Is this the first time of you having a white winter? Are you new to Kamloops?
If you answered yes to both of the questions…welcome to the white winter of Kamloops! We just had our first actual snow of the year today – How exciting! Here are the things you must know for your first winter here.
- Start your day early
Snow can cause delays: It takes longer to wait for a bus, drive to school, walk, or even just dress up in the morning! The bus is very likely to be late, or even missing. If you are running late for a meeting, remember to tell the people you’re meeting that you’ll be late, so that they don’t have to worry about your safety.
- Layer your clothes
I understand this might be your first time seeing snow, but don’t try to put on all your warm clothes right away! Instead, do multiple layers and put on warm socks, gloves and a toque. (Check out the TRU Bookstore if you would like to purchase a TRU set!) When you get inside buildings, there’s also heating. If you have layers of clothing, you will be able to adjust according to the change of temperature by putting on or taking off layers anytime and stay comfortable. I would recommend not dress very warm when you’re indoor, or you will be more likely to catch a cold when you go out.
- Check the weather forecast before you go out and plan your day
If you go out early in the morning or come home late in the evening, being prepared for cold weather is always a good idea. Kamloops is usually dry and can be very windy suddenly, which causes dramatic changes of temperature even within the same day. This is also partly why we do layers of clothing!
- Get a water-proof, all-purpose winter jacket and boots locally
Some students from warmer places always hear that Canada is very cold, so they bring all their warm clothes when they come. However, what you bring might not work perfectly in Kamloops. If you can, get a winter jacket and a pair of winter boots after you arrive in Kamloops for all purpose use, and that will keep you warm in any conditions – including outdoor activities! The reason is simple: If you are from a country that never gets as cold as Kamloops (and as dry and windy), probably the kinds of jackets or shoes that will work the best in Kamloops will never be sold in your country, because no one will need it. Most importantly, unless you like freezing feet and to sing “Let it go”, DON’T wear running shoes! The snow is like frozen rain drops, so it will melt in and on your shoes and keep you nice and cold – if not frozen…
- Prepare a pair of indoor shoes
Winter boots can be hard on your feet, especially if you wear them all day long. They are not flexible if you walk around in the buildings a lot, and if you’re staying indoor most of the time, it would be a good idea to have a pair of light indoor shoes in your bag. It will help to ease your feet from the weight of winter boots when you are inside buildings, or even when you’re driving.
- Clean off the snow before you drive
Your car will cover with icing snow like a frozen birthday cake every morning. You will need brushes to clean all the snow before you drive. The brushes can be found in any big supermarkets, department stores, or any stores selling car supplies. Also, use winter tires, and watch out for the steep hills!
- Watch where you’re going and walk carefully
Snow covers up everything. You might not be able to see the crosswalk or the boundary of a road, or even a water pond. It can also be icy in some parts of the road. The signs are not only on the floor but also on the signal boards, so make sure you look and try the steps before you move if you’re not sure.
Some roofs of buildings might have icicles that can fall off. Report them if you see any, especially on campus, so that the maintenance staff can knock off the icicles before they melt and fall.
- Put a mat at the door and take off your boots before you get in
As you can see at all the entrances of buildings on campus, there’re drop mats right at the door where you can stomp off the snow on your shoes. If you carry the snow into a classroom, the floor will be wet after the snow melts, and someone might slip and fall because of that. Therefore, it’s important that your shoes are mostly clean before getting inside. You can also do the same at home, so that the mats can keep your house dry and mud-free.
- Eat heartily and stay hydrated
Having healthy food is extremely important. Healthy protein is a better choice than high fat/sugar because “high fat, high sugar choices become a bit of a crutch that work in the short term, but contribute to ongoing lethargy and low energy over time” (CBC News). Vitamin C and D are also very important in order to maintain your health as you get less sun during winter. Soups and stews are nice comfort food options – yum!
- Make sure to exercise
It’s hard to move around when it’s snowy and cold, I know. Exercise doesn’t have to be things like jogging, swimming or working out in the gym. It can also be walking a couple of stops to school instead of taking a bus, going to a different building on campus to get your lunch, or using the stairs instead of the elevator. It can also be taking picture all around campus, or making Snow Angels!
- Enjoy the snow and share your pictures with me!
A friend of mine from Indonesia asked me when would winter start in Kamloops, and I said it starts when the snow falls and stays for the first time of the year – which means it’s NOW! Kamloops has the powdery snow that is the best for skiing or snowboarding. If you have tried skiing or snowboarding, but you are not very good at balancing yourself, tubing is also super fun!