Reddit has become one of my favorite internet time wasters. It's not as toxic as Twitter, pleasingly less-polished than Instagram, and way more entertaining than Facebook. A recent question in the r/Billings thread had me cracking up. A person from Arizona asked if they would die from the cold while visiting Billings in December. It reads,

Visiting From Phoenix, Will I Die? I’m flying in on the 21st to visit family for Christmas. I have thermals, some jackets I can layer, beanies, gloves, wp hiking boots. I don’t have a lot of natural insulation. Will this be sufficient to keep me alive? I’ve only been to your beautiful state in the summer these will be the coldest temps I’ve ever experienced.

It's easy to brush this question off as trolling. Does anyone really think it's so cold here that you will die within minutes in our harsh winter environment?

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Photo by kaleb tapp on Unsplash
Photo by kaleb tapp on Unsplash

I'll assume the Reddit poster is serious.

We can scoff at others who have never experienced a Montana winter (or Northern Plains/Upper Midwest winter). They can certainly be brutal, but some Montanans claim they actually enjoy winter (gasp!) and all of us know that we're - probably - not going to die from the cold in Billings.

However, imagine for a moment that you were born and raised in the southern desert. You've never been anywhere north in the winter and you rarely experience snow or scraping frozen windshields, snow-packed roads, artic windchill, and daytime highs around 0. It's probably a terrifying thought.


The internet advice was priceless.

Redditors chimed in with varying degrees of helpfulness. One said, "You will definitely die."  Another said, "You’ll be fine. It’s not like people are dropping dead right and left from hyperthermia - only the dumb ones." Most offered legitimate advice like wearing lots of layers, wool socks, warm hats, etc. Another post grabbed the obvious joke that you probably won't freeze to death in Billings, but you might get shot.

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