Winter Farm Gear Essentials
A note! I made this list with lady farmers and homesteaders in mind. My links are all to women’s clothes, and maybe you’ll find it helpful to see the women’s workwear and boots I recommend, since good women’s gear can be hard to find.
Are you geared up for winter on the farm? The correct clothing choices for a farmer aren’t just fashion. They make the difference in comfort, protection, and mobility. A farmer who is comfortable in subzero temperatures is more likely to spend the necessary time with their livestock and be more focused, able to pick up on any issues his or her animals have. Protection is key to your health when things are frost-bite cold, and mobility is easy to lose when piling on layers.
Here are some of my must-have for homestead life in the winter time...
A note on brands:
I recommend Carhartt unless otherwise noted, and the links I’m providing are mostly to Carhartt gear. For me Carhartt runs the perfect line between price and durability. When farm gear is extra-expensive, I am hesitant to wear it during dirty daily tasks or around nibbly animals like goats and pigs. When farm gear is cheap, it won’t offer you any of the above requirements (comfort, protection, mobility), which makes it more of a waste of money than expensive clothes.
That being said, while I recommend Carhartt, if you have a preferred brand that you love, go for it. My focus in this post is on the type of gear, not the brand name.
I love myself a good pair of coveralls! I have been referred to as the woman in overalls before. I like to have at least two pairs of overalls, one lightweight for summer wearing and one heavy for winter wear. And since we’re talking winter here, my recommendation is the Full Swing Cryder Bib Overalls from Carhartt.
I wear these every day from September through May, and have for three years now. They are warm and fit easily over other clothing (the zippered pants mean you can layer up underneath with ease). They are super water resistant, which is key in the mud and muck of spring. And they withstand most farm hazards, as shown by mine still being in one piece three years later. I could wear my overalls all day — and that’s the idea!
I prefer overalls to coveralls — that’s just me! I can understand how coveralls would be warmer, however. Carhartt does make the same kind of insulated, tough wear in a coverall, the Yukon Extreme Insulated Coveralls. And, they’re certainly known for their daily tough workwear overalls, although those traditional unlined overalls may not provide as much warm winter insulation.
Good farm jacket
A good jacket is key. You just can’t have a jacket that the wind whips through, it’s a miserable experience. I wear Carhartt’s Weathered Wildwood Jacket. Why did I pick this one for daily farm wear? It’s warm as can be, and tough. The rib-knit cuffs and bottom band mean no hay down my sleeves or wind sneaking up. It has plenty of pockets for whatever farm life throws at you, most of them can be closed against the elements, and the hood is big and warm.
Even more than other winter gear, there are a TON of jackets out there. Just make sure what you get for winter is more and durable, designed for hard wear (no down jackets here!) and long hours in the cold.
I have a lot of experience with different farm boots, unfortunately. At the end of the day, I recommend farming with one pair of workboots for rough farm work, boots that are durable and steel toed; and one pair of winter boots that are rated for sub-zero temperatures. Baring that, prioritize those subzero boots if you farm anywhere that it gets cold!
I won’t go in to why I don’t recommend other brands, but I will say I highly recommend Bogs Whiteout Woven Boots. They’re tough, they have excellent grip, they’re incredibly warm but still breathable, and no water gets in. Plus, they are pretty fashionable!
Boots are one of the first things to get when preparing yourself for winter. If your feet are cold, it doesn’t really matter how warm the rest of you is, you’ll be miserable.
With gloves, I select for durability over warmth. I’ll slip my hands in my pockets when I’m not using them, or just have cold fingers, rather than sacrifice any toughness. In fact, the gloves are off many times around the farm, and are really only critical for when I want to protect my hands gathering firewood, shoveling snow, carrying water buckets, or dealing with the wood stove.
I don’t have a recommendation for a specific glove, but I consider two things primarily. A rib knit cuff so that my gloves don’t fill up with hay, and at least a certain degree of fire resistance (which usually translates into overall durability).
Easy to overlook but very important, a headlamp is very helpful for early morning and late evening chores on the farm. I prefer a style that doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, just headlamp on and headlamp off. That way I know I can count on it when I press the on button. I recommend simply keeping your headlamp plugged in when it is not in use, so you will know it has a full charge when it’s time to go.
What’s the one thing I always ask for for Christmas? More socks! It’s a no brainer, socks keep your feet warm even in less-than-ideal boots, and durable socks make for a comfortable farmer. I recommend Darn Tough and Farm to Feet.
Layering is very important to winter comfort. Even without thick coveralls, you can keep warm if your base layers are warm. Many brands offer durable, warm long johns….but yoga pants are my favorite way to layer. I’m not a yoga-pants wearer most of the time, but they make amazing long johns. This is mostly because they’re made for movement — so you’ll never feel restricted with yoga pants as your base layer.
You can’t forget hats! You have to make sure your ears are covered in cold weather. I have very much found that not all hats are created equal. Carhartt hats stop the wind, and they fit well. The wind will whip right through cheaper hats. The style you prefer is personal preference, but I like a smaller and simpler hat with less for goats to chew on.
There are plenty of other gear options for keeping warm in winter. Facemasks and goggles are helpful in extreme weather, and you should always have a scarf on hand. Hopefully this list will help you get started on the basics so you can have a warm winter on the farm!