A storm is expected blizzard conditions to Chicago temperatures will be around 11 degrees in the coming days before Christmas Eve, the day the Chicago Bears take on the Buffalo Bills at Soldier Field.
Chicagoans are used to frigid temperatures, but you can’t be too prepared for the wind blowing in from Lake Michigan, weather experts say. It probably won’t be Saturday coldest game ever at Soldier Fieldbut it’s definitely not for the faint of heart fair weather fans.
Cold-weather clothing experts and one longtime season ticket holder offered tips for fans to keep warm while watching the game on Christmas Eve.
Gearhead Outfitters store manager in downtown Evanston, Jackie Miceli, shared some tips. The store was packed with customers rushing to pick up goods ahead of a dire forecast warning of freezing temperatures and unrelenting winds.
“A good merino wool top and bottom is essential,” Micheli said. “Next will be insulated snow pants.”
She went on to share a list that included a down jacket and heavy parka, layered with a fleece hat and/or gloves with a merino wool scarf to protect as much skin as possible. Waterproof items are best.
Micheli said don’t forget a thermal blanket — not only to wrap yourself in, but also to protect your posture while sitting in the stands.
Of course, must-haves include a pair of insulated boots and woolen socks. Hand and leg warmers sounded like a good plan too, but it’s even more exciting that there are now battery-operated warmers. A charge lasts eight hours, Miceli said.
Amanda Demos of Lake Bluff plans to go to the game with her season-ticket holder fiance, Nate Arend.
“We’ve been to cold games before,” Demos said. “It won’t be our first.”
Demos’ list mimicked that of a cold-weather clothing expert, but her first item was the key to mastering Chicago winters as she shared a survival secret: long underwear, also known as long pants.
She took off her ski socks, ski pants, gloves and mittens, hood and scarf with a clatter. Then she named a Chicago favorite for the underdog: a Carhartt jumpsuit, which she said her fiancé would be wearing.
When asked about the areas that would not be covered on Saturday, Demas said, “If it’s sunny outside, I’ll wear sunglasses.”
One 71-year-old Chicago native who now lives in Rock Island offered another seasoned tip: Smear petroleum jelly on your face to protect against subzero winds.
Micheli offered this: “To all the people going to a Bears game, we wish them the best of luck, we’d love to dress you up, but don’t forget the ChapStick.”