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Everyone who knows me well knows that I am NOT a fan of the winter months. Me and cold weather? We don’t get along.
This little fact may make it hard to believe that I own and run a small farm on our 3 acres in upstate NY. It gets pretty darn cold here in the winter months, which used to mean hibernation for me, but I soon learned that hiding inside all winter long greatly contributed to my seasonal depression…
So what helped my seasonal depression?
Goats my friend… and Jesus. But yes. Goats.
However, spoiler alert, I still hate being cold, and many of my friends and family ask how in the world I survive taking care of animals in the freezing temperatures.
I will tell you how…
I survive by investing in warm, quality clothing and outerwear that is appropriate for all kinds of farm chores. That’s how.
Below I have compiled a list of my favorite winter gear so I can show you exactly how to stay warm for your farm chores this winter. Consider it a winter on the homestead capsule wardrobe, because let’s face it, when you are a farmer, you pretty much live in your farm clothes. 🤷♀️
1. Ya’ need a DANG good hat.
I’m placing this in the #1 position for a reason. It isn’t often that you will see me without a hat on in the winter. Like seriously, I even have one on inside a lot of times.
I don’t understand when I see people out walkin’ around in a snow storm all naked-headed like it ain’t no thang. Do people not know that you lose a ton of body heat from any part of the body that is left uncovered??? I just CAN NOT.
Listen, maybe you could run in to a grocery store in sub-zero temperatures with no hat on and survive, but if you wanna be a farmer in this cold crap, ya’ best cover that noggin.
It’s no secret that I am a Carhartt lover. It’s quality guys. It’s crazy warm, it’s crazy durable, it’s just the best.
This is my hat that I cannot live without, she goes with me everywhere, she saves my life every day.
2. Say yes to LONG UNDERWEAR
Your first layer should be some kind of long underwear, thermal set, or under armor… whatever. You need something tight to your body and warm!
I only have a few pairs of actual thermal long underwear sets, and they are fleece lined which makes them super warm.
When those are in the wash, I just wear a pair of leggings under my pants and either an under armor long sleeve top or a tight tank under my shirt.
3. These boots were made for farming, and that’s just what they’ll do!
You will definitely need a well insulated pair of boots for winter on a farm.
I will admit, some days I am lazy and tired after putting on all of my other layers and I just slip a pair of these bad boys on…
But, they are both just normal rubber boots with no insulation, and it does not take long for your toes to start feeling like they’re going to fall off. They are perfect for all other seasons, or for just a quick run outside in the winter because one of your goats totally escaped, but they are not good for a long duration in the cold, especially if there is snow you’re trudging through as well. (Although, I do where the HECK out of my Hunter boots. Amazing investment, just sayin’.)
My duck boots were really affordable, and they do a good job of keeping my feet warm unless I have tobe out for a very long time. However, they are not great in high snow because they are a lower cut boot.
In extreme cold and snow, you just cannot go wrong with a good ol’ insulated muck boot. These boots, along with some cozy socks, could have your feet sweating in the dead of winter.
Speaking of cozy socks…. Wool socks for the win. Especially alpaca wool… Oh my Gersh. 🙌🏼
My brother and sister in-law got me some from Under the Moonlite Alpaca & Garlic Ranch for Christmas and they are like heaven on my feet. (Located in Ulster, PA) Check them out on Facebook! 🙂
4. Buy some work Bib Overalls. Trust me, and you’re welcome.
My friends, I need you to know that a pair of Carhartt quilt lined work bibs were a total game changer for me.
Before I got bibs I was wearing long underwear under jeans, and a pair of sweat pants on top of that and I was STILL STINKEN COLD… and looked rather ridiculous I might add.
I used some Christmas money I was given, and I bit the bullet, and bought a pair of these bibs that I used to think were too expensive, and decided that I have never been more wrong in my life. WORTH. EVERY. PENNY.
Oh, and get this, because I am only 5′ 2” tall and am roughly the size of a 12-year old… 🙄 I was able to get a youth pair instead of an adult size, and got them for about $30 cheaper! SCORE!
So if you’re not much larger than a 12-year old yourself, you should keep that in mind…
I now wear my long underwear or leggings under my jeans and put my amazing bibs on over top, and I can honestly say that I am warm outside even when the temperature is in the single digits. (along with all my other gear too of course, these are amazing but I still need my fricken coat, hat, and gloves too, they aren’t magic.) On top of being incredibly warm, these things are pretty much indestructible as well. Huge bonus when working with animals that think clothing = food. 👍🏻
On days that are milder, say in the 30s, I just ditch the long underwear and do jeans and bibs and I am good to go.
5. Give me all the Sherpa.
So I really like Sherpa. It is so soft and cozy and makes me feel like a life-size teddy bear.
When I go out to do chores in the winter, I usually have a totally ridiculous amount of clothing on my body, but my Sherpa is one of my favorites.
My top layers typically consist of 1. Tight thermal top or tank 2. Warm sweater or long sleeve shirt 3. Sherpa or heavy sweatshirt 4. Winter work coat.
My Sherpa is very similar to this one HERE. Whatever you do, make sure you get one that is lined on the inside with Sherpa as well so you get the full teddy bear affect. Don’t get those impostors that only have Sherpa on the outside. That is cheating and it’s wrong.
6. Outer layer Winter Work Coat.
Farming can get messy, and let’s be real, it can be smelly too.
You’re going to want a really good quality work coat that you don’t mind getting dirty or smelling like your animals permanently. (Especially if you have male intact goats… that smell never leaves you once it’s on you, am I right?)
I have THIS Carhartt work coat and I absolutely love it. It withstands ALL the things. I have caught it on sharp fencing without it snagging, I have worn it while trimming muddy goat hooves without worrying about the mess, I wear it cleaning out barns and I let it get stinky, and it’s just great.
BUT, one of my favorite coats for going out and doing chores right now is actually from Target! (Find the same one HERE) It is similar to Carhartt material but not quite as heavy, so it is easy to maneuver in and it is LONG, so it helps keep my whole body warm.
The only downside to the Target coat is that it is actually really cute, and I like to wear it other places too, but like I said earlier, once ya smell like a buck, you gunna smell like a buck for the rest of the day until all the things can be washed in scalding temperatures. Ain’t nobody got time to wash a coat every day, so I either just have to accept the fact that I smell, or wear a different coat out.
7. Last but certainly not least. Gloves.
I saved this for last because I am kind of bad about this at times. It isn’t easy opening gate latches with gloves on, and some of my gloves hold on to hay like a fricken magnet, and I can’t feel my goat’s glorious fluffiness with them on… not to mention they try to eat my gloves like, every day…
SO, sometimes I don’t wear gloves and I just let my hands be cold. But there are certain days that are brutally cold and you can’t let yourself get frostbite, that’s just not very responsible, so for those days, I love these gloves.
They go up nice and high to keep your wrists warm as well, because we all know how it’s the worst when you try to pick up snow to eat it and the snow falls on your wrist and totally destroys all of your fun. For those of you who no longer participate in snow eating, I am sorry for you, your fun is already destroyed. 😝
Anyways… the gloves are great, and are rated for very cold temperatures, so they will definitely do their job.
- You can always get some insertable warmers to help your hands and feet stay warm as well. I definitely like to use them in my boots, because if anything on me gets cold, it’s my feet.
- If you are uncomfortable with the feeling of “numb face” you should definitely pick up one of these face masks to help the feeling stay in your face where it belongs.
- Bring a travel mug outside with you full of your favorite brew of tea, coffee, or hot chocolate to keep your insides toasty.
- If all else fails, just lay a blanket on the floor and roll yourself into it like a taco and try doing farm chores that way. If anything, you’ll get a good laugh.
There ya have it guys, that is how I stay warm and survive farm chores in the winter!
All of these items will make the winter months more tolerable, and heck, maybe you’ll even enjoy getting out there on those crisp 10 degree mornings. 😉
Have fun, and cuddle your animals. ❤️
What is your favorite winter gear for farming? Let me know in the comments below! I am always down to add more layers to my farming capsule wardrobe. 😉
Want to learn all about what goats like to eat? I know you do, so I created a post for it right HERE!
and don’t forget to read about our 7 reasons why we think you need a Nigerian Dwarf Goat… 🙃 HERE.