Although the pros far outweigh the cons, there is one word that Madison students dread once fall starts coming to an end: snow. For those of you coming from a state like Florida or California with a much warmer climate, you may have no experience with a Wisconsin winter and have no idea what to expect. Living in Wisconsin, there are certain things you need to get to become prepared for the upcoming months.  

Winter Coat

The number one way to stay warm this upcoming winter is to get a winter coat! Not only will they keep you warm, but they also block out the snow, wind and even rain. Since walking is a major part of going to college at Madison, I recommend getting a coat with a hood to help your head stay nice and cozy, just in case you forget a hat or a scarf. If you are still cold with your winter coat, you may want to upgrade and invest in a long-length parka. These coats cover more inches of your body and therefore will keep more body heat trapped inside your coat, making you toasty warm. Another thing to remember is that you also need layers under your winter coat to prevent you from getting cold! Don’t be surprised if you’re cold when you’re wearing a short-sleeved t-shirt under your winter coat. Layers are a vital asset to a coat when the temperature is below zero.


If you think that your everyday shoes are good enough to get you through the holiday season, you are mistaken! Trudging through the snow on unshoveled sidewalks, or even just walking on the freezing cold pavement with thin shoes could give you frostbite! Not only that, but all of the salt that is put on the ground can ruin your favorite shoes! These are all reasons why you need to buy a pair of winter boots. They are made to protect you from all of these examples and make sure your toes still have circulation. If you’re not going to be smart and wear boots, but instead wear your Vans or Converse with no insulation whatsoever, at least put on a pair of wool socks. They may seem like a normal pair of socks, but they do wonders at keeping your toes nice and toasty throughout the dreaded Wisconsin season.


Put the fear of having hat hair behind you and buy a hat! Although hat hair is a thing, having a hat is definitely a priority for a Wisconsin winter. Keeping your ears, head and forehead warm, a hat is the most stylish accessory out of all the seasonal apparel you need. They come in all shapes and sizes, with plenty of colors and patterns to choose from. Embrace your hat hair this holiday season and put your need for warmth first over your looks!

Gloves or Mittens

Gloves and mittens are another simple way to keep you warm this winter. An important tip to know is that the little, thin gloves won’t do you any good. The best way to protect your hands from the cold is to buy a pair or two of heavy-duty gloves or mittens. The difference between these two hand warmers is that gloves have holes for each finger, while mittens have one hole for four fingers and one for your thumb. In my opinion, gloves will always at some point start to make the tips of my fingers cold, so I wear mittens. But also, that is just me. To find out which works best for you depends on how well your hand circulation is and just experimenting to figure out what helps you the most.


The one part of your body that is often skipped over while layering is your face. A big scarf that you can wrap all the way around your head is the perfect way to keep your face from feeling frozen. Although scarves are not used as much, they can be helpful during those Wisconsin mornings when the temperature is below zero. Scarves are also very fashionable, as most Midwestern girls wear them as an accessory with their outfits regularly.

Although the horrifically cold Wisconsin winters may seem never-ending, they aren’t as bad as they seem. Take advantage of all the fun activities that are available to students when the snow is around! Get outside and try ice skating, ice fishing, sledding by the Observatory or even participate in the “Battle for Bascom” snowball fight. Keeping yourself busy throughout the upcoming snowy season will make these dreadfully long months go by in the blink of an eye!

Hello everyone! My name is Madelaine Triebold. I am from Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, and am currently a Sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I am a Journalism B.A. major that is taking the Strategic Communication track with a certificate in Digital Studies. Some fun facts about me are that I am a broadway musical fanatic and that I would gladly spend any day at a badger football game! Find me on instagram @mtriebold!
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