20 Dec 2010

UK snow: your tips for outwitting the winter weather

#101beattheweather: Soup, salt, tights, chilli flakes and more. Fed up with the winter weather? Channel 4 News tweeters have practical – and unusual – tips for beating the current cold snap.

UK snow: Your tips for outwitting the winter weather

Airports closed, schools shut, trains in turmoil and roads treacherous with ice.

Across the UK the Christmas getaway has turned into a festive nightmare as thousands struggle with heavy snowfall and sub-zero temperatures.

In order to keep the country moving, and in the spirit of goodwill, we asked you to help compile a list of advice and tips for how to beat the winter weather.

To contribute, tweet @channel4news with your ideas and remember to use the hashtag #101beattheweather.

Fashion sidelined
If you’re off to brave Britain’s big freeze one thing is for sure – make sure you wrap up warm. A number of @Channel4News tweeters stressed that thick thermals were crucial.

“No such thing as bad weather, just incorrect clothing,” tweeted @OldHoborn.

“Wear the right clothes!” said @redrumsilence. “Sick of these eejits wandering around in jeans complaining its cold.”

@Fatal_Rabbit urged people to invest in layers. “Most body heat is lost through your head,” @Fatal_Rabbit said. “Wear a hat! & lots of thin layers beats a couple of thick layers.”

@cutie92farah tweeted in with four simple steps for wintry comfort: “1: Two cardigans 2: Three pairs of socks 3: A cute winter santa claus hat 4: Hot chocolate. perfect ! ! !”

“Get ur trail shoes on & run. Grippy sole provides traction & easier than running on sand – I did it,” said @sarb.

For @CaterFor is was simple: “Thermal vest!!”

@mishcamucka tweeted: “Wear marigold gloves under wooly gloves to keep hands warmer.”

@AMIAFAD suggested: “Live close to where you work, buy some decent boots and warm undies. Sorted!”

Practical footwear is also this season’s new must-have. “Ice spikes over your shoes – have made The-Hill-Of-Death a breeze to positively prance down now..!” tweeted @MrsElsieE.

Weird and wonderful
Twitter advice wouldn’t be the same without a few quirky suggestions.

If you’re venturing into the winter wilderness and don’t have the appropriate footwear @Bolotics has a unique solution: “Wear women’s tights over your shoes – stops you slipping on the icy pavements/roads.”

UK snow: Your tips for outwitting the winter weather

For commuters worried gloved hands might not be able to operate the delicate intricacies of portable technology @nlewendon says: “I use my nose to operate my iPhone and iPod ‘clicker wheel’, which is mostly successful.”

@FuyoBC suggests a fiery way of keeping cosy in the freezing temperatures.

“Add a few chilli flakes to your food to warm you up.”

Staying at home might seem like the best idea (see below) but for many with work commitments and travel plans staying put may not be possible.

The majority of tweeters sharing winters tips with #c4news were eager to pass on advice for getting moving whether on foot or by car.

“Apply rain repellent to car windows, then ice won’t stick, easy ice clearing,” suggested @andrewhiggins1.

@Zephyr_Dragon said: “Make sure you take extra water for the windscreen wash – grit on windscreen makes it hard to see.”

“Carry a bag of sand/grit/gravel in the car, along with a shovel and some old wood/sticks/branches,” suggested @SteMcCormack.

Slippery tyres?
“Equip your car with a sheet of old carpet! Fantastic for putting under your wheels to get purchase on ice,” tweeted @pdjohnson.

“When I couldn’t get traction yesterday,” @Talkloads said, “I rang my husband who told me to let my tyres down a bit. It worked.”

@PaulMMartin suggested helping locals not as equipped for the severe conditions. “If you own a 4×4,” he said, “why not help out your neighbours with lifts?”

@TomClover said: “Get a job with a train company. You won’t have to go anywhere all day.”

Huskies and spikes
As the roads across much of Britain have been transformed into slippery ice-rinks #c4news followers were keen to try out new forms of travel to get the country moving.

“Huskies/sledge/cross-country skis. Seems to work in most snowbound nations,” tweeted @leguape.

@mishcamucka suggested that a “sledge is easier than a pushchair” for those with small children.

Salting paths
Does a snowy season ever go by without the mention of grit? Many of you in the twittersphere have embarked a campaign to clear pathways of ice and snow. But what are the best methods?

“Clear snow, treat ground first with dishwasher salt to melt ice & cat litter for grip & to absorb moisture,” suggested @SteMcCormack.

For @reineire “cinder and ashes from a fire” are best for creating paths through the snow.

@programx urged people to clear paths around their homes. “If everyone did so, walking would be easier!” @programx tweeted. “Personal responsibility + big society win.”

For more advice for clearing roads and keeping warm in winter @nattorama suggests logging on to the government website for the latest advice:

“Clear pavement and roads outside your home if council can’t get to you. Advice here: http://bit.ly/fwStYc

Staying in
For @jamiefreshwater for best solution is to stay inside: “I have and the snow hasn’t been a problem to me all day!” he said.

@alansuspect had a similar idea: “Stay in and have a cup of tea,” he said.

Home comforts
If you have decided to give the world a miss for a few days and stay tucked up in the warmth of your own home – remember to do it in style.

“Give in to bad Christmas telly and crack open the tin of Quality Street meant for Christmas day,” suggests @nicolealexacox.

“How about some brandy in coffee and a book,” tweeted @archanatweets.

UK snow: Your tips for outwitting the winter weather

@burdzeyeview said that home comforts were the best recipe for winter console:

“Soup! Home made, rib tingling, dig out your granny’s recipes kind of soup. And make enough for elderly neighbours too!”

The UK’s winter woes have also spurred our international friends to comfort offer advice.

“Stoke the fire and watch the Ashes. From Australia with love,” tweeted @Simone Sutcliffe.

Chin-up tunes
And if you’re staying in, what better than some festive music to keep the winter blues away?

Our very own @annadoble has complied a top 10 list of Christmas music to give you reasons to be cheerful: http://bit.ly/hHNYIl

Keeping warm
For many of you keeping warm in the home was crucial. @Retyree had a handy tip for keeping cosy while keeping utility bills down.

“Keep your heating on a low ‘tickover’ overnight. The cost will be far less than the repair of burst frozen pipes,” @Retyree said.

@JHolmesEsq suggested that household chores could help along the way.

“Keep your oven open after cooking and leave washing up water to cool naturally – heats the kitchen a treat!”

As thousands of passengers queue at flight-less airports @liquid_city thought we should all flock to Heathrow “and huddle like penguins.”

Animal love
And remember it’s not just people suffering from the freezing temperatures.

@cumbriawildlife urged us all to remember to “feed our feathered friends & provide water for them.”

“Don’t let the cold beat them either!” they said.

To give you tips and advice tweet @channel4news with your ideas and remember to use the hashtag #101beattheweather.