Are you well-heeled to brave the cold chilly and frigid weather of the polar vortex?
In life there are a few things worth a fortune. There are some people who may prefer an iPhone, maybe a warm winter holiday, a SUV, a holiday house etc. But there’s something which means more than a buck — a puffy parka. If you live in North America, let’s say in Canada, specifically Toronto — this is true to other Canadian cities — during the festive season, there’s always a new sheriff in town — Canada Goose jackets, shells, coats, pants, bibs, gloves, mittens & hat. The king of them all is the Canadian goose parka which seems to cost a fortune of this so-dear brand of cold-season clothes.
Christmas, one of the most enjoyed festivities in Canada happens in winter giving Canadians and other holiday-makers an opportunity to enjoy festive outdoor activities during the winter, but only the snowbirds who have deep pockets can afford to enjoy these activities sporting this expensive brand. Not it’s not expensive, but it’s made in Canada.
It’s a stylish brand which is so fashionable, durable parka made of high quality goose down which is sourced Canadian Hutterite farmers. The parka comes along with a hood made from coyote fur which is removable hence worth the investment.
Goose flocking in one feather…
This recognizable brand is one may seem to be idolized by the wealthy, but the lifetime warranty speaks a lot for the brand. It shows that it’s worth every penny that you pay for this down costing about $700 + every cold season and rapidly expanding in market and sales.
This website’s history as based on people who gamble, win money, and then spending all of their money on Canada Gooses Coats, because well… I’m thinking they are expensive. I’m not 100% sure, I’ve never had one.
But anyways, now this website has a lot more interesting posts on how to keep warm during cold weather, such as during winter in Canada, as well as sharing personal experiences of people who have experienced cold environments.
My girlfriend, Petra loves traveling and adventure while I love skiing so during the last winter, I figured out what would work for both of us, a trip to the Territories. Well, Petra doesn’t have half the interest I have in skiing but she loves watching me do it. Better still she had recently just asked me to help her improve her skiing skills. Northern Canada was definitely a perfect platform for this. Saying I was excited by the thought of teaching someone I love something I love, just the two of us, away from home is an understatement. I couldn’t wait.
When Petra and I finally landed in the Yellowknife Airport by noon, the abnormally chilly weather was the first thing we noted. By then we still had no idea how much colder it would become by dusk. Neither of us had been in Canada before. We hopped into a taxi and booked a hotel room in the city of Yellowknife but we were too anxious to waste any minute indoors, so we chose to take a walk around the city. The new surrounding was amazing and with too many beautiful sites, the time quickly passed by. It was already sunset!
Back to the hotel we chatted about our experience so far over dinner. Although we had our sweaters on, we both shivered, a little at first and then it increased steadily until it was unbearable. Yellowknife can get dangerously cold. We had to leave the dinner midway to add more layers of clothes. Then an idea struck me that we could derive warmth from one another. I conveyed my idea to Petra by action, grabbed her waist and planted a French kiss in her mouth and she kissed back. If only I knew the the trouble that was to follow, I could have stopped there and then but I didn’t so I went on.
We peeled off all the layers of cloths we had on, dropping them onto the ground in turn. It is needless to narrate the happenings that followed, except the one that I have lived to regret to date. I was freezing. We both were, but I couldn’t even point my pistol if you know what I mean. Having no better option, we wore all the sweaters we carried and slid under double duvets, with an embarrassing silence. Given the mindset we already had, all we could do was to stare at each other, craving an ‘impossible’ intimacy.
The next morning, long before sunrise, I woke up and walked up to the window to see what it was like outside. Snow was everywhere, with the white color exaggerated by the moonlight. I could spot several open shops and a kid was skiing right outside! I woke Petra. It was time to make up for the previous night’s memories. I asked if she wanted to watch me ski and attend her lesson one in my skiing class which she answered in the affirmative. So we wore all the sweaters we carried as we did the previous night, picked the snow boards and headed outside.
Oh boy! I bet the temperature was far into the negative side of the number line. We both saw an open winter clothes store right across the streets almost simultaneously, turned to give each other a suggestive look then headed there without uttering a word. Even talking was a problem. The seller noted we were visitors to the city given what we wore. We bought and immediately changed to the fur jackets, head wear and winter boots as we got set to get to the crux of the trip.
I enjoyed skiing and I bet Petra enjoyed it too given the jolly face she wore all through. It was amazing how we could ski just anywhere. For a moment I wished I were a permanent Canadian resident. I hated to think that this trip would soon be over and we would soon board two successive planes back to Ohio.
When we finally returned to our home country, I noted that Petra appeared to have shed some pounds. So I intentionally led her through my buddy’s place where I usually got weighed and suggested we get weighed, as if it happened spontaneously. It turned out I was right, Petra had dropped four pounds. What I did not know is the fact that I had lost five myself! It was then that I faintly recalled some biological principles I learned in the eighth grade about how very low temperatures trigger the burning of calories hence weight loss. So we had been on a weight loss trip as well, unwittingly.
Survival Tips I Learnt to Help Stay Warm During Winter
It’s cold. Freaking cold! All the joints of my bones seem frozen. I look at my roommate and wonder how the hell he’s seems to enjoy this winter weather and wonder how in the world God created such people to cope with this weather.
Anyway on my arrival here in Canada, specifically at the University of Alberta, North campus which is located on the southern banks of the North Saskatchewan River, I felt so glad about the whole scholarship thing but never expected that it would get to a time like this, especially during exam time when the temperatures would plummet so down, at times below -10 degrees, something that I’m never used to.
Okay I come from Africa where there’s no bothering cold as it’s here during winter. Actually, down there in Africa we enjoy almost a year all round of good sunshine and warm seasons and whenever I heard about snow, I thought it is the best thing which happens to those living in snowy regions. Initially during my earlier days when I arrived in Canada, which started during fall, I felt as a tourist.
Although there was this anxiety and elation which seemed to carry me away from the world, I enjoyed all the new and strange feeling of this place. Of course I was really excited by the new adventures though I must admit that at times the new culture brought about by the being at this place was kind of disorienting and depressing despite the fact that it presented a new dimension of independence and freedom that I was not used to.
I really felt like a tourist walking down the streets and when interacting with new people of a different race who filled the whole space of this ‘new heaven’. They were kind, hospitable and willing to help — still they are. But all that seem to be a past and now this strange weather is sending to my grave. Christmas is on the corner but I don’t see how it’s going to be enjoyable.
Deep inside, I know that I’m strong-willed. I know that I’m a survivor and what I need do is to survive, especially during the exams as I look forward for the festive break where I feel that I must do some exploring of this country. This means going out and partaking in some outdoor activities. But certainly not in this weather. Having thought hard and researched, I came out with these tips which I hope will help any other African who’s yet to adapt to the cold of this place and shares my views of enjoying the festive outdoors.
If you really want to go out during winter you will need to bundle up. Here they call it layering. Generally it encompasses the wearing of multiple layers of clothes all with different reason but work out as a unit to insulate the body from heat loss while ensuring that body heat is retained. The clothes that you choose to wear should be fitting and of the right size to prevent the air in the body from escaping hence retaining the heat within the skin.
This may typically mean that I will have to dress appropriately according to the weather. It’s important that you check with the local meteorological department about the state of the weather before going out so that you can determine what to wear. The key is always to wear water-proof attire because if your clothes get wet from the snow, rain or freezing hailstorm, the moisture will have to evaporate away from your clothes making them cool hence making you feel colder.
It also means that I will have to wear layers that don’t make me sweat. Otherwise the same effect as stated will make me feel cold. Else the outer clothes normally referred to as the shell need to be waterproof since I know that weathers can change really fast with no warning. When I talk about waterproof clothes I also include the boots, mitten, hat, head scarf and gloves.
Pack warm food
This goes without saying. You can’t drink a chilled beer when it’s snowing. If you know that you are going out, then it’s paramount that you pack some warm beverages, may be hot coffee in a thermos or hot soup. Warm food will work wonders at ensuring that your body gets warm once you take them.
It goes without saying that an active person will be warmer than a dormant one. If you decide in taking part in outdoor activities during winter, then be ready for activities which require moving around and not being in one spot. This will help the body generate some heat.
These are some dressing tips that I’ve found proven to work in maintain warm temperatures though I admit that they are not conclusive. I hope that you find this post resourceful as you enjoy your short winter holiday.
Misconceptions about winter dressing
During cold seasons such as winters, it pays a lot to dress correctly so that you can be able to avoid the implications which come about due to the cold. Among the things that you need to put into consideration is the mode of dressing especially when outdoors. This calls for proper planning of the outfits which help keep your body warm as well as help your body retain heat.
However, there are several misconceptions and myths that many people hold towards the mode of winter dressing which is perfect. Let’s examine the most common ones.
Perfect dressing helps avoid diseases related to the cold — Wrong
Most infections such as common cold or flu may seem related to the cold environment but as a matter of facts they are not. What happens is that cold weather help precipitate the infections but otherwise even during warm weather its common for these and other cold diseases to affect people. For instance there are over 200 viruses which cause common cold and they can invade a person during any season, cold or warm, and bring about an infection.
Men and women lose heat at the same amount — Wrong
There’s a variation in the degree of temperature between men and women and they don’t feel cold at the same temperature. Women tend to lose heat faster than men. This is because the external temperature at which male and female bodies begin heat conservation varies by about 3 degrees.
Taking drugs or alcohols will make you feel warmer — Wrong
Actually, drugs or alcohol will make you lose heat faster and feel colder faster. What happens when you take alcohol is that your blood rushes to the skin and this makes you feel warmer temporarily. A problem arises when your blood vessels dilate due to the alcohol or drugs and since they have brought so near to the skin’s surface, then heat will be lost at a faster rate.
Clothes made from Synthetic fur are as good as real fur — Wrong
Real animal fur helps provide the best insulation than fake fur would do. Thinks of how some animals survive in the cold weather such as the bears or coyotes. It’s because their fur can provide them with the necessary insulation against cold weathers. That’s why brands like Canada Goose parkas sell a lot. They are made from real animal fur hence good at retaining body heat as well as providing the necessary insulation against cold weathers.
Cotton is a good insulator from the cold weathers — Wrong
Cotton is a good fabric but not in cold and damp environments. When cotton gets damp or wet, it’s known to conduct heat away from the body of a person more than any other fabric would do. This means even perspiration or snow can make cotton to work against your desire on the cold environments.
Therefore you will have to know how correctly and perfectly you need to dress during the cold seasons if at all you want to keep warm without falling for these or any other myths about dressing in the cold weathers.
How to Perfectly Layer Clothes During Cold Weathers
On those cold winter days it’s essential to know how to choose the right winter clothes. Layering wrongly to the cold weathers will leave you cold, miserable and feeling exposed to harsh environments. You want you body to feel and be warm whether you are at home or you are outdoors partaking an activity such as winter skiing.
Layering your clothes properly can help you keep warmth, dry and comfortable during cold weather. It allows you add or remove layers depending on the conditions i.e. hot or cold. However during cold seasons you will put a lot of layers to keep you warm.
Basically layering comes in three forms:
- Base layer
- Outer layer
1) Base layer
Base layer is needed for the management of heat and moisture of the body. It helps in ensuring that the body’s heat is at optimal but more importantly this layer helps in absorbing any sweat or moisture to which the skin is exposed to.
This one is worn next to the skin and keeps the body warm. They also help in wicking sweat from the skin so as to regulate body temperatures. When choosing the base layer during cold weathers avoid wearing cotton material. This is because it makes you sweat and once you sweat your body becomes wet and thus draws heat out of the body leaving you feeling cold
The mid-layer helps in insulation of the body’s heat by trapping the warm air close to your skin so that it doesn’t escape hence the body retains the warm status.
This one is worn next to base layer and is used to trap warmth generated by the body. In cold weather it’s good to wear insulated jackets made of wool because it a good natural fiber like merino wool sweaters and shirts are excellent insulators.
3) Outer layer
This is the protective layer worn outside. It protect the body and skin from external cold air, snow or rain hence the body can keep warm because there’s no external interference from cold environs. For example waterproof jacket in the rain will protect you from being rained on. There will be no entry of water which otherwise would have kept you cold but instead you will have a chance of remaining warm. During cold weathers it’s good to wear them in case of chilly showers and hence this prevents water vapor from reaching the body.
Finally you can wear water-resistant shells. This helps shed water away and is not absorbed in the fabric.
How to Dress Warmly During Cold Weathers
There are places like in the North America where it can get extremely cold, with temperatures going below during winter and thus a person is expected to dress warmly. This guide consists of tips for dressing to help those living such cold places.
Layering is a great tip to help a person retain body heat. It entails of wearing of layer clothes as extra clothes so that your body can keep warm. This is a practice which is most preferable when you know that you will get out in the colds or when you might be having outdoor activities.
Wear a head scarf
Protecting your head from the cold can help retain heat and this is best achieved by wearing a head scarf which might be accessorized by a hat. When you are going out, it’s best to wear a scarf or earmuff to prevent loss of heat through your head and neck.
Wear heavy coats
You will realize that most fashion coats are never meant to protect you from cold weather and therefore it’s advisable to put fashion aside and go for a warm and heavy coat with a heavy lining and a thick outer material.
If you want to prevent your hands from freezing, you should wear gloves. The best type that you should go for is fingerless gloves which help at keeping your fingers intact and all warm. This accessory needs to be a bit heavy so that it retains the body heat.
Jackets should not be confused with coats because they can both be worn together. As part of layering, you could add a sweater inside the jacket so that you can maximize heat retention in your body.
Boots are great fashion accessories which can help a person keep warm. They are most in snowy areas but there purpose should be to keep your legs warm. It’s also advisable to wear leggings under you jeans to help prevent heat loss.