A Californian’s guide to surviving real winters

Because you’re not in the Sunshine State anymore

As I enter my third real winter after growing in up in southern California, I like to think I have it all figured out. But if there’s anything I’ve learned about winter, it’s that the weather is both unpredictable and never on your side.

After almost losing my toes and almost breaking my tail bone multiple times (fuck you, ice), I have shoveled up a list up tips. So to all other SoCal natives – here are a couple tips and may the odds be ever in your favor.
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Expect the unexpected

One day it’s sunny. One day it’s snowy. Be ready for whatever the weather throws at you. Pro tip: the first snowfall is always the best, after that…not so much fun.

Soak up the sun

Winter isn’t exactly the happiest of times. Seasonal depressions can really kick your ass when you least expect it. So when you see the sun — and it’s bearable to be outside — go.

Prepare your car now

Just like you need to be ready for the impending frost, so does your car. Strange things happen to it, trust me. Your tires can get flatter, your gas can freeze, your windows frost shut and your breaks decide to just casually not work sometimes. Just catch a ride and save yourself the trouble.

The flip-flops gotta go

Just trust me. Buy some boots…and actually wear them.

Black ice is a thing

Watch where you walk. Nothing is more painful than falling down onto frozen cement. I’ve learned the “slow and steady keeps you off your face” technique works well.

Give yourself more time

You need more time in the snow. You need the extra couple of minutes to put on all your layers of clothes, then to take them all off and then to put them back on again. And you need more time to walk because remember: slow and steady keeps you off your face.

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RIP to ‘winters’ in SoCal

Lotion — just trust me

No, not sunscreen (like you wear that anyway), but moisturizing lotion. Don’t be a lizard person and let your skin crack. Face, hands, feet, everyday, twice a day. Doctor’s orders.

Layers are a major key

The wind is a bitch and it gets through to your soul. One layer wont cut it. Two probably isn’t enough. Three cuts it close. Play it safe with four. In fact, just put every single thing of clothing you have on.

Stay sane

If you haven’t noticed already, you will be spending a lot of time inside. Double up the friends, turn on your heater, buy a gym membership and start the countdown ’til you get to go home.

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It goes 100 to zero real quick

Bring an extra charger everywhere you go because no matter the severity of the situation, your phone hates the cold.

And finally, try to embrace it — There is nothing you can do or say to the winter for it to go away. May as well grab a sled and ride this one out.

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