New Hampshire Winters
NOTE: The opinions and commentary expressed in this essay are those of the author and are an exercise of free speech. They do not necessarily represent the views of Free State Project Inc., its Directors, its Officers, or its Participants.
Pointers for Handling New Hampshire Winters
by Howard S. Katz 1/10/04
The temperature here in the White Mountains reached ten degrees this morning ten degrees below zero!
As a long-time New Hampshire resident, I would like to offer a few
(sometimes irreverent!) pointers on making it through a chilly New Hampshire
With the exception of those from Alaska and the northern border of the U.S. from Montana east to Maine, you all have thin blood. :-) Thin blood is good in warm climates because it helps to dissipate heat in the summer. Natives of New Hampshire have thick blood, which helps the body to retain heat. It will take you one winter to thicken up your blood; so expect to suffer that first winter. Don't give up. Tough it out. It will be better in subsequent winters. It is my understanding that they built the Appalachian mountains to keep the cold Canadian air from getting to the East Coast, but the mountains are just not doing their job.
Dress in layers flannel shirts and sweaters. The air space between the layers helps keep you warm. And if you get overheated, you can always shed some layers. It is important not to get overheated during a 5-minute dash into some building to do some errand as your body's temperature mechanism then starts trying to cool you down; and this is not good when you rush back outside.
Wool is warm; cotton is cold. Cotton may be king in the South, but it doesn't do the job up here. In particular use wool for your extremities. Wool socks are a real plus.
Check your car's battery in Nov. or Dec. and make sure that it is tough enough to make it through a winter. Batteries suffer a serious loss of power in cold weather, and it is most definitely not fun to face a bitterly cold winter morning with a dead battery. Remote control devices which can start your car from inside your house and let it warm up while you are dressing are a welcome innovation. I haven't gotten one yet, but I believe they retail for under $100. For those naÃ¯Â¶Â¥ persons from south Texas, San Diego and Florida, learn about anti-freeze and make sure you are checked out for 30-40 degrees below zero (F).
If you intend to live in one of the rural areas (which is most of the state), then an American car is better (in my opinion). I used to prefer foreign cars (because of the gas mileage). But with the American car you have more car under you. You are better able to climb a snow-covered hill in a storm or bull your way through a mound of snow. Ice melt and sand are quite helpful, and it is not a bad idea to carry a small shovel in your trunk through the winter.
Deceive yourself that the winter has not yet come until late December; then start looking forward to spring on March 1. The weather breaks sharply (for the good) right around March 15. That way you only have to make it through 2 months. You can suffer for 2 months to live free.
The sun is low on the horizon and is often in your eyes. Pick up some UV-blocker sunglasses. You can buy them at Dollar Store for $1.00.
(For autumn) New Hampshire is apple country. Johnny Appleseed was a real person and lived just south of here. Eat apples; drink apple cider; and use apple cider vinegar. This keeps the doctor away which is why New Hampshire has not had a problem with socialized medicine.
Howard S. Katz
614 Nashua St. #122
Milford, N.H. 03055-4917