How to Survive Your First Syracuse Winter

If you’re moving to Syracuse and are nervous about surviving a Syracuse winter, here’s some advice on how to make it. Veterans of winters passed, what are some of your suggestions?

Choosing the right car and accessories:

  • Car: If you come to Syracuse without a car and are looking to purchase a car, I highly recommend choosing an SUV or car with four wheel drive! The roads get bad and the snow plows can’t always keep up with the side streets.
  • Snow Tires: Whether you have a car or SUV, spend the money, get snow tires! They make a world of difference.
  • Snow Brush: Get a serious snow brush, not a dinky little one from a gas station, but hardcore, 3 foot snow bush with a scraper. Even better, make sure it has that wonderful end piece good for pushing the show off for days when the brush doesn’t cut it (aka most days).
  • Shovel: Keep a shovel and rock salt in your trunk. It’s inevitable that you or someone near by will get stuck and need a hand digging the car out at least once.
  • Auto-Starter: Consider installing an auto-starter in your car so you can start thawing out your car before you leave your house. In the dead of winter, sometimes the scrapper alone doesn’t cut it – you just have to wait for you car to heat up and help melt the ice.
  • Get off the couch: Haven’t driven in a few days? Do yourself a favor – brush off your car. The longer you wait, the harder and heavier it gets.
  • Snow Pants: Purchase snow or ski pants. When it comes down to it, that snow is cold, wet and gets blown all over the place. Add two minutes to your day by changing in and out of snow pants to clean off your car and save a few hours of wet-pants misery.

Winterizing your apartment:

  • Fire Place: If you are looking to buy or rent a house or apartment, seriously consider choosing one with a fire place. There’s nothing better in the winter than coming home and siting by a warm fire. And with heating prices what they are, it might save you a couple bucks!
  • Weather Stripping: Winterize your windows by using weather stripping, shrink plastic and curtains to keep that cold draft away! You can also buy special draft blockers for underneath your doors, or simply roll up an old towel.
  • Frozen Pipes: Worried about your kitchen sink pipes freezing? Here’s a tip I swear by – Open the cabinet doors and place a fan pointing into the cabinet. This simple tip will help bring your pipes up to the same temperature as the rest of your place.
  • Space Heater: Invest a space heater for your most used rooms or your even your office. At the end of the day, there’s really only so much you can do to keep the cold out, why not bring some extra heat in!
  • Socks at night: Don’t want to crank the heat or space heater while sleeping? Sleeping with socks can actually help you stay warmer in the night no matter how many other layers you choose to wear, or not wear.

Dressing for the weather:

  • Fashion: Worried about looking good out there in the cold? Stop. Dress to stay warm!
  • Winter Coat: Long coats seem to be in fashion around here anyway – the longer the coat, the warmer your legs say! Remember that down insulation is light and warm, just as warm as all synthesized materials, so give it a shot.
  • Winter Boots: When you buy winter boots, make sure they are actually waterproof. If they are fabric, use a non-silicone spray or a rain/stain repellent for extra protection.
  • Rain Boots: If you are worried about your feet getting wet, whether you are going to be outside for a long time or the snow has been melting, consider insulated rain boots. You can even make your own – wear the rain boots you already own with thick wool socks to keep your feet warm and dry.
  • Layers: Consider layering – wear leggings or tights under your pants and an extra long sleeved shirt on top to keep just a bit more heat in. Dress so you can add/remove layers as your body temperature fluctuates throughout the day.
  • Hats and Gloves: Don’t skimp on hats and gloves! Since you loose most of your body heat through your head, wear a hat! Even better, get one that’s long enough to cover your ears too. When its old and windy outside, you’ll notice your ears and fingers hurting from the cold, so don’t forget about those little parts!
  • Scarves: Scarves also help keep heat from escaping not only from your body but from inside your cocoon of layers! Not wearing a scarf is like turning up the heat and forgetting to shut the window. On a windy winter day, you’ll be glad you have some extra fabric to keep your face warm. Nothing’s worse than when your eyes water and freeze shut! (Scarves are my go to winter item – they make great accessories and blankets!)

How do you take on Syracuse’s harsh winter?

Do you have any winter tips you live by? Any tricks that might help out our winter newbies from across the county? Leave your best Syracuse winter survival tips in the comments section!


2 Comments to “How to Survive Your First Syracuse Winter”

  1. Geez, I think you have it all covered…except .maybe stock up on water and food.

    Not sure if you’ve ever been in CNY when there is a major ice storm? I remember one time having no phone or electric for over a week. Happy we had a small generator so we could still do some stuff. It’s a time my kids will always remember!

    And sometimes, you just don’t want to go out in that weather…so stock up!

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