Sanjay November 30, 2011

Hey friends,

Like every year, we are marching towards another winter, Christmas and New Year, but this time it’s different for most of us, “It’s in Canada.” Canada is geographically placed near The North Pole so you can imagine the kind of winter I am talking about. Please take advice from the guy who came here last December, gear up because the cold you feel now is just tip of the iceberg, it goes as low as -10°c sometimes. By the time its December you might see two or more snowfalls, the cold winds (in Canada its called wind chills) are brutal and even the idea of going outside will give you shivers. But it’s fun, don’t be scared just be prepared.    

Dressing up for winter is really important because you don’t want to get “frost bite”; frost bite is a condition where localized damage is caused to skin and other tissues due to extreme cold. It could happen to you, if any of your body parts is exposed to the cold weather and wind outside for more than 15 min.

 So some dress up tips:

  • Dress up in layers, it locks in the heat from your body, and you can remove that extra layer when inside the college. Always go from thin layer to thick layer. It will be nice if the outermost jacket is a waterproof one, because the snow is going to melt eventually.
  • Always wear proper snow boots, thermal socks because there’s no point in layering up if your feet are cold.
  • I recommended covering up your head. You don’t want to get brain freeze right, you will need it for your final exams in December. Furthermore, cover your ears with a warm hat and neck with a scarf or muffler. Ears are sensitive to cold winds, and I mostly used my big headphones to protect my ears “music and protection, I am smart”.    
  • Buy “THICK” winter coats and if you don’t have much money to buy one you can always get it cheap from Goodwill or Salvation Army stores. You can get a lot of warm clothes, such as hand gloves, woollen socks, thermal wear and sweaters that are new or barely used. You can also buy winter boots and other stuff there. Ask for Down-filled coats (it’s got goose feathers filled in them). It is the warmest coat you can get.

Other things I thought you should know about winters in Canada are:

Cold and flu are common during the winter so keep lots of tissues with you, properly cover your mouth and nose while coughing and sneezing, and to prevent yourself to get cold from others always wash your hands after getting off a bus or public place. Keep a hand sanitizer with you always. Consult a doctor on-campus and get medication.

Be careful where you are walking, on the sidewalks, on the snow or thin ice because you could get a nasty slip, and it could really hurt. It has happened to me so many times even when I was alert. You need good thick treads on your Boots.    

Keep hot liquids with you to sip on, it feels nice and comfortable.

If you miss your Bus, or suddenly find yourself outside for more than 30 min. It’s better to find shelter nearby until the next bus or help arrives. For example, convenient stores, bus stops or any place with a roof and three walls will be fine.    

Stock up your kitchens with groceries because you never know when it’s a bad snow day outside, and you have nothing left to eat at home.

Lastly don’t be lazy, I know most people would like the idea of staying late in bed, but you don’t want to be like a bear in hibernation right. So get out, and do fun winter activities such as skating, snow tubing, making snow forts and igloos, of course gear up first. Be active, do lots of exercise, eat right and drink lots of hot chocolate, after all “winter, is just once a year. :D”


Sanjay Surendran