With all of the normal winter holidays curbed by the pandemic and an unusually cold winter hitting most of the country, it has been tough to socialize with anyone not in our pod the past few months. You can't eat or hang out outside because it's freezing cold (or you might get memed for dining outdoors in the snow). You can't get together inside because it really just isn't safe yet. This is enough to make anyone go a little bit nuts.
With some parts of the US seeing warmer temperatures this week, some were finally able to get some sunshine and attempt to make plans for some outdoor hangs. But just because it isn't 20 degrees anymore doesn't mean it is time to break out the camp collars and breezy shorts. We still have more than 20 days of winter left — so don't put that down jacket away just yet, lest you forget how cold a 40-degree night can be when you're sitting still. If you don't have one, now is a good time to find one on sale.
If you've never really hosted before, want to add to your current backyard setup, or are looking to pick up some wardrobe pieces to keep you warm when you're braving cooler nights, we've got a list of ideas to get you started. As always, remember to stay safe.
These gloves are ultra-warm and versatile — they're just as good at holding a beer as they are a ski pole.
This is our pick for the best down jacket you can buy, so seriously, just get this.
Still looking for a parka? This is the Smart Spend pick in our parka guide.
Merino wool is good year-round, thanks to its thermoregulating properties, but it does some of its best work in the winter. Wool socks are a must-have.
These are not only for sledding, shoveling snow and keeping dry — they'll keep your toes from going numb when you're trying to catch up with your buddies.
These toasty clogs are surprisingly good house shoes and also work for hanging out in the backyard.
Your ears and head need to be protected in order for you to stay warm. This Carhartt beanie is stylish and easy to wear, but any beanie will do the trick.
A neck gaiter is a perfect piece to warm a part of your body that is usually vulnerable to the cold. Plus, it can double as a mask for outdoor hanging.
Uniqlo's Heattech base layers are going to save you when you're hanging out outside and not really moving around. They've got to be the best bang-for-your-buck base layers out there.
If you've got an outdoor space, a patio heater is a must-have for entertaining.
This is an excellent pick for smaller outdoor spaces or as a secondary heater.
This is one of our favorite fire pits. Its unique airflow technology keeps smoke out of your face if you're huddled close.
String lights give any space a nice je ne sais quoi
Keeping blankets around is a no-brainer, so pick up a durable insulated blanket like this one from Rumpl.
Pick up a few insulated mugs to keep for your guests or pick one out for yourself that you can take everywhere.
Hot hands (and toes) are a godsend when temperatures drop.