Coat Not Always Required if Otherwise Prepared
It's really cold right now. Highs are in the single digits and lows are well below zero. When it gets this cold it is often the first time some people pull out their heavy winter coats for the first time. This does sound a little crazy.
Tasha wrote a post about she knows a few people who have just put on a coat for the first time this year. She is 100 percent correct that you should be prepared to stay warm for an extended period of time without an actual heat source, especially when the weather is like it is right now. But let me explain why some of us are the way we are when we don't wear a parka to walk to our warm cars.
I don't go anywhere when it's going to be in the 30s or colder without at least having a heavy warm coat in my car. Along with that, I have light and heavy gloves, a stocking hat, and a pair of boots.
Tash was crushing me this morning about how stupid it is that I walk into the station with only a hoodie on. I don't because it's super warm in my car. I get into my warm car in my garage, which I started and warmed up before departure, and then am only exposed to the elements for the 15 seconds it takes to walk up to the building and enter.
Lots of people run hot. I'm one of them. My tolerance for cold is pretty high, especially for short bursts. I'm not uncomfortable being in extreme cold for a minute or two without a coat. As long as most of my skin is covered I'm fine.
When it is winter but not super cold, like last week, I will wear shorts on rare occasions, like the chap in the photo above. Last Wednesday I was wearing shorts with a t-shirt and hoodie when I went to go work out. It was in the low 40s. I honestly didn't even notice it was that cold. The guy in the photo above is taking his dog for a walk, with shorts on, and is probably not bothered by the cold. He's a husky guy with plenty of insulation, like me, and he is working those legs and generating body heat. He is also most likely very close to home or wherever he is staying if he's walking a dog. He is fine.
Frostbite is a real danger but it doesn't happen in seconds. According to the Old Farmers Almanac, for frostbite to set in in 5 minutes you would have to be in wind chills of around -51 Fahrenheit or colder. At -19 it takes around 30 minutes.
So what is my point of saying crazy things like "not wearing a coat isn't a big deal" when it's super cold? Everyone is different and perceives the cold differently. However, if you leave the house without at least bringing proper clothing along with you in the car that is really not smart.
Those of us who engage in this sort of behavior is not trying to be cool or show toughness. It's just comfort and convenience. Ever dealt with a coat in a bar? Yeah, it is a pain in the ass. I feel the same way about dealing with a coat anywhere I go. The convenient thing to do is leave it on while you are in the store or wherever you go. But that gets hot after a while. Then you have to carry the thing all over. Instead, I leave it in the car, use my remote start to rewarm the car prior to me being ready to leave, and I stay nice and cozy.
If you roll like I do and don't wear a coat everywhere, it's fine. But for the love of Pete, whoever he is, have that cold-weather gear with you in the car.
If you think me and those like me are crazy forever setting foot outside without a parka on, that's okay. If you wore thermal underwear you'd be even warmer than you are with a coat on walking into work or the store, but you'd be uncomfortably warm while you were in there.
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