A storm system expected to bring blizzard conditions to the Chicago area in coming days with temperatures expected to be around 11 degrees Christmas Eve, the day the Chicago Bears go against the Buffalo Bills at Soldier Field.
Chicagoans are used to the frigid temperatures, but one can never be too ready for wind chills blowing off Lake Michigan, weather experts say. Saturday probably won’t be the coldest game ever at Soldier Field, but it definitely won’t be for the faint-of-heart fair-weather fan.
Cold-weather clothing experts and one longtime season ticket holder offered some advice for fans to stay warm watching the Christmas Eve game.
The store manager of Gearhead Outfitters in downtown Evanston, Jackie Micelli, shared a few tips. The store has been slammed with customers scurrying to grab items ahead of the frightening forecast warning of frigid temperatures and unforgiving winds.
“Good merino wool tops and bottoms are important,” Micelli said. “Next would be an insulated snow pant.”
She went on to share a list that included a down jacket and heavyweight parka, insulated with fleece hat and/or gloves with a merino wool scarf to protect as much skin as possible. Water-repellent items are best.
Micelli said don’t forget an insulated blanket — not only to wrap yourself in, but also to protect your bottom sitting in the stands.
Of course, a pair of insulated boots and wool socks were included in the plethora of must-haves. Hand and foot warmers also sounded like a good plan, but even more blissful, there are now rechargeable warmers. A charge lasts for eight hours, Micelli said.
Amanda Demas, of Lake Bluff, plans on going to the game with her fiance, Nate Arendt, who is a season ticket holder.
“We’ve been to cold games before,” Demas said. “It won’t be our first.”
Demas’ list mimicked the cold-weather clothing expert’s, but her first item was key to mastering Chicago winters, as she shared the secret to survival — long underwear, also known as long johns.
She rattled off ski socks, ski pants, gloves and mittens, a hood and scarf. Then she named a Chicago favorite of folks forced to brave the outside: Carhartt overalls, which she said her fiance would be wearing.
When asked about the areas that wouldn’t be protected Saturday, Demas said, “If it’s sunny out, I will have on sunglasses.”
One 71-year-old native Chicagoan, who now resides in Rock Island, offered another piece of seasoned advice: Spread Vaseline on facial areas for protection from below-zero wind chills.
Micelli offered this: “All the people going to the Bears game, we wish them luck, we will be happy to outfit you, but don’t forget the ChapStick.”