It feels like we are getting the same questions over and over about how to deal with cold weather.

It seems to me that cold weather in one place is pretty much the same as cold weather in another place (humidity notwithstanding). The solutions are always the same anyway. So I would like to propose that from now on, any new question asking about what to wear in the cold is closed as a duplicate, regardless of if it's in Russia or Argentina.

On top of that, I'm not even sure I agree that this is a travel-related topic. Dealing with the cold and the effects of it is something that is not confined to travellers, or is even a mostly-traveller-specific problem.

On the one hand, I'm not sure where else such questions could go. But on the other, the fact that I can post a question about dealing with the cold in the place that I live without mentioning travelling at all, and have it be on topic, is a problem to me.

  • I think the Chicago and Tbilisi ones are the less good ones, but because the others are more canonical. Perhaps these questions can have two aspects 1. What weather conditions can I expect in ABC? and 2. What clothing would I need for weather conditions XYZ? Commented Dec 9, 2011 at 8:50
  • @hippietrail "I can post a question about X in the place that I live without mentioning travelling at all". This is a general issue for this site - most places are home to someone. My questions about the Maldives might seem dull if you lived all your life there.
    – WW.
    Commented Jan 13, 2012 at 11:25
  • I totally agree, but it's what Jeff and/or Joel specifically says. Tricky balancing act for us... Commented Jan 13, 2012 at 12:05

3 Answers 3


I agree on the point that we have more than enough "cold weather" questions, and unless something very specific comes up, we shouldn't allow more of these.

However, I don't agree that they are not travel-related. If I'm living in tropics and decide to visit my aunt in Anchorage, then I'll definitely want to know what to buy, since I might not even have seen snow up to that point. It's quite different for people who live in cooler climate, which mostly know how to deal with this.

Buying appropriate clothing is related to travel preparation and planning, and I think it's very much on topic. The fact that it is also a valid question for non-travellers is just a harmless side effect.


I think we should read the content of the question to see if anything is specific and different. We have closed at least one such question as a duplicate already because it was too close.

But just last week I found the existing answers didn't cover what I needed to know so I asked a new question just about gloves and moisturizer.

I think we have a couple of great canonical answers now so we can quite possibly close as dupe many new questions if those answers cover it, possibly tweaking the older answers and their original questions to broaden them.

But sometimes a question will cover some overlooked aspect, like wind or humidity or precipitation, or something I don't know and it will warrant a new answer that itself may become canonical.

And other times the best way might be to do a bit of both. Like tell them what the weather will be like in the place they ask about and then say "so for this type of weather see this other question for what clothing is best".


There is a sunscreen question also, from someone going to a much more sunny place. And I think something about hiking boots? Equipment questions in general are a challenge. We don't want shopping questions, and I haven't seen a lot of "what makes a good suitcase?" questions. Perhaps we tag the cold and the sunscreen and the hiking boots and the suitcase all to facilitate ignoring by folks who find those questions repetitive?

As someone who lives in a really cold place I do know that people visiting here are far more likely to need help - good solid information and pictures and links - to be ready for how really cold it can be. The problem with trying to provide that help is that in many cases you can't buy the items you need where you live. And they aren't sold at the airport here either! All that makes the pre-asking and the getting great answers a little less useful.

  • We have had the gear tag for equipment for some months, invented by Dori, one of the SE people. It's description: Equipment, devices, and more—if you pack it, it's travel gear. Commented Dec 9, 2011 at 13:53

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