#1: All the Woolen Underthings
When confronted with your first New Hampshire winter, everyone will tell you to invest in woolen undergarments. Everyone will tell you to, but YOU will ignore this advice for at least the first if not the second winter. You will say: “Don’t you tell me what to do,” while thinking, “What difference can a pair of woolen socks really make?” As someone who waited 4 winters to invest in all the woolen underthings, let me tell you unequivocally: A LOT. I’m talking warm tootsies 24/7. Toss in a pair of woolen leggings and a long-sleeved undershirt for when you will be outside for extended periods, and you will find yourself saying: “Wait, what? Winter is over already?” Treat your woolen items with respect--don’t toss them in the dryer!--and they will love you back, winter over winter. Toasty!
#2: Layer Up
And strip down when needed. Layers give you the flexibility to be comfortable, no matter what the temperature is, inside or out. Added bonus: New Hampshire winters come with built-in stripteases!
#3: Increase Your Vitamin D Intake
If you take vitamins, consider doubling your Vitamin D intake during the winter months. This is a no-brainer mood picker-upper.
#4: Invest in a “Happy” Light
Short days getting you down? Let technology be the cure! While winter technically starts mid-December, the days then actually start getting l-o-n-g-e-r again. In the meanwhile, chase away the blahs with a light designed to enhance your mood, and make you feel warm and fuzzy inside the head.
#5: Seize the Day!
Embrace the weather, and get outside. Learn how to ski, and then learn how to ski at night. Discover the tranquility and peace of snowshoeing in fresh powder. Ride a toboggan. Get into a snowball fight. Join fellow Free Staters at a winter luau (pictured). Take a New Year's Day Polar Plunge. Whatever you do, crawl out from under that blankie, and carpe diem the crap out of winter.
#6: Embrace Your Version of the Serenity Prayer
Whether you are a believer or an ardent atheist, you can manage your relationship with winter by observing some version of the serenity prayer, whether your prefer the religious classic: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change/The courage to change the things I can/And the wisdom to know the difference,” or, the activist version from Angela Davis: “I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change/I am changing the things I cannot accept.”
Accept your power will likely go out, a Nor’Easter will spoil well-laid plans (possibly to get laid), the plow guy will show up late; it’s winter, trust me, something gnarly will happen. Bottom line: New Hampshire isn’t for sissies. How you approach these challenges will determine how you cope long-term. Change your mindset, and the rest will follow. Including Spring. I promise. It comes like clockwork, every damn time.
#7: Community Reigns Supreme
There is no place on Earth for liberty activists like New Hampshire, regardless of the season. Pop-up parties follow people with power (literal power, like lights and generators). Friends help friends. And there is no better place on Earth to make real, lifetime, meaningful friends than as part of the Free State Project community. Liberty warms the cockles of our aching, over-achieving, dreamer, doer hearts. Join us in New Hampshire, and let us keep you warm with the glow of knowing we are achieving “Liberty in OUR Lifetime.”
Carla Gericke (JD, MFA) is an advocate of liberty specializing in localized voluntarism, self-determination, and how responsible human action can lead to peace and prosperity. She is president emeritus of the Free State Project, and lives in New Hampshire with thousands of fellow freedom fighters. In 2014, Carla won a landmark court case affirming the 1st Amendment right to film police encounters. She has appeared on WMUR, CNN, and Fox News, been featured in GQ and Playboy, been quoted in The Economist, and has discussed libertarianism on the BBC. She has visited more than 40 countries, hiked to the base camp of the 10th highest mountain in the world, lost a shoe in a taxi more than once, had her passport stolen in Goa, got kidnapped in Vietnam, and has noshed on more “mystery meat” street food than she cares to admit. Carla once spent an entire summer while working as in-house counsel at Logitech eating tuna fish sandwiches with Doug Engelbart (the Mother Of All Demos dude), she worked on Apple’s acquisition of Steve Job’s NeXT, and bought her first Bitcoin for $6. Carla co-hosts the Told You So podcast, and co-chairs Manch Talk TV. She serves on several non-profit boards, follows a Keto lifestyle (read about her transformation), practices yoga and shooting, and plays a mean game of Scrabble. Carla enjoys cooking, gardening, painting, reading, and watching documentary films. She has twice run for New Hampshire state Senate, garnering 42% of the vote in 2018 against an 11-term incumbent, and believes in 2020, third time will be the charm! Carla’s first book, The Ecstatic Pessimist, a collection of award-winning short stories, flashes fiction pieces, speeches, and essays about the Free State Project is now available on Kindle with the paperback coming out soon! Carla is organizing PorcFest, The Throwback! Buy your $25 tickets today and join us in the White Mountains, June 22-28.