What to wear to survive a Colorado winter

The University of Denver is home to a wide range of students hailing from all corners of the country, many of whom don’t have prior experience with snow or cold weather. Due to this fact, many students are unprepared for the snow and ice covered paths that snake the University’s campus.

Snow boot marks can be seen all around campus

Snow boot marks can be seen all around campus

As fall quarter came to an end last year at The University of Denver, it had become abundantly clear that come January there would be loads of snow descending and plenty of frigid winter days. On such days it is always interesting to see what students are bundled up in to brave the wintery weather on and around campus.


Slipping, sliding and taking a tumble are all consequences of wearing improper foot wear on and around campus on days when the weather is inclement at best.

When asked what type of shoes should be worn out when its cold and slippery, sophomores Kevin Aubel, a Colorado native, and Chris Dronen of Chicago, Illinois, both agree that some form of winter boots are best.

“I have this pair of Nike boots that work for snow and mud, they are also great hiking boots. Basically they work for everything,” Aubel explained

“Timberlands are always good, but I actually currently have Sketchers winter boots since they are more cost effective and do the same duty,” said Dronen.

Snow boots, despite being the first line of defense against snow and ice, are not the only winter weather items that are popular on and around campus.

When walking around DU on a chilly or snowy day it is not uncommon to see Ugg boots, puffy jackets, various hats and of course pullover jackets. All of these items are great for keeping warm and keeping the snow off your face and butt.



One student’s many layers hanging on their door

 When wind and snow is hitting your body from all angles, being covered is always best.

The weather in Denver can change at a moments notice. What is a sunny day at noon can easily change into cloudy, snowy skies by five in the evening.

“When in doubt, layer it out” is what Colorado natives say when asked about how to be prepared for the daily weather.

“Under Armour cold gear, a thick jacket, my Nike boots is my go to for being warm and comfortable walking around campus in super cold or snowy weather,” Aubel exclaimed.

Sophomore Cassie Georgantas of Texas described a different winter layered look.

“I usually wear jeans, my Sorels, a pull-over sweater and my blue Patagonia zip-up micro puff jacket. I also have a heavy duty black North Face jacket,” Georgantas explained.


Dry Colorado winters are also times of wind, chapped lips and cold ears.

Cassie Georgantas, Amanda Rogers, and Alyssa Page also shared what their favorite winter weather accessories are for braving the cold on campus.

“Hand lotion and chapstick since the wind makes my skin extremely dry,” exclaimed Rogers of Arizona.

“I love my furry headband that just covers my ears. Its fashion forward and wont mess up my hair but still keeps me warm and protected from the cold,” expressed Page, an Idaho native shared.

“Hats! I specifically love beanies with puff balls on the top,” Georgantas said with excitement.

Where to buy

For those students who don’t have proper winter gear or don’t know where to buy winter can be a tricky time. The myriad of online stores and brand name stores can be overwhelming especially if you are shopping on a budget. Brands such as Patagonia and North Face are staples in DU student’s closets and can be seen walking all around campus. According to students online shopping is definitely the best way to go.


REI has great sales and discounts for students looking for quality winter weather gear at an affordable price

Backcountry and REI are by far some of the more popular go-to sites for students looking for quality winter gear but who don’t want to break the bank.

The Backcountry and REI logo stickers can be seen on water bottles and computers alike all around campus and seem to be the happening places to shop for anything from avalanche gear to pull-over fleeces and cool winter hats.

“I often shop at the Wilderness Exchange in downtown Denver, which is a thrift store for outdoor gear. I also really like going to the sales at REI and of course I am an avid shopper at Backcountry,” Georgantas shared.

Shopping on a budget

If you’re looking for cheaper gear since you are not a big fan of the snow and or won’t be skiing or riding another option is a local store such as Walmart, Kohl’s, or Target.

“You can get some nice quality gear at Kohl’s or Target. You will find everything you need there at an affordable price, especially if you are not going to be going up to the mountains much and don’t need fancy outdoor gear,” Dronen suggested.

“Outlet malls are an awesome place to find North Face gear or other brand name winter apparel items on a budget,” said Page.

Shopping for winter gear can be a lot to handle when you are trying to navigate prices, brands and styles, but at the end of the day you can’t put a price on being warm and safe on campus.

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