How cold is too cold?

Good-morning, kittens & dawgs! I crawled out of bed at 5am to a bone chilling 7℉. What a way to start the day! For the next few days Knoxvillans will think they are in a freezer.


While using my elliptical  yesterday, I watched the news announce school delays for this morning and it made me think of my childhood. The frigid quarter-mile walk to the bus stop was horrible. I dreaded that so and as much as I loved playing in the cold and snow I fell victim to frostbite fingers and toes more often than I can count. I bet you did, too.

This got me to thinking, how cold is too cold? According to a publication I found online there are four factors to consider:

  1. cold temps
  2. high or cold wind
  3. dampness
  4. cold water

Cold air, water, and snow pull heat from the body. This environment stresses the body to work harder to keep its temperature. The wind chill, which takes into account the air temp and wind speed can be wicked this time of year. For instance, our forecast high is 27℉, and the wind speed 8-mph, so skin exposure for folks in town will feel more like 19℉. BRRR! I think that’s a bit conservative (19℉) cause you know it’s gonna feel more extreme.


Common sense tells us the extreme cold associated with winter and improper clothing escalates cold stress, so bundle up kiddies! But, what I found very interesting is hypothermia occurs more often in the spring and fall with 50℉ temps coupled with the wind and getting damp. Who knew, right?! Not me.

For outdoor work or play in the cold or snow, it may help to decide how cold is too cold by calculating the wind chill.  Next dress smart with 3-layers of loose-fitting, protective clothing.

  • Outer layer: a nylon or Gortex windbreaker
  • Middle layer: Insulating material ~ polar fleece or wool
  • Inner:  Moisture wicking turtleneck/tees and longjohns.

A key-note to remember is, if you get wet…get dry fast and If possible avoid cotton clothing. It will become wet from perspiration quicker and wet in cold weather spells D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R.

Snuggle your toesy with the warmth that polar fleece or wool socks gives and wear insulated footwear. Oh yeah, don’t forget to top your noggin with a hat or cap. You loose about 40% of your body heat through your head. That gives new meaning to being a hot head, eh? lol So, hold that heat in baby! 😉

One more thing to do during the cold months is to keep a spare jacket, gloves, boots, and toboggan in the car. Also, if space allows stash a fleece blanket in the backseat in case you get stranded by the road. It’s easy to not place importance on these things for us in the southern regions of the US, but with the threat of black ice that blindside us on occasion then you gotta be proactive to insure you’re warm when it counts the most. Remember, hypothermia isn’t necessarily all about the cold, but how cold is too cold?

Do you keep extra cold weather clothing in your car?
Do you have any tips and tricks to add for keeping warm?
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I born and raised in the Appalachian mountains of southern WV. I was a child bride when I married my high school sweetheart in 1979. We moved to Knoxville, TN to begin our life. Determined to prove nay-Sayers from our community wrong, I completed my education and went on to earn an A.S. in computer programming. From 1983-1987, I worked as a computer system’s manager. That’s a glorified title for someone who trouble shoots and maintains system back-ups. After the birth of our first child in 1988, I took early retirement. What have I been doing for the last 25+ years? I am proud to say, I am a SAHM and for most of those years I home-schooled our three children from K-12. Now, the nest is empty.


  • Self Sagacity

    That is cold. I am in 30’s degree and it is way too cold for me. I like 70’s thank you very much. I hope you are having a great New Year! Not to worry about me, I am in and out and never have enough time to visit blogs either. Take care of yourself.


    Well, I brought my tropical plants into the garage because they said we’d have some cold days. I just checked and it’s 39 here and our high was in the 40’s today. I just saw where Jim said it was 25 where he was this morning. He’s north of Houston and I’m south towards Galveston. I don’t think it got down to freezing here. I would prefer weather in the 60’s and 70’s. Anything else it too cold. Stay warm!

  • Jim

    We were ALMOST too cold last night. At 6:00 AM it had gone down another degree to 29F but then by 8:00 it was 25 for about an hour. Brrrr.
    Welcome back to Jenny’s school. I too was a drop out but came back last year in time to finish my grade and pass on with my class. I have cut way back on posting though and probably have posted on my other blog, Jim’s Little P&P Place, more than this one.

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