Surviving winter in Minnesota

Posted by Harrison Rose @harrisondrose, Dec 2, 2020

Hey y’all!

I’m moving here from the Southeast where cold and snow are fun filled and exciting occurrences that pop their heads up once every 2-3 years for 24 hours or so and change absolutely nothing about life. I understand it’s a different story here.

I was just wondering if you have any helpful need-to-know tips for a soon to be MN home renter who is completely unaccustomed to snow and cold winters.

How do you manage snow removal at home? Shovel? Blower (is that a thing?) Pay a kid down the street? Do private snow services show up on time before work?

Any car things I should know? Do I need snow tires? 4WD/AWD? Someone mentioned car emergency kit..

Clothing tips?

Anything else I may not even be able to conceive of yet?? Is ice fishing as cool as everyone says?

Thanks!
Harrison

Hi Harrison,
Welcome to the icy tundra. I can tell you that even as a born and bred Minnesotan, I still detest winter. A couple of things I would suggest before the cold and snow gets out of hand…

Get an ice scraper for your car. There's even spray that you can buy that will remove the ice on your windshield if you don't want to spend a long time scraping. If you have remote start on your car – even better, heated seats – then you're doing great. I highly recommend an AWD vehicle event if you don't have far to travel. Black ice is a real thing and it's really unforgiving. You'll need the winter coat, gloves, scarf, boots, but don't forget to put a blanket in your car in case of emergencies. Buy salt if you have stairs or you will slip and fall at some point. I can't say much on the topic of ice fishing, but you might find someone willing to take you out on a snowmobile. Finally, make sure at least once you run out and jump into a huge pile of snow and make a snow angel. It's pretty fun at any age.

Stay safe and stay warm,

Caitlin

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I recommend a January and a March trip to escape the winter and refresh to see the sun shine. There's a great scuba club in town who meets monthly and it's a great way to meet people who will do almost anything for you. There's also a new scuba shop that has trips already laid out (South East Scuba). We even dive locally…including under-the-ice diving.

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Congrats and good luck with your move! There's a Scandinavian proverb that I live by, "there's no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes." Layers will be your friend and a good pair of warm long johns will help keep you toasty. I love the winter so I say embrace it and explore all the winter activities that the upper Midwest has to offer (snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, building snow forts, etc.). And yes, ice fishing can be really fun. The creaks and pops of a frozen lake can be magical (and a little terrifying).

Happy winter exploring!

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Definitely buy a shovel. A snow blower is only helpful if you have a large area like a driveway. If it's just steps on your porch, a shovel is fine. If you're driving to work, always check the weather! That way you know if your have to leave early (takes longer to drive) or if you have to warm up your car first.

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I would suggest purchasing one of those Emergency car kits and keeping it the trunk, just in case. They also sell portable car chargers…once temps get into the negatives, you never know if your car will start or not

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Hey Harrison! I’ll be new to the area too, come February! I’m coming up from the SW, never snows! Just flurries and we all know that’s not snow:-/
Thanks for asking all the questions I’d like answers to from more experienced Minnesotans:)
Also, I hear ice fishing is great! We’ve been wanting to try it!

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@amandab

Congrats and good luck with your move! There's a Scandinavian proverb that I live by, "there's no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes." Layers will be your friend and a good pair of warm long johns will help keep you toasty. I love the winter so I say embrace it and explore all the winter activities that the upper Midwest has to offer (snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, building snow forts, etc.). And yes, ice fishing can be really fun. The creaks and pops of a frozen lake can be magical (and a little terrifying).

Happy winter exploring!

Jump to this post

Awesome proverb Amanda! Thanks for sharing

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Hey guys, I actually did the opposite, moved from VT (Snow country) to AZ for nursing school! But my move out to VT was coming from AZ…. so I understand the HUGE change. MN and VT often have similar weather patterns, so I thought I'd chime in. My three biggest pieces of advice are as follows:

– Get good cold weather gear. Buy a good jacket, warm boots (Function, not fashion), and some good gloves. It makes a HUGE difference and will keep you happy and dry when you're in the snow.
– EMBRACE the snow. Do all the snow activities you can to find which ones bring you joy. Snowshoeing, skiing/snowboarding, cross country skiing, ice fishing, sledding, etc. You will go crazy if you are cooped up all winter, but if you find things that you enjoy in the snow, you will look forward to these cold times.
– Buy a SnowBrum off of Amazon. It's a LIFESAVER for the big storms. 🙂

I was worried when I moved out there too, but ended up LOVING it and now I crave the snow activities. Let me know if you have any questions about living in the snowy areas. Also I have a ton of family in MN who could answer any questions you guys have.

Get excited, life is about to change and I bet you end up loving it. 🙂

Angie

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This is great info, thanks Angie!

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Thank you all so much for the awesome information!! I am moving from FL originally from PA so I grew up in snow, but it will definitely be a huge change from FL weather!!! 🙂

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