Just before Christmas, we visited Montreal, Canada. We happened to arrive just as temperatures plummeted across all of North America due to a polar vortex. On our first day there, we woke up to a temperature of -11 degrees Fahrenheit. I’m sure other parts of Canada (and obviously other parts of the world) get much colder, but for us born and raised Texas girls, this was the coldest weather we’d ever been in. It made exploring a new city a little challenging, but with some smart packing choices, we were able to conquer the frigid temps. Today we wanted to share our tips on how to survive Canada in the winter.
- Dress Appropriately
- Start with good base layers. We wore this top and these leggings under all our clothes. These lightweight down vests and jackets are great for layering as well and are available in so many colors.
- Invest in insulated, windproof outer layers. A good down parka and snow pants are crucial for any snowy outdoor activities. Almost everyone we saw in Canada was wearing a version of this coat. We love these pants if you want to wear something dressier than snow pants (like out to dinner) but still want to be warm.
- Proper footwear is crucial to not only staying warm, but being able to navigate snowy icy sidewalks. We have these boots and these boots but love these for something slightly dressier yet still functional.
- Wear wool. Wool layers will give you the insulation you need to stay warm. We love this sweater, and this cashmere one. We love this pom pom wool beanie. This wool scarf is perfect for keeping your neck and face protected. Thick wool socks like these are needed for layering inside your boots.
- Wear mittens instead of gloves. The one major thing we noticed in both Canada and Iceland is that the locals all wore mittens instead of gloves. Mittens actually keep your hands warmer, because your fingers generate more heat when they are kept together, rather than separated by fabric like they are with gloves. Both Shelby and I picked up mittens in Iceland that we wore in Canada. There are some great handmade options on Etsy or we love these.
2. Leave as little skin exposed as possible
- This is obvious, but exposed skin in freezing temperatures can get frostbite in minutes. Wear a hat, keep your ears covered, wrap a scarf around your neck you can use to protect your face, and wear gloves.
3. Don’t wear any metal
- Leave your jewelry at home. Metal gets so cold when exposed to frigid temps, you’ll freeze your earlobes or fingers if you’re wearing metal jewelry.
- Cold winter air significantly drys out your skin. Soothe your itchy skin by keeping it hydrated. We love this line, especially this body lotion and this hand cream.
5. Drink hot liquids
- Coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or in our case- hot wine. Pick a warm and tasty beverage and drink up to warm yourself from the inside out.
Those are the ways we successfully survived Canada in the winter. Do you have any other tips we missed? Let us know in the comments.
Insider tips on how to make your next vacation stress free!