It’s your first time in Canada. If you started out your Canadian journey in the pleasant season of Spring/Summer, living through it will be a breeze, with the warm weather and plenty of outdoor activities you could opt for. Though the Canadian winter has its own charm, for a brief period it could get pretty harsh for a novice to this nation’s winter. But fret not, because what makes the difference between a festive, charming winter and a cold, unbearable one is the amount of time and precision you put into your preparation for the season.
Canadians are a hardy group of people when it comes to adapting to the winter as they have come up with tons of ways to drudge on through the harshest cold climes. Most homes in Canada have central heating, so indoor survival isn’t going to be a problem. It’s times of long outdoor exposure while waiting at bus stops and walking to your neighborhood grocery store that you may need to gear up for. So here are a few hacks you could implement to make your winter of reckoning a pleasant and memorable experience.
The right mix of clothes could be your shield against the attack of the cold. You will need the following essentials.
The Perfect Jacket
The best advice to someone immigrating to Canada is not to shop for a winter jacket in their home country, even though it could get a tad expensive in Canada. It will be worth loosening your purse strings just a little, as jackets you could get here have layers of insulation and are much better suited to the temperatures here. Store clerks could give you expert advice on the right jacket for the temperature zone you are in too. Do look out for discounts as there will be plenty of those and thrift stores aren’t a bad bet either.
Forget about your casual sneakers and party shoes in the winters, as style must be replaced by functionality in the footwear department. Ordinary shoes could get drenched in the snow and won’t provide enough traction to trudge through the snow. Snow Boots that have thick linings to seal in the heat are your best bet. These don’t just provide a good grip in the snow but also keep your feet protected as they could lose heat fast if not well covered. If you crave a casual option there are suede and knit-wear slipper shoes available at family stores and marts.
The Illusive Toque
The traditional Canadian winter hat is known as a toque. Don’t be fooled by its silly-sounding name, as many a winter’s cold breezes have been unsuccessful in inducing the common cold or pneumonia because of the toque. Toques with ear muffs keep your ENT canal well covered from the outside and are a killer fashion statement if you pair them well with the right jacket.
FOOD & BEVERAGE CONTAINERS
You prepare mouth-watering delights and after you serve them, in the blink of an eye they go cold as a corpse. If you want to avoid that, here are some food storage appliances you could opt for.
Winter Travel Mug
There are a plethora of choices in the Canadian market for your coffee mug- self-heating, insulated, novelty items and collectibles. If you are looking for something portable go for Milton travel mugs that come with battery operated coil heating. You could charge these up with an ordinary mobile power bank as well. If your wrists are not feeling up to it, there are self-stirring variants as well.
The always trusty plastic Tupperware container is well-deserving of its award-winning status as the best option for food storage irrespective of the weather. Graphite lunch boxes are another great alternative and are also twice as likely to keep your food warm on the way to work. For instant heating, there are electric casseroles and kettles at your disposal.
OTHER WINTER LIFE HACKS
When all is said and done, people are always looking for ways to make life simpler and more hassle-free. Everyday life hacks are another way to make winter in Canada easy for you. Here are a few of them.
Acid-Free Paper: Once you’ve found the right container for your winter needs, lining them with acid-free paper gives addition to the heat retention capabilities of the container. You can get an acid-free paper from any craft or stationery store.
Touchscreen Gloves: Need to use your phone’s touchscreen in the cold? You could slip on gloves that come with two components – light stretchy material like lycra that covers the palm and heavier wool or leather around the rest of the hand. These are perfect for hiking or winter running.
Natural Winter Odor Removal: For preventing odor in storage locations like your wardrobe or kitchen cabinet, replace toxic mothballs with little sealed bagfuls of natural lavender or cedar.
Winter Tires: For improved traction, braking and handling you should always go for tires that have the Snowflake Pictogram on them. This means that the tire has passed extensive Canadian standard tire tests to withstand the snowed out and icy roads.
Prewarm: You can use electric blankets to pre-warm not just your bed but also your clothes before putting them on. There is nothing like warm fabric against your skin to keep the cold away.
Pipe Insulation: Foam pipe insulation is a great option to fill gaps under and around doors to keep your room sealed off so that the internal temperature is kept warm.
When all is said and done, the Canadian winter is really nothing to be alarmed about even for an immigrant here. Just like any other extremity that humans face on a day to day basis, this too shall pass.