Winter Weather Safety Tips

We spend a decent amount of time talking about staying safe and hydrated in the summer heat. We should give equal time to the cold wintery conditions as well.

At the very least, know the signs of frost bite and hypothermia:

Frostbite from the MayoClinic

Hypothermia from the CDC

Areas to watch for Frostbite: From my observation of reenactprs and interpreters in historic clothing, there are several areas to watch for frostbite.

Women who wear fashionable bonnets and hats often have exposed ears , leaving them susceptible to cold air and wind. While you are enjoying yourself in the excitement, you might not notice the toll it is taking on your ears. The same can be said about the back of the neck , which is also left more exposed with the hair dressed up and a silk bavolet being the only protection. Be sure to check your ears. A winter hood and scarf are your best protection.

Next, are the feet. Period footwear was not designed our slushy, salt treated roads and walks. This can lead to wet, cold feet. Be sure to have dry socks and get your shoes/boots completely dry each night.

For women, the knees can also be a spot that gets colder than we are accustom depending on the length of the stockings and drawers. This area can easily be forgotten about during the day and surprise you come evening. Wool stockings pulled over the knees, long wool flannel drawers, and knee warmers can save some surprise pain.

Our hands are a frostbite risk in any century is we don’t have warm, dry gloves. Please keep them warm too.

Layers – 19th Century Wisdom

Honestly, I am far more comfortable in my 19th century winter layers than I am trying to fuss with modern winter layers. It will be fun tomorrow to see how I do because most of those pieces are still packed. My ideal goes like this:

  • Wool stockings (over shoes if they can be found)
  • Flannel drawer if it is really cold
  • Regular cotton or linen chemise
  • Wool petticoat
  • Quilted petticoat
  • Crinoline/cage with pettis
  • Wool dress
  • Wool undersleeves if need be
  • Coat for outside, shawl for inside
  • Hood
  • Scarf if needed
  • Gloves and mittens, maybe a muff

I would love for you to share your period cold weather safety tips in the comments.

I have a couple previous articles that may interest you:

Published in: on November 16, 2018 at 12:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

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