Every winter there are thousands of hockey parents across North America who trudge to ice cold arenas to take their kids to practices and games, hoping to stay warm. There’s a much smaller number who do it to help entertain those in the stands along with those on the ice putting themselves in the middle
Every winter there are thousands of hockey parents across North America who trudge to ice cold arenas to take their kids to practices and games, hoping to stay warm. There’s a much smaller number who do it to help entertain those in the stands along with those on the ice putting themselves in the middle of the cold without much chance for reprieve.
How do they deal with the cold? Well, I’ll talk from my own personal vantage point when it comes to announcing hockey. From November through April, there are games, tournaments, and special exhibitions that take place in arenas with a few dozen seats, to a 20,000-seat NHL arena. I’m in all of them at some point.
One of the advantages to having announced in a lot of the arenas that will be hearing my voice again, is that I know what the conditions are going to be like going in so I dress appropriately. For example, Ft. Dupont Ice Arena, home of Gonzaga College High School hockey and the National Capital Hockey Tournament (The Purple Puck) is the coldest rink in the DC area. Some visiting teams from colder climates even note it’s the coldest rink THEY’VE been, including a couple of teams from Canada. I know that I will need layers, upon layers, and some of those thick, along with gloves and a knit hat. You need to cover up at Ft. Dupont.
At Kettler Capitals Iceplex, Ashburn Ice House and Prince William Ice Center, all newer buildings, it’s not as cold, but you still need some underlayers. You can forgo the hat and gloves, but it’s still nice to have a jacket with pockets to keep your hands warm.
When going to a new arena, the best thing to do is to overdress. Figure it’s going to be the coldest arena you’ve ever been in, and then you can take of layers as necessary. In addition to dressing warm, there are some other extras you can carry with you.
This seems fairly common sense, but keep in mind in some situations this is not the best solution to keep you warm. A lot of people will bring small hand heaters but they don’t much good beyond a couple of inches from the heater. Remember, you’re in a mass of cold air and introducing a warm-air device which can cause condensation or create air that is humid. You could also wind up causing a little bit of a breeze when warm air meets cold and you wind up cooling yourself down.
If you do have a heater, put it on the floor so the heat rises. Your extremities are going to get coldest quicker so keeping the heater around your feet will keep them warm.
Not just any gloves, but gloves that are meant for touch devices. This will help with most computer touch pads, all mobile devices, but also these gloves tend to be thinner which makes writing easier. It took me over 10 years to find a pair of gloves I liked, but they’re readily available now. We found some around the holidays at Five Below though they can be found in most popular stores in the section that has gloves.
There are three kinds of hand warmers, electronic, butane, and air-activated. Electronic need to be charged and may not work well in all closed situations since you would want to keep them in your pockets. Butane can also cause issues with fire, so make sure to check all warning labels. Air-activate are the kind that come in pouches, you open and have to shake. Most of these take about 15-30 minutes to properly get warm and you should only open them in a warm area, wait for the hand warmers to get warm, then place in your pockets.
Jacket With Pockets
The jacket you wear is important. You want pockets that allow you to easily place and keep your hands in while you’re working. A comfortable jacket makes it easy to be comfortable while announcing.