I’m from Mexico, so a Canadian winter was something I was not completely ready for. lucky for me, I’m a fast learner, so I’ll share my tips.
Kamloops doesn’t get as cold as many places in Canada, still, it’s pretty cold for my standards. Kamloops winters are usually from November to February, and the coldest it gets is -30 (not very common). In my personal experience, it usually stays between -10 to -20 degrees Celsius. This for me is enough to freeze, so here are a few suggestions
Winter in Canada isn’t the time to try and save. My recommendation for this is to invest in some good items that will keep you warm and last for a long time. Snow boots and a good winter jacket are musts; you will not get through winter without them
Second and the one you’ve most probably already heard of is layers, layers, layers! They are the key to warmth! Getting some good thermal wear could make the difference on a cold night when you get out of class late. Thermal wear isn’t the only layering you should be doing though, all layers are good because they trap your body heat and help you keep cozy!
I would never wear gloves or scarfs in Mexico, which made me forget that they exist for a reason! A scarf, thick socks, toque or gloves can make a big difference in the snow. Keeping your head and feet warm is very important. If your head or feet are cold most probably the rest of you will be pretty cold too! Also, ears get cold very fast! When my mom bought me ear muffins, I thought she was being ridiculous, but when that first real winter day came, I was so grateful to have them!
Snow boots won’t be the only thing you will be using. It is possible to wear other shoes in warmer days or when snow isn’t as abundant, but even then the floor will be pretty wet, and there will be puddles as well as any remaining snow will melt when taken into a heated building. Wet feet aren’t fun for anybody, even less when it’s -15 outside! Also, waterproof jackets can be lifesavers when it’s snowing outside!
I would never think that sunglasses would be so important in a season when the sun comes out at 8 a.m. and it gets dark at 4 p.m., but when all surfaces are covered with really white snow light reflects quite a bit. It can even give you a sunburn! So protecting your eyes can be very important, as well as make your days much more comfortable without having to squint all the time.
Talking about short daylight time, vitamin D can be really important at this time. Sometimes even though there is light outside it’s very cloudy and you can’t really get sunlight.
Dry skin in the winter is a big thing. More so in a place like Kamloops which is basically a desert. Remember to moisturize frequently! It’s better to prevent than to lament! Dry skin can be very uncomfortable and if not moisturized appropriately can cause you greater problems.
Double-check the forecast
Sometimes you can’t really rely on the weather app, not only because it is inaccurate, but because sometimes the temperature you see in a thermometer isn’t indicative of how it really feels outside. This can be because of many factors such as wind, rain, sunny days, fog, cloudy days, elevation, your closeness to the river and bodies of water, etc. Kamloops can get very windy, so it doesn’t hurt to take a step outside and feel for yourself.
For those using the bus, winter can be a bit rougher. always aim to be earlier than you want because snowy and icy surfaces can make transportation slower, as well as busses a bit less reliable. For those of you who plan to bring/ buy a car, leave 20 min earlier, 10 to let your engine and car warm up as well as remove all ice and frost from your windows and the other 10 to take your time to get to your destination, snowy roads are a big hazard! It’s also important to note that cars need winter tires!
Careful with the ice!
Icy roads aren’t only a problem for drivers but also for pedestrians. Remember to be careful in snowy paths and icy sidewalks because those are very easy to slip on. It’s also important to clear your sidewalk up, as it is a hazard for you and your neighbours. Pouring salt on it is very useful!
Remember to live the full Canadian experience and visit Tim Hortons for a budget-friendly and delicious hot drink to keep you warm! There is one of the TRU campus too!
Hope to see you here next winter! Let me know if my tips were helpful in the comments below!