Here are a few of the things you will need to get through your daily chores on the homestead, throughout the winter months.
Yes, you will need gloves, but not just any gloves. You need gloves that will not only keep your hands warm, but also keep them dry while being durable at the same time. This year I have purchased a pair of these Carhartt Men’s W.B. Waterproof Windproof Insulated Work Gloves.
Okay, yes, I do know that these are men’s gloves. Here’s the thing. My hands are wide and rather “square” for a woman. Just like my feet…but that’s another topic. Most women’s gloves that fit around my hands & fingers, are too long, leaving me with clumsy excess on the tips of my fingers. They’re sloppy.
I have found that men’s medium or small sized gloves usually give me a much better fit. Not to mention that many women’s gloves are….. pink. Dear Carhartt and other “durable” brands, there are a whole lot of us women that don’t. Like. Pink. UGH!!!
Everyone needs a good set of insulated work bibs to get through the winter. In the past, I had been known to
steal borrow my husband’s on occasion, so it is only fitting that I got my own, don’t you think? I went to my local Tractor Supply store last year, and they had both the Carhartt work bibs as well as C.E. Schmidt ones. I tried on both, and for me the C.E. Schmidt ones had a better fit, but not the women’s. I ended up buying men’s medium short. They were perfect. Don’t be afraid to try them on right there in the store. No one is going to mind.
I have to confess, once the cold weather comes, I love slipping them on over my pajamas…getting the chores done, and coming back in the house to curl up with a cup of coffee and relax in the jammies a little longer. That doesn’t happen any other time of year.
You need a good set of boots that will not only keep your feet dry, but keep them warm.
For the past several years, I have worn the same “no brand” work boots that I bought in Alaska for the break up. I wore them every spring up there, I wore them camping, I wore them doing chores, I wore them on rainy days. I loved those cheap, simple black and green boots.
I didn’t love my cold feet. I also didn’t love the lack of support and inserted my own insoles inside them.
This year I finally purchased a good set of boots that not only have some support in them, but are insulated as well. I have the Edgewater II version of Muck Boots. These boots also come in a shorter version, but I chose the taller ones to keep my pant legs dry on rainy days. I love that they have some stretch in the calf of the boot, so that they fit my legs well without pinching.
A Good Work Coat
I have more than one jacket. My favorite is a Carhartt bomber jacket. It is fleece lined and has good pockets and even a little zipper pocket on the chest which I find is perfect for my lip balm. I got this coat in Alaska on clearance for $20! Unfortunately, Carhartt doesn’t make this version of coat any more.
A second coat I own, was another great clearance find up in Alaska. This was from Walmart. You see, there was a small Walmart in a far out village area that had way too many coats towards the end of winter. So they sent them all to the Walmart in Fairbanks, and the Fairbanks Walmart sold them for a steal at $10. We bought one for every member of the family, whether they needed a coat or not. Having a spare coat is always a good idea in my book.
The coats were Walls brand coats with a hood, and was even reversible. Plain brown on one side, camouflage on the other. It is very similar to the one shown below, that one is just black on one side rather than the classic “work coat brown.” I like to buy my work coats a size larger than I normally wear, so that I have the room to layer a sweatshirt underneath on really cold days.
I mentioned above that the bomber coat I have has the perfect pocket for my lip balm. Well, when the cold weather arrives, so does dry skin and dry lips. There’s two balms that are my “must haves” in the winter time. A good lip balm and a good balm for my hands.
My number one lip balm in the world is the original Burt’s Bees lip balm. The classic “yellow” one with the peppermint oil. It comes in all sorts of versions but the original is the best. None of the others match up to the original. The peppermint oil stimulates circulation and heals cracked, dry lips almost immediately.
For my hands I use one of two things. I often use the Burt’s Bees hand salve. I mean with a tag line of “a farmer’s friend” how can you go wrong?
The other thing I use is good, natural coconut oil. It is especially important to use a balm right after you have washed up. It locks the moisture into your skin and helps prevent it from drying out.
These are the “must haves” that get me through the winter on the homestead. Have any of your own winter survival tools? Share in the comments.