My Perspective on Extreme Hot vs Extreme Cold

Growing up in the North, I got my fair share of cold. Extreme cold temperatures were a way of life up there, especially in the dead of winter. Since I’ve moved to Texas, I’ve realized there are extreme temperatures, but in the other direction. When it comes to taking the extremely hot temperatures of Texas versus the extremely cold temperatures of Wisconsin, I’ll take the extreme cold.

In just daily life and also with my travels, I’ve encountered temperatures and weather extremes at both ends of the spectrum. Whether it be blizzards or hurricanes, I’ve experienced it. Whether it be -20F\-29C in Wisconsin or the oven Texas can be with temperatures well above 100F\38C, I’ve experienced it.

While I’ve found myself now acclimating to both extremes well enough, I can say I’m way more built for the cold. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I spent the first 25 years of my life in it, or my genetics are just in favor of colder temperatures, but I can easily grow out a beard and in general, my body just seems more ready for the cold.

I remember when I first moved to Austin in May 2014, it was the first week that temperatures were consistently hitting 90F\32C everyday. I was sweating bullets. As fast as I was drinking water, I was sweating it back out. This was miserable for a while, but as time went on 90F\32C didn’t feel so bad. Now, I don’t even think about things until it’s hitting the high 90’s Fahrenheit\mid 30’s Celsius.

While I will personally say I am built for the cold, people in Texas think the same way. They actually use me as a barometer for how cold it is. “Cody is putting on long pants and a jacket! It must be cold!” I mean on the rare occasion it did actually snow here, I was still walking around in shorts with a light jacket.

People in Texas will ask me how do people survive the cold up North. It’s kind of funny because people in Wisconsin will ask the same thing, but about the heat. In reality, you pretty much do the same things. In extreme cold, you stay inside and if you do venture out, you beeline to your car, crank the heat, and try to find the closest parking spot at your destination to minimize your walk. In extreme heat, you stay inside but if you do venture out, you beeline to your car, crank the air conditioning, and find a parking spot under a tree to minimize to sun adding more heat to the car. It’s pretty much exactly the same!

From a purely logical standpoint, cold seems a lot more survivable to me. If you get cold, put on more layers. You can always add more layers with cold, but there’s only so many layers you can take off with heat. If the power goes out at home, you can bundle up and light a fire (outside) if you really needed to stay warm. With extreme heat, your air conditioning or even fans won’t function. You could chug water and sit in the bathtub to keep cool, but that’s not as practical as bundling up and starting a fire.

Now I’ve heard the argument, “You can’t shovel heat and you don’t slip and fall on heat.” Trust me, I know all about shoveling snow and how easy it is to break your leg falling on ice. The main thing is being careful and staying put. Just like people in Texas don’t venture out when it gets extremely hot, people in Wisconsin tend to stay indoors when it gets cold. It’s really about manageability of each extreme.

I’ll eventually blog in my travel tips about how to deal with both, but in my opinion, it’s much easier to manage the extreme cold versus the extreme hot. I’m sure other people will have different opinions on this. It’s really just a matter of what you’re more accustomed to as the weather differences between the North and South are pretty much worlds apart.

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