5 ways to cope with the cold for those who never have


Collegian | Sophia Sirokman

Adam Carlson

Alexander Wilson, Social Media Coordinator

The snow whistles through the air as new students create snow angels and try to catch a snowflake with their tongues, but this only lasts until they realize snow is cold.

Every year, Fort Collins averages around 46 inches of snow, yet every year, there’s a new student from California freezing in shorts and a T-shirt. 


Chloe Tognacci, a new student from Phoenix, experienced snow for the first time a few days ago.

“It’s definitely cold here, but I think I’ve gotten more used to it,” Tognacci said. “I get made fun of for wearing lots of layers.”

Here are some ways you can get used to the snow too.

1. Snow tires

Even if your car is in four-wheel drive, if you plan to drive to Horsetooth Reservoir or have an 8 a.m. class in the University Center for the Arts you drive to, you’re going to want to get snow tires. 

The City of Fort Collins prioritizes plowing busy streets like College Avenue, Prospect Road, Harmony Road and Lemay Avenue in the event of snow. The city will plow other low-traffic areas in emergency cases. 

Having snow tires ensures the safety of your vehicle and passengers, as they are equipped to handle freezing temperatures.

2. Check your exhaust pipe

The exhaust pipe of a vehicle ensures that carbon monoxide does not get trapped and harm any passengers.

During the winter season, exhaust pipes can break from ice, snow and potholes. Checking an exhaust system can be dangerous, so it is suggested to consult a professional. Exhaust noise, slow acceleration and a burning smell are the top indicators of an exhaust issue.

In order to ensure your safety, you should get your car checked every few months.


3. Undergarments

Base layers are the most important part of any winter outfit. Undergarments provide a layer of insulation against the skin and also wick away your sweat. For winter, wear wool — it is warmer and more durable for withstanding weather changes.

“I think wool is generally the way to go if you want a natural fiber that’s going to keep you warm and not wet,” said Tom Stoffer, a climber in Colorado. “Polyester does a great job too, but it is a poly-blend, so any time you wash it, you do lose microplastics into the water supply.

“I do tend to subscribe to the idea that cotton is rotten in the outdoors,” Stoffer added. “If it gets wet, it’s just going to keep you cold. It doesn’t warm very quick; it doesn’t dry very quick.”

Invest in a warm pair of gloves, some wool socks and a thermal beanie. It could also be helpful to get hand warmers for some extra warmth. But you cannot forget that outer layer. Get a windbreaker or puffer jacket to ensure you stay dry.

4. Shoes

Snow boots are essential in Fort Collins. The shoes not only provide extra insulation and are waterproof, but they also have extra traction to prevent you from ending up on @barstoolcsu for slipping and falling on The Plaza. Pair these with a nice pair of warm wool socks and some hand warmers for a cozy winter. 

Hearne’s Footwear and Clothing, JAX Outdoor Gear and Second Wind Sports are great businesses to stop by to make sure you have all your winter clothes.

5. Blankets 

There are many options for winter blankets so you don’t freeze in the middle of the night.

Thermal blankets are nice if you plan to be outdoors or in your car. They are meant to withstand harsh temperatures; however, the noise might get annoying in your bed.

Working similarly to a heating pad, heated blankets can also become a fire hazard.

Wool blankets are perfect for any situation that doesn’t involve snow. The blankets are soft and able to be brought into any environment.

Even if you think you are used to the cold, it is always best to stay on the safe and warm side.

“If you’re coming from out of state, definitely reach out to people (in) state if you have any questions,” Stoffer said.

Reach Alexander Wilson at life@collegian.com or on Twitter @alexgrey0604