Tag Archives: snow

Christmas in Minnesota

Guest Post by SK Brand Ambassador, Joe Whitson

A Winter Lake in Minnesota

After a reluctant arrival, winter in Minnesota is finally beginning to take hold. The rough waters of our 10,000 lakes are slowly, slowly freezing over, exchanging their ripples and waves for icy crystals, spider webbing their way across the surface in endlessly complex patterns. Nature has replaced her faded greens and grays, lovely in November, but out of style in December, for a new coat of unblemished snow. In winter, the stars seem crisper and even the sun herself celebrates the season, rewarding early risers with her sundog, the multi-hued ring she wears on only the coldest and clearest mornings.

Winter in Minnesota

It might sound cliché, but in winter, the world truly is transformed. Of course, every season brings change, but the changes of other seasons speak to growth and progress, always looking forward. In winter, the alterations seem more foundational, more primal; it looks back, a time of reflection and heritage. Colors are simple and honest; sound is subdued beneath the snow. When I walk through the knee-high snow drifts of one of Minnesota’s evergreen forests, the heavy boughs drooping threateningly above my head, my breath drifting out in miniature white clouds, the sound of the sudden crack of ice as it expands in one of the nearby lakes, thoughts of the future are set aside and nostalgia is allowed to run free.

A Winter Trail in Minnesota

I know what you’re thinking, it’s easy to romantically philosophize about the season when you’re sitting peacefully by a fire watching the flurries come down outside, but the realities of winter often make it hard to appreciate. For my sister, trying to survive winter with two toddlers can be far from magical. Every errand is a lesson in patience as gloves and hats and boot and coats are put on and taken off and lost and found. Every icy sidewalk is a potential fall and every icy road a potential accident. Every outdoor task that is hard enough with two babies in the summer, becomes something to be dreaded in the winter. You don’t think about the lightly shrouded fir trees, you think about the painfully frigid wind and hope your daughter’s nose won’t freeze.

Peninsula Cap, Urban Workpack and Tough Mitts from Stormy Kromer

This year for Christmas, I wanted to give my sister the gift of seeing winter as it should be seen. I wanted her to look back, to rediscover the magic winter holds for all of us before the realities of life gets in the way. The question was how to translate an experience, a way of seeing the world into a concrete gift. I decided on a Stormy Kromer Christmas. Stormy Kromer is a heritage brand from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula that I know values winter the same way I do. There is just something about wool and flannel that jump starts winter nostalgia. My sister will be getting the new Peninsula cap, a pair of wool Tough Mitts, and an Urban Workpack. I also threw in a Minnesota State Park pass for good measure. But of course, the real gift isn’t about the gear, it’s about the experience, so the gift also includes a January trip to wintry woods north of Lake Superior, hosted by yours truly. The kids can stay home with dad.

So this winter, get outside, rediscover the season and from all of us at Stormy Kromer, have the happiest of holidays.

2015 Gift Guides: Baby It’s Cold Outside

When Old Man Winter brings his worst, Stormy Kromer has gear to keep you covered. Check out these great gift ideas for those brave souls for whom winter is their favorite season.

The Rancher Cap – $49.99

Rancher Cap

The Rancher is a seriously warm cap for seriously cold conditions – over four times warmer than the Original. We make it with our premium wool/nylon blend, then line it with 200 gram Thinsulate® to ramp up the heat. To that we add two extra inches of fleece-filled comfort on the earband, creating the mother of all head protection systems. In Red/Black Plaid (shown), Blaze, Black, Charcoal and Olive.

The Mackinaw Coat – $279.99-$299.99

Mackinaw Coat

Our ultra-durable, 26 oz., virgin-wool coat protects you from the elements while wrapping you in the warmth of over 100 years of hand-stitched heritage. In Olive (shown), Charcoal and Red/Black Plaid.

Tough Mitts – $59.99
Ida’s Mittens – $49.99

Men's and Women's Mitts

Our product development tried to prototype a new mitten with even more added warmth. Guess what they found out? There was much difference between the high-tech materials and nature’s finest – wool and goatskin. Time and time again, serious winter outdoors people tell us these are the warmest mittens they’ve ever owned. In two colors for the men; five for the ladies.

The Ironton Vest – $179.99

Ironton Vest

Okay, so it’s not as warm as the Mackinaw Coat – but – the Ironton is definitely our warmest vest. Made with a tough waxed cotton exterior, lined with soft polyester and filled with high loft fill, this quilted vest is great for those cold weather working days. Dark Tan shown; also available in Black.

Snow Diary: November 20, 2014

frontdoorCan you believe it’s a month before the first day of winter?

While we aren’t as buried as the folks over near Buffalo, New York, the western end of the Upper Peninsula as been fairly well hit with lake effect snow in the past 10 days.

It’s not even Thanksgiving and the local schools have had 2+ snow days. This morning, the temperature is in the single digits, and we’ve already had a few subzero overnight temps.

So while the calendar tells us Winter doesn’t officially start until December 21st, we know otherwise.

One of our factory buildings, a metal building with a fairly flat roof, needs its roof shoveled during the winter. Usually once, and usually around the first of the year.

Our crew is already out there today, snow scoops in hand, making sure are building and our employees are safe. Check out the photos below. We even had a little fun with a panoramic shot.

What’s the snow situation where you live?





















The first day of spring (theoretically)

According to my calendar, it’s the first day of spring.

According to this photo, it is not.

This photo was taken just minutes ago looking out one of the windows in our breakroom. That’s snow you see, built up and blocking most of the window.  To be fair, some of it is from drifts and some may be from the last time we shoveled the roof, but nevertheless, there is that much snow piled up on the side of our building.  On March 20.

Here’s a few more photos I snapped this afternoon:

When you live in an area called Big Snow Country and work for a company like Stormy Kromer, you end up having very mixed feelings about snow in March.

  • Positive:  People still need to buy warm winter clothing this late in the season, which is great for sales!
  • Negative:  At this point, we’re all kind of sick of wearing our warm winter clothing. Except our Kromers, of course (we’re never sick of them), but we would be okay with switching to a lighter version, such as the Waxed Cotton or Field Cap.  We’re definitely ready to put the Ranchers away for a few months.
  • Positive: We can still participate in fun, cold-weather activities such as downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing and snowmobiling.
  • Negative:  We still have to participate in not-so-fun cold-weather activities such as shoveling and plowing.
  • Positive: When the sun shines and sparkles on the white snow, it’s like living in a snow globe.  It’s beautiful.
  • Negative:  When the sun does make it’s way out from behind the near-constant cloud cover, it’s shining on the March variety of snow – the dirty, muddy variety.

All kidding aside, we do love winter.  We wouldn’t be who we are without it.  And so, with the official first day of spring, at least theoretically we bid a fond farewell to our favorite season.

So, what do you think about this year’s lingering winter?