Essentials for the Calgary Winter
I know the winter solstice hasn’t arrived just yet, but when the snow falls in my mind winter is officially here. It is a time of year when I begin to hibernate like a squirrel; sitting in my home wrapped up in as many fluffy blankets I got with a bag of trail mix in one hand and the mouse or telephone in the other, thinking about how I can equip myself to survive the cold winter days ahead.
This is what I have come up with, after many hours of deliberation in my “nest”, believe me! Here are 10 Calgary winter survival essentials…
10 Calgary Winter Essentials…
1 – Winterize your home
Prepare your home for winter by following our guide – 18 Tips to Winterize Your Calgary Home. It is easy to do and can be the difference between having a miserable or decent winter experience.
2 – A good scarf
Nothing makes a warm outfit void any quicker than having an exposed neck area. Cold, winter air blowing down my neck sends shivers down my spine. No thanks! Cover up your neck area like never before with a warm, fluffy scarf.
3 – Waterproof, gripped, warm snow boots
Slips and trips are sometimes inevitable during the Calgary winter, but being prepared with good gripped winter footwear will go miles in preventing them. Nothing can put a hamper on an already gloomy winter’s day more than bracing your fall with a body part and injuring yourself in the process. Having wet or cold feet sucks so having waterproof winter boots rated for temperatures of at least -25 degrees Celsius is a favorable option, especially in Calgary where temperate can drop to below -30.
If you own a car, then a good snow brush is essential. No matter where I park outside, it seems like my car is completely covered in snow and ice within a matter of minutes. Visibility when driving through the different elevations of Calgary is a must. Be prepared for the worst weather with your weapon at hand…the snow brush!
5 – Winter tires
All season tires are okay, but if you want to be the ultimate survivor of the Calgary winter, then winter tires are another essential. Motor vehicles are expensive to fix, so do the most that you can to prevent any collisions by having the best gripped tires for the season.
6 – Money in a park plus cell phone account
Who wants to run down the street in a blizzard to the ParkPlus meters? Not me! Stay as warm for as long as possible by setting up a park plus cell phone account online at calgaryparking.com. Simply dial 403-537-PARK (7275) to start your session. Another option is to text the 4 digit ParkPlus zone number to PPLUS (77587). You would be surprised how far some of the parking meters are, and how some of them refuse to work when it gets really cold. It’s happened to me many times. Save yourself a huge hassle! Read more at Calgary ParkPlus System.
7 – Emergency winter kit in the car
You can never go wrong with getting some winter survival essentials together to bring along with you wherever you go. Weather in Calgary is very unpredictable, so by having things such as blankets, extra clothing, flashlight, jumper cables, basic tools and a first aid kit. If you plan on taking a longer road trip, include things like flares, reflective signs and extra food and fuel just to be safe.
When it’s as cold as cold gets, there’s no better relief then a cup of your favourite hot beverage. It’s the first thing I look for when my teeth start chattering. They are telling me…warm coffee…now… and they are right! It warms me up every time and helps me to get back to my daily life in the cold. Find one of these Best Calgary Coffee Shops close to where you are!
9 – Hooded jacket
I find having a hooded jacket or vest helps fight back the stinging cold wind inherent to the winter season. Other head coverings such as toque’s and ear muffs are great and all, but none of them do the trick quite like a thick hooded jacket. I always wear a toque and have my hood as my last line of defence for those extremely cold, windy winter days.
10 – Frostbite…
Always be aware of how cold you really are. I unfortunately had frostbite as a kid walking home from school. My toes got so cold I didn’t even feel them anymore and being as care free as I was at the time, I didn’t think anything of it. Today, when my feet get cold, I experience excruciating pain the colder my toes get. Symptoms of frostbite include…
- Burning, tingling, numbness, cold or itching sensations
- Appear white or “frozen”
- Decrease in sensation that is eventually lost, sometimes fully.
- Frostbitten skin turns purple or black after blood vessels burst when warmed
Don’t make the same mistake I did by being casual about the situation. If you’re cold, then warm up!!
11 – Get involved in some indoor activities
Nothing passes time during the cold winter more than getting involved in some of Calgary’s Indoor Activities. Our city has a full spectrum of indoor facilities to choose from to make it a fun winter!
Coffee does the trick, but a warm bowl of your favourite Vietnamese noodle soup (if you like Vietnamese food, that is) does a way better job of warming you up! If you eat pho on a regular basis like I do, then you will know that a good pho restaurant is few and far between. Visit only the Best Calgary Pho Restaurants for a warm, delicious bowl of soup every time!
I hope you stay as warm and are as comfortable as possible during the coming winter. Please leave a comment and let me know if there are any other winter survival essentials I haven’t mentioned. Thanks for stopping in at Best Calgary Homes!