How can I stay warm at Soldier Field in December?
December 28, 2009 11:37 AM   Subscribe

Going to Soldier Field for the first time tonight to watch the Bears play the Vikings. I've been regaled with stories of spilled beer freezing solid before it hits the ground. So, I'm wondering if anyone has ideas on how to stay warm while being stationary for a good period of time, outdoors, in sub-zero temperatures.
posted by print to Science & Nature (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Handwarmers. Long underwear and layers. Gloves. Hat, scarf, or balaclava. Blanket. Cuddle with your neighbor.
posted by runningwithscissors at 11:41 AM on December 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

Multiple sock layers. Layers, layers layers.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:45 AM on December 28, 2009

I was going to say handwarmers too. They really do make a difference.

If you have heavy smartwool socks, wear them.
posted by something something at 11:48 AM on December 28, 2009

The important thing is to keep your extremities warm. I usually wear a pair of cheap, stretchy gloves with mittens over them, so if you need dexterity you can take off the mittens without exposing bare skin. Wear wool socks. Also, the low temperature is forecast to be around 12, not 0.

Go Packers!
posted by desjardins at 11:49 AM on December 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

I'm not sure what the seats at SF are made out of, but some kind of decent seat pad that would insulate your ass probably is a good idea, as well.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:55 AM on December 28, 2009

I hear wearing purple and gold helps.

Kidding. They play in a dome, the sissies.

Layers, handwarmer, warm socks, quality footwear, and a HAT. Hats keep you warm. Really. Earmuffs might also help muffle the roar of Jay Cutler getting booed off the field.

And smuggle in a flask. It won't help you stay warm, but you'll feel better about being cold.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:03 PM on December 28, 2009

layers of socks - one of those layers being knee or thigh high (for future reference, sockdreams has socks that'll fit a girl or a guy - their tubes are really good for cold weather). bring warm, dry socks with you so if your feet get wet you can change them out (inside a bathroom).

thermal, then long sleeve tee, then a teeshirt, then a flannel, then a hoodie, then a coat.

underwear, thermal, long socks, sweat pants, pants

certainly something warm to sit on

hand warmers, bring extra - heck, you might even be able to trade some for beer or snacks

scarf and hat
posted by nadawi at 12:05 PM on December 28, 2009

A piece of that aluminized bubble wrap type insulation makes a decent seat pad.
posted by hortense at 12:12 PM on December 28, 2009

And smuggle in a flask. It won't help you stay warm, but you'll feel better about being cold.

Yeah, alcohol causes dilation of blood vessels near the skin which actually helps your body lose heat more quickly. So even though you'll feel warm after a few beers, your core temperature will be lower.

If you're planning on drinking, stay bundled up.
posted by chrisamiller at 12:33 PM on December 28, 2009

Get a piece of cardboard to put under your feet, preferably something thick or that can be folded a few times.
posted by substars at 12:45 PM on December 28, 2009

I've never been to a Bears game, but I've attended more Wrigley Field opening day games than I care to count, which can be just as cold. Here's what has made a difference for me:

Layers. Lots of layers. Layer things you didn't think could be layered (like two or more pairs of pants). Make sure you can still move in your clothes, though.

Blanket. Any kind will do, actually. This goes over your lap and down to your feet, to break the wind. No matter where you're sitting, it always seems like the wind is coming directly at you.

A seat cushion. You'd be surprised how much warmer you can be sitting on (encased) foam rubber rather than a bare seat.
posted by DrGail at 1:32 PM on December 28, 2009

I could see 12 degrees feeling like 0, especially with the wind and lack of crowds (at least initially. I see the 'Fire Lovie Smith' crowd is encouraging a late arrival to the field so that the cameras show a lot of empty seats at the start of the game. Packing them in like sardines would certainly help stave off the chill.)

I would only add to the layering advice above, avoid cotton and natural fibers that 'breathe'. I haven't been to a cold Soldier Field, but winter camping in the Rockies has taught me that polyester, gortex, and the like, will keep your heat close to your body while cotton will let it all escape.

Have fun!
posted by yamel at 1:47 PM on December 28, 2009

From my Penn State tailgating days:
• Wear a hat and a scarf. Keep your head and neck covered at all times.
• Your coat should cover your bum when seated. Add a seat cushion to further protect your backside.
• Silk long underwear.
• Smuggle in peppermint schnapps to add to hot chocolate. (I put the schnapps in doubled ziplock baggies which I then put in my bra under the girls.).
posted by 26.2 at 2:29 PM on December 28, 2009

All of the above- plus - carpet or carboard. No matter what your footwear, have something between you and the cold, cold concrete of Soldier Field II. Get your feet off the concrete. That, a blanket, a braat, and you should be ok.

Here's hoping the Bears get a decent pick or two next year, but they won't because they gave them away on that INTERCEPTION THROWING IDIOT OF A QUARTERBACK.

Okay Mom, I'm okay now.

posted by Nick Verstayne at 5:06 PM on December 28, 2009

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