Count on these cold weather hacks to see you and your homestead through the freezing winter. Learn useful winter hacks for your car, and tips to stay warm outside. Use these old tips and new tricks to keep warm and safe in the cold.
Continue reading to find out which cold weather hacks suit you best!
RELATED: 45 Off The Grid Hacks | Homesteading Tips, Tricks, And Ideas
Cold Weather Hacks for Savvy Homesteaders
1. Natural Common Cold and Flu Remedy
The common cold and flu are some of the side effects of winter weather. Drown the symptoms of cold and flu with these home remedies.
They’re all-natural, effective, and right in your budget. You will also want to boost your immune system this cold season. These natural ingredients will do a good job at it.
2. Make Recycled Sweater Mittens
Avoid buying new and costly sets of mittens this season. Rummage through your closet for suitable materials to repurpose or upcycle.
You can make this pair of cozy and comfy mittens from old knitted sweaters. Make use of your winter season downtime for some fun upcycled sweater projects.
3. Waterproof Canvas Shoes With Wax
You don’t have to stash your canvas shoes in the closet this winter. Homesteaders have a way to make them waterproof and winter-ready.
This simple and easy cold weather hack on how to waterproof canvas shoes with wax would be a life saver.
4. Light Up Some Candles
Light up some candles to add heat while cutting down on electric bills. Don’t worry about spending on them either because you’ll learn how to make your own instead.
Take this homemade candle tutorial and personalize your candles with scents you love. Enjoy warm air and a mood-boosting scent in your cozy room.
5. Make Your Bike Tires Winter-Ready With Zip Ties
Anyone who has ever tried to use their bike in the winter will tell you how the snow can be very treacherous. When avoiding the use of bikes isn’t an option, winter weather-proof them without the expense.
Try this amazing winter hack and keep those tires rolling in the winter weather.
6. Keep Warm With a Cup of Delicious Hot Chocolate
Make the best cup of hot chocolate with this delicious hot cocoa recipe. Stay warm and comfy in the cold winter weather.
Nothing like a hot cup of coffee to keep your body heat.
7. Use Old Quilts as Curtains to Help Keep the Heat Inside
Use old quilts as curtains to help keep the heat inside. If you have thicker quilts, all the better.
They will be perfect to ward off the cold air busting through your windows. It’s one of the simple energy-saving cold weather hacks to try in your homestead this winter.
8. Dead Battery Hand Warmers
Use the ‘dead’ alkaline batteries’ last bit of energy as a hand warmer. This isn’t much but every little energy will help this winter.
Remember to use only dead batteries and not new ones. Also, use only alkaline batteries. Drain out the last remaining energy from the batteries. Use a 1-ohm resistor to connect the terminals.
9. Make Your Own Winter Windshield Washer Fluid
What liquid can resist the freezing temperature? High proof vodka or 99% alcohol is your go-to cold weather hack!
Pour 8 ounces of either alcohol or vodka in an empty and clean 1-gallon jug. Fill it with water, leaving room for an ounce of castile liquid soap.
Add the soap, mix, and pour the homemade windshield washer fluid into the correct area.
10. Tinfoil to Keep House Warm
Boost the power of your wall-mounted radiator or heater. Place a layer of tinfoil opposite the wall. This will help reproduce the heat into the room. Be careful not to use anything else flammable.
11. Slip-Proof Shoes Hack
Slippery lanes and driveways are a problem in the winter. Screws in your shoes can help you gain traction in the slippery snow.
Stick small screws around the sides of your shoes’ soles. Be careful not to have the screws exposed in the sole or they might hurt you.
12. Pipe Insulation as Draft Blockers
Frosty air getting inside your home is a problem in old houses with wide gaps under the doors. There are draft blockers for sale, but the prices can be outrageous.
Use a piece of pipe insulation to fill in the gaps. Slice along the length of the pipe and slide it underneath the door.
13. Windshield Wipers Trick
Stick your windshield wipers in the air and cover them with old socks. This way your wipers won’t stick to your windows.
Simple, yet one of the most ingenious cold weather hacks for your car!
14. Terra Cotta Pot Heater
You can make a DIY heater with terracotta pots. All you need is a clay pot or three (depending on your design), large stones, and some candles.
Make sure to follow safety precautions when using your finished product.
15. DIY Wool Insoles
Add warmth and coziness to your pair of winter booths or mucks. Make a pair of insoles from some old woolen moss felt. Pull out the thin insoles from inside your boots for your pattern. Cut them out and slide them inside your boots.
Now you have warm and toasty feet with this simple winter trick.
16. DIY Slipper Boots
With mittens covered, take on this DIY slipper boots project next. It’s another upcycled sweater project to match your upcycled sweater mittens.
Use the sleeves of a knitted sweater for the leg pieces. Cut a separate piece from the fabric for the soles.
Stitch to connect the sole and leg piece and it’s done!
17. Thawing a Frozen Lock
Imagine trying to get indoors with an unseen assailant after you. You try your key and surprise, surprise — frozen lock!
Talk about worst-case scenarios. But with or without an assailant, frozen locks are a bummer. Always have a lighter handy in your purse or pocket in winter. Heat the keys with a lighter to thaw the lock.
18. Make Your Own Hand Warmers
Stop rubbing your hands raw against each other when you can make hand warmers. We can never have enough hand warmers in the winter so have fun making more than you need of these cold weather hacks.
Give them to your family and friends as a gift and warm their hearts!
RELATED: 17 Camping Hacks To Make Life Easier
19. Keep a Car Mat Nearby
Keeping a car mat in your truck will come in handy and is very useful in case your tires need traction. You never know when your winter tires will need a little help.
20. Open the Curtains When the Sun Is Out
This may seem like a no-brainer. But sometimes even we homesteaders forget to try the simplest things first!
Utilizing natural energy is the cheapest way to keep warm during winter. Open the curtains wide to let the sunlight and warmth in.
21. Run Your Ceiling Fan on Low and Spin It Clockwise
Run your ceiling fan on low and spin it clockwise. Doing this will push the warm air rising to the ceiling back down.
Do this a couple of times to produce warm air around the room.
22. Leave the Oven Door Open After Baking Your Goodies
Make good use of the piping hot oven after baking. Leaving the oven door open after baking will release the heat into the surrounding area.
This will give you a burst of delicious-smelling warm air, as well.
23. Insulate Using Running Tights or Pantyhose
Winter clothing hacks aren’t in short supply online. But keeping warm with clothes is simple.
Layering up doesn’t always mean adding lots of bulk. Use running tights or pantyhose under your regular pants to keep warm.
It’s about quality, not quantity!
24. Close Unused Rooms to Concentrate Heat in One Area
It’s hard to heat up a room with all the doors and windows open on cold nights. Close the doors to a room where the family gathers, say, the living room.
This will concentrate all the heat in this room and keep your family warm.
25. Park Facing East
By facing east where the sunlight is coming from, the frost in your car will melt fast. Let the sun’s heat do a lot of your snow removal work for you.
That’s letting Mother Nature take care of you.
26. Waterproof Your Socks with This Hack
It’s not only uncomfortable but also dangerous to walk in the snow with your socks wet. Keep your feet warm and dry in the snow with plastic bags.
Slip in sandwich or plastic bags in each foot after putting on thin socks.
Two pieces of plastic bags will work for each foot. To secure the bags, slide in another thin sock and you’re good to go.
27. Shovel Hack
Shoveling some snow on cold winter days seems like a monstrous task. Yet it is a must, especially if this is for the driveway.
To make it easier, spray your shovel with non-stick cooking spray. Your shovel will slide with ease on the ice and snow won’t stick.
28. Broom for Light Snow
Now that you know the snow shovel trick, here’s another one. Sweep light snow away with a broom rather than a shovel.
It’s less the effort and the broom will also ensure you get all the light snow.
29. Tin Foil Cleaner
Using tin foil as a fireplace cleaner is one of the winter cleaning hacks you’ll find very useful. Place a two-fold layer of tin foil at the base of your fireplace before you start a fire.
Once the fire dies out, all you need to do is to pull out the ash-covered tin foil and toss it out.
30. Warm Water Bottles
It’s nice to jump into a toasty bed without spending an extra cent on electricity. Place a couple of warm water bottles on your bed a few minutes before tucking yourself in.
This will give you a warm and comfortable sleep during cold winter nights.
31. Rubbing Alcohol and Dishwashing Liquid Salt Alternatives
If your salt supply is not enough to defrost your walkway, do this trick.
Combine 1 teaspoon of rubbing alcohol, dishwashing liquid, and 1/2 gallon of hot water. Splash it on your walkways to melt the ice.
32. Orange Peels as Fire Starters
Orange peels make great fire starters, with the skin containing some oil.
To store, toast the peels in a pan and put them in a container or paper bag. Include a pack of silica to hold keep it dry.
33. Maximize the Use of Water After Shower
Don’t let your warm bath water go down the drain. Keep the water in the tub until it comes to room temperature.
This will keep the warm air in a room and add much-needed humidity.
34. Dry up Your Wet Shoes With Microfiber Towels
If your shoes get wet, stuff them with super-absorbent microfiber towels to get the cold out fast! Keep microfiber towels handy wherever you go around wintertime.
35. Place Rugs or Carpet on the Floor and Avoid Heat Loss
If you’re short on rugs but have old quilts or blankets, these can work. Place some rubber non-slip mats under the quilts or blankets to avoid accidents.
Need more winter life hacks? Get more from this video here from Troom Troom!
Knowing these cold weather hacks will help you not just survive, but enjoy the winter weather, too. Put these simple yet practical cold weather tricks and life hacks to the test.
Try these cold weather hacks to find out how effective they are in your homestead!
Do you have any other cold weather hacks you’d like to share? Leave them in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
pissed-ff new reader says
How the heck do I get rid of that LIKE ME! bar that completely blocks the left side of the page?
Riley Carlson says
Sorry about that! The system is updating so the site might have a couple of glitches on it for the next few days. Working hard to fix it. Thanks for your comment and Merry Christmas!
Bobby Davis says
Ash from your fireplace, after the fire is long gone and you have a snowy driveway. Sprinkle with the ash from your fireplace. It eats thru the snow and ice and helps gain traction by making the ice porus
Greg sloan says
These are awesome.
Sprinkle cayenne pepper in the soles of your shoes, lightly.
Increase as needed.
If you are working outdoors you need lots of high carb foods.
Keep your head warm and dry; looking stylish in the snow, rain or cold is silly.
Learn to identify the signs of hypothermia and how to treat it; watch your family or team for the early warning signs; sluggishness, stuttering, denial, clumsiness.
Warm the person up slowly; put them in a sleeping bag or warm them with body heat. Too much heat too quickly can be fatal.
Bonnie Banks says
Red pepper flakes work great too. NEVER use against your skin !!! Also wear warm socks that you don’t mind getting stained with the pepper. Otherwise you will ruin those new socks! It doesn’t take much pepper flakes either….use sparingly until you find a good comfort level.
John DiLiberto says
Appreciate the list . . . thanks for publishing.
Thanks for sharing my post! I hope it helps some people out!
Barbara Kelly says
Since I live in a Double wide with double window. I still use clear shower curtains up on the windows and stop the cool air just from the glass surface. You can even sue 1/4 in styrofoam fitted and that works too. I’m up 5,000ft so we do get snow at times. And we also have a pellet stove that works great.
Bonnie Banks says
I was excited to read that somebody else uses shower curtains at their windows too! I have mine “clipped” with the shower hooks to the inside of my curtains thus saving on having to hang another rod. I HATE fussing with tape and then having it peel my walls and woodwork come spring! The weights in the bottom of the shower curtain work great to keep it held down. AND I turn in the outside edges “double” to the second loop hole before I clip them on. This helps form a folded “pocket” edge on both sides which also traps the cold air. 😀
Richard Sudranski says
As to filling up a bunch of containers with hot water to put on one’s bed to warm it up before bedtime, that is what dogs and cats are for. The best thing about that is that when one wakes up the next day, the dogs and cats never wake up on the wrong side of the bed.
left coast chuck says
70 years ago when everybody burned coal to heat buildings, no one used salt on the roads. We needed a way to get rid of the coal ash and putting it on snowy roads solved two problems. Got rid of the ash and provided a non-skid surface.
Suzanne Fagan says
I love these suggestions. These are simple and inexpensive.
H. Gary Nophsker says
Outstanding tips for cold weather!! We don’t need those relating to snow here in Texas but I’m forwarding to all of my relatives and friends in the cold northern 48 and Alaska. Keep them coming!
Great Grey says
The one problem with most of the tiny houses shown is that the floor is exposed to the weather. Needs good insulation under the floor too.
As someone who lives in a sub-arctic region, some tips I would have would be
Thinsulate clothing; it is incredibly lightweight and thin we use it when it gets around -30C and below, it comes in the form of gloves under layer clothing, face masks and socks.
Instead of using rubbing alcohol water and detergent for washer fluid use methanol it’s extremely cheap about 4 dollars a liter and when mixed with water 30%-50% methanol to water gives a freeze point range of -26C and -54C.
When buying winter gear for use in extended periods of time outside 8-16 hours half the equipments cold rating, 16-24 hours half it again, for example a jacket that is good for -50C will keep you very toasty in -30 about 8-10 hours of being outside you will feel the cold begin to penetrate the jack as it is essentially rated for -25. I’ve worked with guys who were starting out in my industry outfitted in brand new -40C rated gear who ended up getting frost bite on their hands and feet after 12 hours in the cold.
Forgot to mention always keep a bag of kitty litter in your vehicle works great when your car gets stuck and you wont tear up your floor mats.
greg c miles says
where can i find tin foil? i thought they stopped making that back in the 50’s! all i can seem to find is aluminum foil . . . i’m soo confused.
One year when we got a lot of unexpected snow and I didn’t have snow boots, my mother covered my regular shoes and socks with bread sacks and a pair of my dad’s wool Army socks! Worked perfectly, though the snow did stick to the socks pretty badly!
Bonnie Banks says
This past winter we used pool noodles against our outside doors for draft dodgers. My daughter wrapped them with old towels but I think you could pull old socks onto each end. Could crochet or knit a fancy cover or fashion covers from old sweaters too! Easy to move and you still have pool noodles for the summer time! Cut the pool noodle to the length you need….skinnier noodles can be used in a window sill too! If there is a LOT of wind just load the “noodle” hole found in the center with clay cat litter!
Cut 1” bubble wrap to size for your windows. A slight mist of water will work to stick your bubble wrap window coverings in place. The warmth and energy savings can be quite significant!’
Mrs. D says
Look like good ideas. One I would not recommend though: leaving the oven door open after cooking, if you have younger children around. My Mom always left the oven door open, but we were all older and understood “don’t touch the door!” I left the oven door open when my son was younger; he was in another room, so I turned my back and hear him scream. He’d quickly run over to the oven, from the other room, and put both little hands on the open oven door. He didn’t get badly burned, because he didn’t have his hands on the door for more than a second or two, and healed just fine (after putting his hands in cold water, used aloe sunburn gel and covered his hands with socks to keep the gel on), but he was not a happy camper for a few days. I have never left the oven door opened since then. The oven heat will radiant into the room whether the door is opened or not, it’s just not as fast. Leaving the door open probably would apply to those with young pets, too. Dealing with burns is not fun!
Thanks for the other tips, though!
Did no one actually watch the video on the zip-ties on the bike tire?? It actually states at the end of the video that there was no difference in traction when they used the zip-ties, and that many of the zip-ties just broke off.
dharmesh Gupta says
after the fire is long gone and you have a snowy driveway. Sprinkle with the ash from your fireplace. It eats thru the snow and ice and helps gain traction by making the ice pours
Je kunt ook onder je niet synthetische kleding een laagje kranten doen. Dat isoleert heel goed.