Ask Emma: How do I get ready for the cold weather?

Check weather forecast daily; invest in layers, appropriate gear



Time to break out those puffy jackets and snow boots — winter is coming.

EMMA LEDBETTER, Evergreen news editor

Dear Emma,

This is my first year on campus, and I did not expect the weather to be the way it is in Pullman. I’m from Western Washington where it rains most of the fall, winter and spring. But in Pullman, one day we had a high of 70 degrees and I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt.

The next day it froze overnight and I had to dig out my winter clothes. I’m not ready for winter (mentally or physically). Any tips to be prepared for the cold?


Dear Freezing,

I remember my first year on campus and how surprised I was by the weather. It’s a bit of a culture shock, especially coming from rainy Seattle.

My first recommendation is to get in the habit of checking the weather every day if you don’t do that already. I never checked at home because I expected it to rain most of the time. However, checking regularly will help you feel a bit more prepared for the unpredictable Palouse weather.

Remember that the day can start rainy and may turn sunny (or snowy) by noon. Layers are your best friend. Check the hour-by-hour forecast to avoid any surprises.

Next, I recommend a few crucial pieces of gear. The first is a warm puffy coat. Bonus points if it’s waterproof. Second is a pair of solid, warm, waterproof hiking or snow boots. Make sure they have decent traction; don’t wear them if the soles are smooth.

Finally for gear — and this is optional — I strongly encourage you to invest in microspikes for your boots. You can order them online or at most sporting goods stores (or Walmart). They will save you when the ground gets slippery. Every winter at WSU, you see too many people falling while walking to class.

You should also have a warm hat, gloves and warm socks, but I suspect you probably already have those things.

My final recommendation is to make the most of the weather. I was somewhat convinced we might have eternal summer when we had a few 70-degree days in October.

That was not the case, but I made the most of the warm weather by going camping on the weekends, sitting outside between classes and spending my free time in the sun.

You can do the same with cold weather. Make the most of it by drinking warm beverages, wearing your favorite fall and winter clothes and taking cute cold-weather pictures.

You should also consider picking up a cold-weather hobby. This will keep you in a good mental state despite the changing weather.

If you aren’t an outdoors enthusiast, that could be something indoors like painting, indoor rock climbing or swimming at the aquatic center.

However, if you do love being outside, there are plenty of places near Pullman to hike, camp, snowshoe, cross country ski, downhill ski, snowboard or anything else. If you start doing one of these activities, you probably won’t dread the gradual descent of winter as much.

I hope these ideas help you embrace the cold! Knowing what to expect and dressing appropriately will help you be less miserable, but having a cold-weather hobby may actually help you embrace this season.

Best of luck!