'Occupy' protesters seek winter shelter

A man associated with the 'Occupy Wall Street' movement tries to keep warm in Zuccotti Park in the Financial District near Wall Street on Oct. 31, 2011 in New York City.

Kai Ryssdal: According to the National Weather Service, the low temperature this morning in New York's Central Park -- that's about as close as we could get to the Occupy Wall Street encampment downtown -- was a relatively magnificent 54 degrees.

Nothin' for a group that made it through that big snowstorm a couple of weeks ago. But it's going to get colder -- lots colder. So we sent Sally Herships to find out how the 99 percent winterizes itself.


Sally Herships: It's balmy today in Zuccotti Park. But with memories of that freak snowstorm still fresh, protesters are already preparing for winter. Kyle Kobe is an organizer there.

Kyle Kobe: I honestly think it's going to thin out a little bit. I think there's going to be a lot of people who can't really handle it.

But they're trying. Urban campers are putting wooden palettes under their tents. It will insulate then from the cold, wet winter ground. Some are even bringing in military-grade shelters.

Lorie Karnath, president of The Explorers Club, says nothing is more important than being prepared -- which can mean different things to different people.

Lorie Karnath: What you find in extreme conditions is that you spend a lot of time inside your tent, so good reading material is always important.

Some of the protesters' gear has come from Manhattan retailer Tents and Trails. Jamie Abish is one of the owners. Her advice:

Jamie Abish: Don't forget your hats, socks and gloves. I personally like two layers, but if you're just standing around protesting, I guess, one layer will be fine, a good thick pair of socks.

But winter weather gear can be pricey. So Abish says the protesters have been turning to plastic. Not their credit cards, but to the material -- buying lesser quality clothes and gear. She says it won't last, but shoppers are trying to be budget conscious. And not just the 99 percenters.

Abish: The 1 percenters are just as careful about their money -- that's why they're still 1 percenters.

Extra cash to keep you warm.

In New York, I'm Sally Herships for Marketplace.

About the author

Sally Herships is a regular contributor to Marketplace.

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