Last year, I was headed into my very first Vermont winter, and I was nervous. I grew up in California where winters are an entirely different thing. The weather changes slightly (I’d say it gets crisper, not quite colder), but mostly, we pray for rain that rarely comes. For the most part, I comfortably survived the season with my Mom’s old Better Sweater, one good pair of wool socks, and the occasional rain shell.
In the months approaching winter, I had a number of conversations with Vermonters who spoke of the snow and the cold with endearing reverence. They recalled epic adventures in the Green Mountains in sub-freezing temperatures with fierce wind chills, and I would grimace behind my mask. Whenever I voiced my skepticism, I was enthusiastically reminded about the importance of proper gear. I came to understand that with the right layering of the right gear and a good attitude, even I, a scared and stubborn Californian, could learn to thrive in a Vermont winter. I set out to upgrade my wardrobe, and did so with a few principles in mind.
The gear I wanted needed to be versatile, durable, effective, responsibly produced and repairable. Read More