Another quick tip that seems obvious, but took me a while to realize.
After many winter outings, my friends and I will get back to the car.
After a day of skiing (or for the poor, lost souls: snowshoeing), the hat and mittens are full of frost, snow and/or moisture.
But I simply reach on the dashboard. I put on a dry and warm hat. I reach for a pair of gloves that I use only when I get back to the trail head.
A warm, dry and “car only” stash for the end of a trip, be it a day outing or a multi-day winter trip, is fantastic. Funny how an ounce or two of fleece, wool or acrylic will make the post-trip drive, coffee stop or meal much more pleasant.
It is something I started doing only perhaps five years ago. Not sure why it took so long to come up with this obvious idea.
(And the winter backpacking equivalent is to have a warm hat for in camp/and or sleeping only along with a spare pair of liner gloves. I use a thicker fleece balaclava as my second winter hat for overnight trips).
So splurge a bit. Spend about $5 for a spare fleece beanie and another $5 for some fleece gloves. A small bit of luxury than can make the post-trips a little more pleasant.