New to Minnesota? Tips to Survive Your First Winter

Despite the fact that Minnesota is consistently ranked as one of the coldest states in the country, the winters here can be incredibly enjoyable. Prepping for the winter season in Minnesota takes a bit of time but is well worth it in the long run. Being warm and cozy while indoors and shielded from the cold and wind while outdoors is an amazing feeling, especially once the temperatures start to dip well below zero.

Once settled into your new home, here are some tips to surviving your first winter in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Preparations around the house

One of the first steps you can take to help prepare for winter is to make sure that your house is ready. As the temperatures drop, utility costs can quickly rise, burning a huge hole in your wallet. Here are few things you can do to get your home ready for winter.

       Check all of the seals around your doors and windows to ensure they are still in good condition. If they’re not you’ll be losing precious heat to the outdoors.

       Inspect your heating system to ensure that all is in top operating condition. A full inspection includes a good clean of ventilation systems which can help improve your home’s air flow.

       Cold weather can be rough on your plumbing system so a quick inspection of old pipes can save a major headache down the road. Be sure to disconnect any garden hoses that are still hooked up around the house while you’re at it!

       Another key step is to check your drainage systems. Gutters can easily fill up with leaves and other debris during the fall, clogging up your drainage systems. This leads to ice in unwanted and dangerous places that can potentially hurt both people and property.

Tips for your Vehicle

Another key part of surviving your first winter in Minnesota is making sure that your vehicle is ready to go. If you’re driving in snow and ice for the first time, it’s important to make sure that your car is equipped for the road conditions. Minnesota is known for its icy roads which can be treacherous. Here are some things you can do to help you get around this winter.

       A good set of tires goes a long way, especially when the roads are slick. Even if your vehicle is four wheel or all-wheel drive, a good set of snow tires will drastically improve your vehicle’s handling.

       Although an emergency kit is a must have in your vehicle, it’s especially important in the winter time. A dead battery is a common occurrence here due to the cold temperatures, so jumper cables are a must. Other Minnesota specific items that are worth keeping in your vehicle can include tire chains, a pair of warm gloves, an extra jacket, a blanket, and even snow boots. These items can be crucial in the event of a roadside emergency.

Layer Up!

Keeping warm can be a difficult task if you’re not used to layering your clothing. If you’re moving from a warmer climate, stocking up on warm clothes is a must. Here are some tips to keep you warm whenever you head outside.


       Layers are key! Rather than leaving the house with just a shirt and your heaviest jacket, use different layers to keep you warm from your core out. This will allow you to stay warm without being too hot as you move from inside to outside. If you are active in the outdoors, you’ll want to consider adding a thick pair of thermal underwear to your wardrobe as well.

       Don’t cheap out on your winter gear, either. If you spend the extra money now, it will pay off in the long run. You’ll be more comfortable during the worst conditions and won’t have to replace everything after just a winter or two. Remember, the winters in Minnesota are long and can be very harsh, so this is something you’ll be using very regularly during your residency here. Again, bulk is not the secret to staying warm – it’s winter jackets made with the proper materials and technology. So, do some research before filling your shopping bags!

       You should invest in a good pair of snow boots. Once your feet get cold and wet, your day is basically ruined. You’ll be absolutely miserable until you can dry them out which is not an easy task if you’re constantly walking in and out of snow or ice. A good set of high quality wool socks pair well with some nice boots!

Winter in Minnesota is Great!

After you realize that there are numerous preparations needed to survive a Minnesota winter, it may seem like a daunting task. But with preparation, enjoying the snowy season will be a breeze. Winters in Minnesota offer plenty of amazing activities like ice fishing, cross country skiing, ice skating, sledding and so much more!

The colder temperatures are also a great time to have a moment to yourself by cozying up by the fire with a blanket, tea, and a good book. No matter how you choose to enjoy the winter season, welcome to Minnesota!                                                                                                                    Article written by Haley Kieser