5 tips to stay warm while waiting in line for your Black Friday deals

By Chaffin Mitchell, AccuWeather staff writer


Black Friday is the perfect chance to get an early start on holiday shopping and save money. However, if the cold is deterring you from waiting in line before stores open, there are simple tricks to circumvent the frigid conditions.

Buyers Line Up For Black Friday

(P_Wei/Getty Images)


Start planning before Black Friday, that way you are prepared to wait as long as necessary even if it's early in the morning in cold weather.

Use hand or body warmers

You can purchase warmers at a local convenience or grocery store, and these can keep you warm for up to eight hours.

If you don't want to spend extra money, you can make the warmers yourself. To make them you will need two Ziploc bags, water, and calcium chloride ice melt pellets from a hardware store.

According to Princeton University, hypothermia is most likely to begin in extremities like your hands and feet, so it is best to keep them warm. Put hand warmers in gloves, socks and pockets. Some warmers have adhesive tape so they are able to be applied to your back, neck or stomach.

Add layers to your outfit

Layers are a great option to help keep your body heat from escaping. It is helpful to layer thin to thick, meaning the under layer should be the thinnest garment and the outer the thickest.

However, it's best to avoid wearing a cotton shirt as your first layer. When you wear cotton against your skin, it retains sweat that can then evaporate and cool off your body.

Moisture-wicking clothes worn on your skin help regulate your body temperature by moving perspiration and moisture away from your skin, allowing it to dry quickly.

To keep your legs warm, wear thick leggings or long johns under your pants.

Layers work well because it's easy to take the layers off once you are shopping inside of the store, that way you avoid overheating in the store.

Blankets are also a good idea; however, don't bring ones that will be cumbersome while shopping, unless you have a shopping partner to run them to the car while you hold the spot in line.

Take a thermos with a hot drink

Hot tea is ideal for staying warm outside because the tea can keep you hydrated and also keep your core body temperature at the proper level.

Woman on the phone at nigth

(fotostorm/Getty Images/iStockphoto)


The thermos will keep beverages hot for hours, and you'll be able to put it in your bag while shopping without worrying about leaks.

Make sure the drink doesn't cause you to start sweating, because the sweat could evaporate and cool you off.

Eat, move and stay dry

Fuel up by eating as you will need energy as your body works to stay warm. It is important to keep moving because it generates heat and increases blood flow.

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Dehydration leads to hypothermia and frostbite, so your body needs plenty of water to function properly and maintain proper circulation to your extremities.

Bring a raincoat and umbrella in case it starts to rain or snow while you are waiting in line.

Bring a shopping buddy

It is a good idea to bring a friend along for multiple reasons. You can take turns sitting in the car, if needed, or one person can go get warm coffee, while the other can hold the spot in line, for instance.

It will make the time go by much quicker if you are busy playing games or talking with a friend.

Winter shopping season

(SanyaSM/Getty Images)


It is also safer to have a partner with you if you have to wait outside before the sun comes up.


For more safety and preparedness tips, visit AccuWeather.com/Ready.

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