Urban Outdoor Winter
October 27, 2011 9:25 AM   Subscribe

It's going to snow in NYC this weekend. What does OWS need?

I suppose I could just tweet #ows and ask, but I thought maybe some AskMe people who have experience with being outdoors (hiking, what not) in gross conditions might help me out.

I am within walking distance of an Eastern Mountain Sports, if that helps.
posted by roomthreeseventeen to Society & Culture (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Camped in Mount Rainier recently in 40 degree weather. Long underwear in wool or synthetic fabrics. Wool socks. If you knit, I'd get knitting. Hand and toe warmers.

Hot drinks. Oatmeal. Big thermoses.
posted by desjardins at 9:37 AM on October 27, 2011

Betting, with no on-site facts BTW, on packaged wipes, power bars, batteries?, insta-heat thermal packs, or maybe just a back pack of wool socks?
posted by Freedomboy at 9:38 AM on October 27, 2011

Best answer: All but the crappiest tents should be fine in light snow, as long as the winds aren't high. Assuming most of them have 30 degree sleeping bags (I have no idea what they have, but that's a pretty standard rating for a low-end bag) they should be ok.

Blankets might be handy for those that don't have warm bags.

It'll most likely be a wet, slushy snow. Tents that are sitting around in wet conditions start to get very damp on the floors so things like trash bags to keep clothing and other stuff dry on the tent floor might help. A couple rolls of thick plastic sheeting to cut up into ground cloths for the tents might help.

Think rain. Umbrellas, rain jackets, rain pants, tarps. Rags and towels to wipe up slush/damp in the tent.

Doesn't seem like it'll be cold enough for long underwear.

Things like a small brush to wipe your feet off and to clean the tent floor are handy to have when snow camping, but I can't imagine anyone there would find that very useful. It's more a discipline to keep everything dry when you have to pack up and move on the next day.

I haven't been paying too much attention to their day-to-day living, so I don't know what sort of food they have access to, but things like hot soup and drinks go a long way to improving moral when you're wet, cold and miserable.

Those little chemical hand and toe warmers might be nice. Buy a box or two of them and hand them out.

Gloves. Mittens. Hats. Even cheap ones will help.

Moisturizer. Baby wipes.

I think, given the urban camping conditions, you'll find more at Walmart than EMS, unless you're filthy rich and can buy them all Gore-tex parkas.
posted by bondcliff at 9:40 AM on October 27, 2011 [2 favorites]

Dry socks & space blankets.
posted by anastasiav at 9:43 AM on October 27, 2011

posted by Ironmouth at 9:51 AM on October 27, 2011

Cheap cots - you're much warmer when you're not sleeping on the ground. If those are too pricy ($25+ online) then consider foam mats from an Army Surplus store (~$10).
posted by desjardins at 10:01 AM on October 27, 2011

No tents allowed.

Send them well wishes and coupons for Starbucks.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:16 AM on October 27, 2011

I would recommend foam pads over cheap cots. Cots allow a lot of airflow underneath which wicks warmth away quite quickly.
posted by vansly at 10:19 AM on October 27, 2011

Reflectix brand aluminized plastic bubble insulation, for sitting/lying on, providing both warmth and cushioning.
posted by the Real Dan at 10:35 AM on October 27, 2011

I've been working the med tent at the Occupy Philadelphia movement, where our efforts have been primarily directed at the folks who were occupying City Hall *prior* to the protests. I've seen a couple cases of trench foot sprout up already, and we've had relatively pleasant weather since the beginning of the Dillworth Plaza occupation. Thick, dry socks and anti-fungal cream are at a premium. Chemical hand warmers may also start coming in handy as the weather gets colder.
posted by The White Hat at 10:57 AM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

Was this just a hypothetical, or are you really anticipating snow in NYC this weekend? If the latter, the NWS seems to disagree.
posted by saladin at 11:34 AM on October 27, 2011

Response by poster: This morning the forecast was for snow.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:03 PM on October 27, 2011

The most important thing is to keep dry.

I would add to all the suggestions of good socks and say you should have lots of thick socks to change into.

I camp in pretty cold weather sometimes and have found the best combination is a cot with some foam pads on top. Especially if your foam pad is on the ground, it is so important to make sure it stays completely dry. When the cold rain and slush starts accumulating that will be very hard to do, especially in shared spaces.
posted by JayNolan at 1:46 PM on October 27, 2011

This morning the forecast was for snow.

The NWS just changed its forecast to include possible snow too. Good luck out there!
posted by saladin at 1:49 PM on October 27, 2011

What does OWS need?

A reasonably just and equitable society.

In the short term they'd probably be delighted to have more dry socks (particularly wool), hats, blankets and sleeping bags, gloves, camping pads and small tarps (suitable for wrapping a sleeping bag in).

There's also morale boosting donations, the value of which should never be underestimated.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 10:58 PM on October 27, 2011

I can't believe I didn't say socks.

The answer is socks.
posted by bondcliff at 6:29 AM on October 28, 2011

I've looked around for deals on wool socks, and this is the best I've found - $25.99 for four pair.
posted by desjardins at 9:43 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

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