Disclaimer: I am not a meteorologist. However, as someone who has lived in Canada their entire life and made it through more than 50 winters, I feel well-qualified to write on the subject of how to survive the cold months here. Winter has been on everyone’s mind lately as the eastern seaboard is going through one of the bitterest cold snaps on record.
So, without further ado, here is some advice for those just about to experience their first Canadian winter:
Seems like a no-brainer, right? However, if you are new to this climate, you may not realize just how many layers you need to be comfortable (and functional) when the mercury dips this low. Bulky winter coats are not exactly fashionable, but concerns over appearance tend to quickly fall by the wayside when you can’t feel your fingers or toes.
Gloves and Boots
Speaking of extremities, proper winter boots are a must. These not only keep you warm but also provide the necessary traction so that you don’t end up slipping and falling.
Gloves with the proper insulation are also a must-have. Depending on what you are doing outside, the bulkier the better. However, you may have to compromise some of the warmth if you need a pair that allows you to use your hands with any level of dexterity.
Bigger is better here. Choose one that will fully cover your mouth and nose (don’t worry – you can still breathe!) because inhaling freezing air is not the least bit pleasant. Winter is also hard on the skin, so a good-sized scarf will also keep you from looking all weathered and dried out.
Once again, you won’t find these in any fashion Must Have lists, but they are definitely a must-have in Canada. You will be amazed by just how cold and painful your unprotected ears will feel once subjected to even a few minutes of winter wind. Toques help, but earmuffs seal the deal.
Happy Winter! (Don’t worry – it should be over in only about 3 ½ months)