Ok, so I borrowed this from the University of Fairbanks Alaska, but hey who knows better about the cold than them! Keep warm and safe, and don’t go outside unless you need to. Oh, and remember alcohol and frigid weather don’t mix. I would tell you why, but these guys are smarter than me!
Folks new to Fairbanks will have to rethink the way they dress from the ground up. Your old sneakers and cotton socks will not adequately protect your feet from sub zero temperatures! Wool socks are much warmer than cotton, so change your socks first. Warm boot options include bunny boots, pac boots (Sorels), mukluks, insulated boots, and wool boots (Lobens). Wool felt insoles increase warmth and can be added to any pair of shoes/boots with enough room. Plastic bag vapor barriers over your socks are an effective way to increase the warmth of your footwear in an emergency.
Legs, Arms, and Trunk
Dress in layers – hopefully you have heard this before. Thermal long underwear is available in a variety of weights. Make sure you have several pairs so you can mix and match and have a clean pair now and then. In town you can wear cotton and silk layers, but in the outdoors you should stick to synthetics (polyester, polypropylene, etc.). Bulky outer layers trap warm air near your body – examples include flannel lined pants, wool pants or sweaters, and fleece with a puffy (fiberfill or down) parka on the outside. Fairbanks is rarely windy, but if you are in a windy area you will need a wind proof layer for every part of your body to reduce wind chill.
Gloves are needed when you want to perform manual tasks in the cold while still protecting your hands. In colder conditions, or over extended periods, mittens are better since they keep fingers together and trap heat more effectively than gloves. Avoid touching cold metal and liquids (fuels and alcohol) that can instantly freeze your bare skin.
Head and Neck
Are major areas of heat loss. In cold weather you will want to cover your neck with a scarf, balaclava, or neck gaiter. Two layers on your head are ideal in extreme cold; possibilities include a hat and a balaclava or a hat and a jacket hood. In extreme cold or wind, you will need to protect your nose and cheeks from freezing. Balaclavas, wind proof face masks, or scarves will all protect your face from the cold. A balaclava is an excellent survival item – we highly recommend you carry one in your backpack or coat pocket.
If you wind up outside for a long period of time, and don’t feel right, please don’t hesitate to get help either Call University Police 245-5651 or dial 911. Frostbite or Hypothermia can turn deadly quick without proper medical attention.