Snowy Vancouver view from Stanley Park (Serguei Mourachov/Flickr)
If you are ever thinking of travelling in Canada in the Winter months, I highly suggest bringing 5 or more shirts.
You wear them all at once.
Over January I visited Canada’s state of British Columbia, where temperatures inland got down to -30°C during a quite severe snowstorm.
Take a moment to truly understand what this looks like, the video attached is from this year shows urban Vancouver during snowfall.
Every morning was marked by it’s preparation for the cold, as I would don:
- 2 thermal layers, both torso and legs
- 2 layers of long socks
- warm boot socks
- an over shirt, or 2
- a light jacket
- water proof pants, or jeans
I would then eat a rather large breakfast to reduce energy loss and increase the heat stored in my body.
Then I would continue to get dressed:
- a puffer vest
- 2 scarves
- a parka
- thermal gloves
- water proof gloves
- snow boots
- and finally, a beanie
Then I would be able to go out, shovel the driveway, and proceed with the day.
I will note that this was 4 hours inland from Vancouver at Hope Valley, less precaution is needed in urban centers.
I however could not spend more than 2.5 hours outside at risk of frostbite and/or hypothermia.
On top of this increased water and food consumption is required whenever possible.
This all sounds very negative, but there is a certain serenity to snow, it’s quite breathtaking and really can only be experienced for yourself.
The Canadian wilderness and landscape is something incomparable to that of Australia’s, it’s a different experience entirely just being outside in that part of the world.
You think to yourself, well I’ve seen a mountain before, I know what rivers look like, I’ve seen trees;
Yet, quite close to the city of Vancouver, say at Stanley park, not half an hour from the urban areas, you will find yourself quite lost in the majesty of a totally different environment to that you have grown up in.
Not to mention what that part of the globe does to the sky in the evening, or how light reflects off snow, or the noise it makes when it melts, it is simply otherworldly when compared to Australian living.
Or you could visit in Summer, and forgo the risk of Hypothermic death.