Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Cheap, simple neck warmer

ORN: 4 miles, 39:37, R4/W1, 9:49/mile

I'm always on the lookout for ways to stay warm in the winter...preferably without spending much money in the process. And with winter refusing to release it's icy grip on the midwest, I'll share my latest trick.

One of the keys to staying warm is to cover your neck and head. But doing this effectively in a cold wind while running is tough. Often the air just leaks into your jacket, even if you are wearing a tutleneck shirt already.

Several companies sell really neat neck warmers for $8-20. I wondered if I could do better. And an idea hit me.

I stopped by a local discount store and found a generic knit cap on sale for $1.00. Yep, just a buck. I brought it home and proceeded to simply rip out the stitches in the top of the cap. I didn't even try to be too neat with it. I just hacked away. And out they came.

When I was done, I had a knit tube, not a knit cap. I now use it to pull over my head and adjust it up and down around my neck and face depending on how cold it is. I put the ragged edge down, so the finished edge is up around my face. And it works great.

I've found that the simple knit polyester tends to stay put, whether I pull it up over my face or just pull it below my chin or roll it down to a super turtleneck. This is handy, as I can adjust it up when going into the wind and down with the wind at my back. I can also pull it off easily during a run and stick it in my pocket if I'm overheated. This morning was a good example, as I ran into the wind for a couple miles, but then had it to my back on the way home.

If you are in a warm climate, just have a good laugh at us Northerners. But if you are still cold, like I am, try a one dollar solution to stay warmer on those chilly winter runs.



Anne K. said...

Yay! My brother is clever crafter at heart! Seriously, Joe, I would have knit you one myself, but there's no way I could have gotten the stitches that small and windproof. Besides, you wouldn't want all that heavy wool weighing you down. Nice thinking!!! Love you!

Neese said...


Backofpack said...

Very nice Joe. I can't stand to have anything around my neck. I won't wear a turtleneck, though if it is really cold, I'll tuck a scarf around my neck - though never while running. It's entirely possible that it just hasn't been cold enough here. I have a warm shirt that zips up to a mock turtle - I leave that zipper an inch or so open, then zip my jacket or vest all the way up, with the collar standing up. Even that feels a little too confining. Obviously, I have issues!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Joe.... you can submit your idea to the 2007 version of "Hints from Heloise" and maybe you'll win a cute device to hold you shoe laces in place!! Thanks for the chuckle... but no tears tonight.

Your sister, Karen

Unknown said...

I could use this when it gets really cold around here, which isn't too often. Thanks for the tip.

IronWaddler said...

Good idea-hopefully will not need to use it much longer.

David said...

very innovative. I like it.

Jenny, Maniac #401 said...

Very cool and creative. Like a half balaclava. Hopefully it won't unravel too much on the other end, but again, it was only a buck. Otherwise, the crafty person in me would run a stitch along the bottom to keep it from fraying! Good luck! I hope the deep freeze lets up soon!

Unknown said...

You're brilliant!!