Packing List – Winter Edition

Hey there! Are you from New England? Step aside, you probably already know of these things. Are you from somewhere with comparatively warm and temperate climate, and are you terrified of Pennsylvania winters? If so, you’re in the right place! I’m Isabel, a hardy Maine girl, thoroughly accustomed to the bitter chill of cold wind and heavy snow. And I’m Blien, a relatively warm Marylander, and I’m not a fan of buying a lot of new things. Together, we are joining our forces to help you survive winter at HC!

Theme of the post: Layers are your friend. Don’t have a heavy jacket? Where a sweatshirt and a mid weight jacket. No wool socks? Layer, layer, layer!


You’ll probably need these:

  • Mid-weight gloves or mittens to keep your lil’ fingies warm
  • Some way to keep your ears warm – a hat, a coat with a hood, funny looking earmuffs
  • Water resistant shoes with good traction so you don’t slip in the ice and snow. Rain boots could work for this, though when it gets cold you’ll need to layer up on the socks to keep your lil’ feetsies warm.
  • Jackets (either a thick one or maybe two thinner ones… usually a mid-weight jacket and a warm layer underneath works fine)
  • A water-resistant jacket (raincoat?? This may be the same as your warm jacket… that’s fine!)
  • Sweaters / hoodies / cardigans (if that’s your style)
  • Sweatpants

You’ll probably want these:

  • A couple pairs of warm socks (wool is best if you can get it). That said, you could just layer two (or more???) pairs of socks on top of each other on a cold day
  • A good scarf
  • Warm, waterPROOF shoes (these would be instead of the water resistant ones, mentioned above). It’s nice to have the option of playing in the snow without soaking and/or freezing your feet. Overall, winter boots are a good thing to have, though not 100% necessary.
  • A heavy coat/down or faux down jacket. That said, this can be replaced by a mid-weight jacket and some layers.
  • Warm blankets (plural), or one REALLY warm blanket

You may want these, but can probably do without them:

  • A pet reindeer to ride to class
  • Snowshoes, skis, a sled, and a snowmobile
  • Lots of instant hot chocolate
  • A portal to Hawaii
  • A sense of wonder at the beauty of a perfectly formed snowflake
  • A good mug for hot beverages
  • Hand warmers (most people won’t need these… but if you are an athlete who spends a lot of time outdoors, you may want them)
  • Some coals stolen from the depths of Hades to keep you warm
    (Omg but don’t bring candles!! They are very much not allowed in dorms!)


We know this list may sound daunting, particularly if you’re not sure if all this stuff fits in your budget. Like we’ve mentioned, layering up is a great way to maximize use out of what you already have, without spending a ton on new winter gear. Also, if you are a low-income student, you may be able to get some funds from LIFTFAR to help you with the purchase of winter gear, such as a good winter coat or boots.

Me (Isabel) and my buddies from my freshman hall in apartment 42 built a snow-idol to our beloved home


My (Blien’s) buddies out in the snow. Even if you asked them today, they don’t believe they did anything wrong.

Ultimately, if you want to navigate out in the snow, we recommend covering up. So, don’t be like Kaito (number 3). Or be like Shreya (number 2), except with full-length pants. But the real winner of that photo is Margaret (number 1), no bare feet, long pants, a jacket, and a warm head!

Also keep in mind that fall break is in the middle of October, so if you envision yourself going home for that week, you can leave your heavy coats and snow boots at home. You can save space in your suitcase by just bringing a mid-weight jacket and maybe gloves, and then bringing more when you return from fall break. Just remember that whatever you bring to college, you’re ultimately going to need to pack up again at the end of the year. The winters are cold, but classrooms tend to be warm. So you might find that layering what you already have is sufficient enough.


Have any questions? Email Blien and Isabel at Also, follow us on Snapchat @FYsquirrel or on Instagram @hc_studentlifeoffice for fun posts and important updates/reminders!