Cool Tips to Stay Warm and Safe This Winter

By Technical Writer Uinita Mauigoa

The ancestors of this vast arctic land harnessed it using only organic materials and pure ingenuity. This season, win at winter by applying the same concepts of innovation, using many of the materials you already have.

  • Common cold remedy. Sooth your sinuses and nix congestion with this simple yet effective remedy. Mix into a hot cup of herbal tea a dash of cayenne pepper, the juice of half a lemon, and a tablespoon of honey.
  • Upcycled sweater mittens. Keep heat from escaping your extremities with surprisingly easy-to-make cozy sweater mittens. All you need is a mitten template, scissors, needle, and thread.
  • Orange peel fire starters. Orange peels have oils that make them flammable and efficient fire starters. Simply dry orange peels for 24-48 hours and store them in a plastic bag. The pluses are that it emits a citrusy scent, and it is environmentally safe.
  • Walk like a penguin. Penguins are masters at walking on ice, adapt their walk to dodge falls. Shuffle your feet and take short steps, keep your arms to the side and hands out of pockets, concentrate on balance, and go slow.
  • Windshield wiper covers. Stick windshield wipers up and slip on an old pair of knee-high socks to protect ice from forming and sticking to the window.
  • Coffee grounds for ice. Sprinkle coffee grounds on slippery walkways or driveways to gain extra footing for safer stepping.
  • Keep duct tape in your car. Not only does it fix many things, but duct tape is also highly flammable and can be used to start a fire for heat in an emergency.
  • Windshield guard. Use a blanket or a rug to cover your windshield overnight to prevent ice buildup and maximize visibility the next day.
  • Hand sanitizer for frozen locks. Squirt some hand sanitizer inside the lock, and the isopropyl alcohol in it will melt the ice inside the lock within seconds.
  • Carry microfiber towels. Getting wet for any reason is not good while outside during winter.
    Always have microfiber towels on hand during outdoor excursions to dry boots, clothes, or the body quickly to prevent hypothermia.
  • Floor mat traction. Place your floor mats under a spinning tire to give it some traction to get unstuck from snow or ice.
  • Vinegar for icy windows. Mix three parts vinegar and one part water in spray bottle, spray the window, and watch the ice dissolve before your eyes.

Additional low-cost options to stay safe:

  • Slip-proof shoes. Invest in a pair of grippers to slip over shoes to prevent falls and injury on ice and snow.
  • Winter emergency kit. Keep the following items in your car for winter emergencies: flashlight, batteries, emergency thermal blankets, duct tape, first aid kit, snacks, water, emergency flares, shovel, lighter, and cell phone charger.
  • Emergency thermal blankets. Purchase a box of emergency thermal blankets, which can keep you warm on even the coldest nights. They are inexpensive and compact enough to store several in your car glove compartment.