This is my second winter as a pedestrian. The first winter was rather miserable, after forgetting my umbrella and with no rain jacket, I was often cold and wet, shivering in the dark under a drizzly sky. No longer a novice, this year I have plans!
1. Easiest to take care of was the dark. I attached two strong bike lights to the front of my backpack so that I can see the path in front of me.
2. Now I use a compact umbrella that fits into a pouch in my backpack so that if I’m caught in the rain, at least my head is covered.
3. Harder was a rain jacket. Most jackets make my feel like a child trying on her mother’s clothes. The sleeves hang past my hands, and the tips reach almost to my knees, it would be comical if was not so frustrating. While browsing at the library’s thrift shop (it raises money for book purchases), I happened across a trench coat marked “Petit”! Now, I’m no stranger to the petit sections in the stores, it’s just that stores who contain petit sections tend to be stupid expensive. I tried it on, and it fit! Wonder of wonders! And for only $25!
4. My half boots from last winter were just not cutting it. This year I found, not only boots that go nearly to my knees, but are “Barefoot Boots” which means their soles are made with minimalistic footwear in mind, so the boots have no heels, weight next to nothing, and are practically like walking barefoot!
5. My cloth backpack, and cloth purse inside, keep getting soaked, the small umbrella doesn’t cover it. I saw a man on the bus use a plastic cover for his backpack. It was no stronger than a trash sack with elastic, but it looked effective. So of course my first thought was: “I could make that!” I bought ¼ yard of waterproof diaper fabric from Joann’s with a 40% off coupon, so my total was under $4. I cut the ¼ yard in half, sewed the two halves together to form a square, sewed a casing around the outer edge, then pushed elastic through it. I tried the new cover out, but as soon as I put my backpack on the cover slipped off, so I added ties and a loop at the top to keep it on, see photo for visual. It works great!
6. Our cart that we use for groceries came with a thin cloth bag that fits inside nicly. However when it rains it gets everything wet. While not the end of the world, it is annoying while trying to put the food away if it’s all dripping wet. So based on the insert that it came with I made one out of the green waterproof diaper fabric from Joann’s. To help with mischievous winds, I made the ends a little longer and weighted them.
I feel much better prepared now!!