Things I never knew about until I lived in cold weather

November 19, 2013

So since it has snowed, and I’ve experienced sub-zero temperatures, I feel like I’m starting to get the hang of this “living in the arctic*” thing. (*Note: Anchorage is technically not in the arctic. We do, however, have the northernmost rainforest, so that’s cool.)

Here are a list of some things I didn’t really know about until now, but I find them awesome and need them in my life.

  1. Snow tires. Quite possibly one of the best things ever, they help keep your car on the road when it is icy/snowy. They come in studded, and studless. The studded are neat, because when people had them on their car and there was no snow, it sounded like pop rocks every time they drove.


    What I have on my car, Blizzack studless

  2. Ice Cleats. The ground is super slick. So you wear ice cleats to avoid falling.
    DCF 1.0Matt & I bought these Ice Trekker Diamond Grips, and they are absolutely phenomenal. Search & Rescue people wear the same things! Matt’s worn them on our runs, and I wear them during the day since I’m walking through parking lots and sidewalks a lot (Oh the life of a sales rep). They are awesome – I get to walk with confidence and don’t really worry about slipping and breaking every bone in my body (I tend to be dramatic).
  3. Engine Block Heaters.
    odd15Once it reaches a certain temperature outside, you actually have to plug your car into an outlet as to prevent your engine from getting too cold, and your oil from freezing? (Someone who actually understands it, please comment and explain it in detail). Regardless, it is quite amusing to me to see cars in the parking lots with outlet plugs hanging out of the grills.
  4. Balaclavas.
    balaclavaYeah, those weird face masks robbers wear. People legit wear them because otherwise their nose and lips would fall off (I’m assuming). I got Matt one as a gift, he was pretty pumped.
  5. Studded Running Shoes. We’ve been attempting to keep an active lifestyle in Alaska, so we joined a running group (that motivates us by giving away free prizes at a pub post-run). Now that it’s getting cold, people still run on the snow and ice. To keep their balance, they either stud their shoes themselves (Cement screws are great from this) or they buy shoes for the very purpose of studding.

    My cheap studs

    Not gonna lie – having studded shoes makes snow running awesome. Also, my experience was snow running was easier on my joints – I had one of my best runs this year on snow. At tonights Social Run, we get to try out some studded shoes Brooks is bringing, so I’m interested to see if there is a real difference to the homemade version versus the store bought.


    For Sale! Only $140


  6. and Finally, weird quilted skirts (which I actually really really want one, but Matt hates them).
    Screen Shot 2013-11-18 at 9.57.38 PMI’ve been told these quilted down skirts are awesome to wear when running, cross country skiing, snow shoeing – basically any outdoor winter sport. They don’t look the coolest (especially the long ones) but a lot of women have them and rave about them. A few of the doctors and nurses I see tell me they wear them in the car and when they’re walking into work over their dress pants, and then take the skirt off when they get to their office. Regardless, I really want one.




What winter things did I miss? Friends from the South, what do you think about these new necessities?




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  • Reply Matt S. November 19, 2013 at 10:53

    Block heaters keep your oil from becoming too viscous. When your oil is cold and thick it causes more wear on your engine and can potentially break your starter when trying to start your vehicle because it can’t turn the engine over.

    An added benefit is your heater will warm up much faster.

    It probably does more stuff too, but I am too lazy to google it.

  • Reply Liz November 19, 2013 at 11:31

    I’d consider a snow skirt thing if it were cold enough. They aren’t THAT bad.

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