The 8 Essential Winter Hats of a Yooper
An Upper Peninsula winter can be one of the longest and coldest in North America. It’s snowing or blowing on most winter days. But a Yooper is prepared for every occasion and every blizzard. For every winter condition, for every kind of snowfall, for every temperature, and for social events both formal and informal a Yooper has a perfect hat for the occasion.
Yoopers aren’t in it for fashion and style, but for the functionality and purpose of a hat. That’s what makes each of these one-of-a-kind.
Canvas is your best option in terms of a wildfowl cap. Canvas is very durable making this a great work hat, one you don’t mind getting dirty, and perfect for an all purpose hat if you need to shovel the snow, get wood for the furnace, and other various outdoor winter chores. Though very similar to a Stormy Kromer (below) the wildfowl has a little less class making it more an informal cap.
Across much of the country this basic knit hat is referred to as a “beanie”. However in the Upper Peninsula this is commonly referred to as a “chook” (or chuke) and “toque” (or tuque). There is no doubt that a chook is the most common of winter hats and comes in the most varieties. Some have a ball on the top. Many have sports teams. And they come in a wide array of fabrics, colors, and fits. Chooks are warm, durable, and practical for nearly all scenarios.
In addition to all the tremendous features of the chook, this simple knit hat has the greatest function of any other hat on the list. This hat can save your life! It’s no joke, hunters will tell you just the same. If you wear this hat in the woods there’s no mistaking that you’re NOT the 30-point buck. You can be seen from about 17 miles away with this classic hunter-orange hat. Being seen from 17 miles away could have several other practical functions as well. A must-have for anyone going hunting.
Once again, the traditional knit ski hat has all the great functions of a chook. However, adding a few additional features make it perfect for the ski hill. A braided string at the top to measure how fast you’re going. Ergonomically designed ear coverings designed to avoid frostbite. And optionally you can have two strings (not pictured above) to tie your ski hat to you’re noggin (recommended for beginners who are likely to crash frequently on the hill).
There are several types of packer hats, but this is all about winter hats, and in the winter the only acceptable packer hat is made of wool. A beautiful work of architecture and function, this hat will protect you from pouring sleet or snow. Wool packers are perhaps the best choice of winter hat for a formal occasion such as going to church or a court hearing. But if you need more warmth you may want to choose the…
The coassack is a fabulous choice for formal occasions when the most amount of warmth is needed. It’s nearly as warm as a bomber hat, and yields the highest of class. Cossacks seem to be a favorite among elderly gentlemen, and there is no denying that this hat will give you an appearance of honorable and dignified. The cossack (also known as kozacy, in Polish) is a tradition that comes primarily from the southern regions of Russia.
There is no better hat seen in the Upper Peninsula for blizzards and days that are -20 degrees. If you’re outdoors and need protection from the wind and snow for a long duration of time, there is no other choice than the bomber hat. And if you wear this at any other time you’re going to be sweating bullets.
Perhaps the most famous of Yooper hats the Stormy Kromer has been around since 1903 and has a chance to represent the USA Olympic team at the 2010 Winter Olympics. Though the classic and original Stormy Kromer cap comes in red, they now have a variety of colors from pink to camouflage. Stormy Kromer claims two practical reasons for ear flaps: 1) Sub-zero temperatures and 2) the guy at the end of the bar whining about his 401(k). We’ll leave the rest up to you.
This has been another fine example of “steez” in the Upper Peninsula.
Stay warm out there! And if you ever need another hat there’s one for any need. Don’t worry, if you’re still looking for style we don’t want you “compin’ your steez”, so all of these fine hats come in a variety of styles and colors and are readily available across the Upper Peninsula.
Which hat would be your first choice? Or your last choice for that matter.