Top Ten Winter Essentials

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How prepared are you to survive the Canadian winter?

The Canadian winter is unique in many ways amongst which are its length (December to March in theory but November to April in practice), heavy snow dumps, and biting winter intensity especially in the Prairies (Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba). In these provinces, winter can be very brutal; and this is putting it mildly. Temperatures can drop to as low as -40⁰C on some good days and as bad as -54⁰ on some stormy days.

How can you even begin to comprehend what -40⁰C feels like for those coming from a temperate region like me? This is on top of the wind gust, which makes the temperature even colder. This is an alien experience for most of us. Like my mum asked me once, “how can you go to work in such weather?” Knowledge and preparation are the key!

If this is your first winter, do not panic. For those who have been here for months or years, you would agree with me that every winter feels like a new relationship with the weather especially in the first few weeks. Let’s help you prepare to experience this winter like a pro. Here is a list of 10 items you must have for this special season. Don’t be caught napping!

A warmly-dressed family enjoying some winter activities outdoor

Jacket

If you are tempted to ignore any item on this list, do not even contemplate surviving this weather without a winter jacket. Choose functionality over fashion when getting a jacket to coast through this weather. When making a purchase decision, consider buying a jacket that is full coverage (head, neck, hands, and length should get to the upper thigh at the least), insulated (thick enough to withstand the rigors of -40⁰), waterproof (yes, even in winter it can still rain), and windproof (it can be windy during winter).

Gloves

Your hands need protection from the cold. The gloves would help you prevent frost bites which can be painful and in extreme cases, make you lose your fingers. Go for a thick leather one lined with fleece on the inside.

Thick Socks

Notice my classification of socks, it must be thick to serve its purpose. Pick the ones made of wool and not polyester. They are warm, comfortable, and soft. They are sure to keep you warm for longer.

Boots

Where money is an issue and you cannot invest in multiple boots, get one that does the job. Go for a tall boot that reaches your calf rather than a short one. The fleece lined boots are better as it keeps you warm for a while in cooler temperatures. Ensure the grips are visible and big. You need the friction to avoid slipping as you walk when it snows.

A pair of soft fluffy indoor winter slippers keeps your feet warm indoors.

Winter Slippers

In the biting cold, even in-doors can get very cold. This fluffy causal winter boot slippers are handy for in-door movement. It keeps the leg warm and comfortable.

Hand or Leg Warmers

If the nature of your job keeps you outside for long then, you certainly need the hand or feet warmer depending on where you catch cold easily. Simply put one inside your hand gloves or socks and watch it warm you up almost immediately. This warm feeling lasts for seven hours.

Shovel

Get a shovel and use it if you do not want to fall on the wrong side of the law. The Bylaw in each province requires each home owner or occupant to remove the ice or snow from the sidewalks within stipulated hours of a snowfall. This is a fair rule as the safety of residents is important to the government. Falling, breaking a limb, or replacing a body part is not cheap or fun. Hence, this tool is very essential.

Get a shovel to clear the snow off your side walk to avoid getting a ticket.

Jump Cables

If you have an old car, it might be hard to avoid your batteries running flat on extreme cold days. Have one less thing to bother about with Jumper cables. You can get help easily from neighbors if you have this in your car.

Windshield and Side Mirror Cover

If you usually park your car outside, you can save yourself the 10-15 minutes of scraping off snow or ice from your windshield before heading out. This covering gives the windshield and side mirrors a clean front screen when it snows.

Snow Brush and Scraper

This brush sweeps away snow, and the scraper part breaks up the ice. This comes in handy for light brushing away of snow. Always keep this brush in your car throughout the winter season.

Use the snow brush/scraper to easily clean your car after a snowfall or scrape the wind shield after a frosty day.
Chinye Talabi
Chinye Talabi

Chinye Talabi migrated to Canada in 2016 from Nigeria. She is a communication enthusiast with experience working in non-profit, banking, advertising, and public relations consultancy. She draws from her experiences, those of family and friends, to assist other newcomers in settling down faster without making similar mistakes. Chinye is a homebody who would rather cook, watch thrillers, listen to music, and read a novel in her spare time. She enjoys trips with family and friends and still has Hawaii as a dream vacation spot. Connect with Chinye at chinye@immigrantmuse.ca

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