How to prepare for colder months in southern Utah

Alvaro Lopez, a junior finance major from Lima, Peru; Santiago Recinos, a freshman psychology major from Guatemala City; and Rafael Regalado, a senior finance major from Covina, California, sat together around the fire on a cold night in St. George. It is vital to remember that chilly St. George winters creep up on us quickly, and as young adults, we need to prepare for winter weather and the challenges that come with it. Miki Akiyama | Sun News Daily

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For most universities in Utah, snow is just beginning to paint campuses white to remind students that the holidays are just around the corner.

Well, not Utah Tech University. St. George is a city residing at an elevation of around 2,794 feet above sea level and typically doesn’t get below 60 degrees.

Unlike most parts of northern Utah, St. George and the surrounding area can feel like a barren wasteland during the winter months of November and December.

However, on the odd occasion that it does drop below 40 degrees, bundling up in sweaters, consuming liquids and making sure vehicles are properly maintained and prepared for colder weather is essential for ensuring a safe and fun winter break.  

Bundling up

While most have the perception that southern Utah stays warm all year round, it’s important to have at least a couple of winter coats or sweaters to wear during bone-chilling winds.

Sarah Price, a freshman elementary education major from Star Valley, Wyoming, said, “I moved here from Wyoming, so I was expecting to not need a lot of winter outfits because I was so used to the cold, but now I get chilly when it drops below 80 degrees.”

Local stores in the area like Ross Dress for Less and Walmart can offer affordable options, while places like Costco and DICK’S Sporting Goods offer more expensive choices with higher quality material.

Layering is very helpful as most people are either walking in and out of classrooms, finishing up the last weeks of school or going to various stores to shop for Thanksgiving and Christmas gifts.

Especially with Black Friday coming up, layering is a useful tool to make fast trips to the store more enjoyable, despite the cold weather.

Drinking liquids

While keeping the outside warm, it’s equally as important to keep the inside of your body warm too. Drinking warm liquids can not only provide relief from chilly afternoons but also be a yummy treat.

Local coffee shops like Dutch Bros and Starbucks can provide several varieties of warm drinks to warm up with, whether that be tea, coffee or hot chocolate.

And, for those who don’t partake in hot holiday drinks, there are several other options for drinks that may suffice.

Ro Webb, the Utah Tech marching band instructor and part-time dance accompanist, said: “Nothing tastes better than a fresh Coca-Cola year-round. I’m a straight Coke girly.”

Preparing vehicles for cold weather

Car maintenance is important to do all year round. This can include refilling coolant and de-icing windshields to prepare cars for long trips back home for the holidays.

There are multiple resources available to find out how to best winterize vehicles for cold months. This can include installing new wiper blades, maintaining proper tire pressure and packing a winter safety kit in case of accidents.

Another part of car maintenance is making sure to have plenty of preparedness items in the vehicle. Packing layers, first aid kits and blankets all make a nice addition to a safe trip back home.

Nate Richins, a senior welding major at Dixie Technical College from Mesa, Arizona, said: “I always make sure to have a Dutch Bros gift card and plenty of options for cold weather. That’s normally either a couple of blankets or a toolkit in my car.”

Winter in St. George has its ups and downs, but finding ways to prepare for chilly weather is important nonetheless. From finding proper clothing to prepping vehicles, you can ensure a safe and comfortable winter.