Minnesotans often battle brutally bitter conditions when tackling outdoor projects during the winter. Whether you’re blowing snow, sawing firewood, or performing countless other tasks, choosing the right clothing is paramount in the quest to get work done. Staying comfortable allows you to work harder and smarter, longer. Once you start shivering or can’t feel your toes, your levels of efficiency, safety, and ambition start fading fast.
Fortunately, you can win the cold war by strategically layering warm clothing to allow personal climate control no matter the conditions. Layering lets you adjust to the temperature and your activity levels to stay focused and comfortable all day long.
Layers Are Key
One layering option begins with a merino wool long underwear base layer, followed by warm and lightweight fleece pants and a shirt. After the fleece, add a pullover hoodie and fleece vest on top, then finish off top and bottom with your favorite outerwear. Don’t forget your head—literally. A neck gaiter and thick fleece cap will keep your head and neck warm no matter what.
To keep your feet warm and dry, don a pair of moisture-wicking socks, then add a heavy pair of wool socks followed by waterproof, professional-grade winter boots. Your hands are equally vulnerable yet mission-critical. A heavy pair of gloves will keep your digits warm while performing non-dexterous duties. But keep a couple of pairs of lighter gloves handy for more delicate tasks that require you to use your fingers.
Tip: Since the light gloves get cold, fast, stow the pair you’re not wearing somewhere warm, and rotate the pairs frequently so you’re always wearing warm gloves.
Take Care Of Your Clothes
Just like your tools, tractor, and other machinery, your clothing also benefits from TLC. When you finish your chores at the end of the day, don’t peel everything off and throw it in a pile. Set your boot liners, gloves, socks, and everything else where it can dry out overnight, otherwise, it will still be wet in the morning and let the cold in faster than you can get the job done.
One final note: Chores that can be performed inside the heated cab of a John Deere tractor require a lot less thermal protection. And your friends at Minnesota Equipment are always happy to help set you up with the right compact tractor and attachments to suit your needs!