Canada is famous around the world for being a true winter wonderland, and those first few snowfalls have an almost magical quality that makes you catch your breath at how pretty it is … until you realize you’re going to have to go out and shovel all that magic.
For newer Canadians coming from warmer climates, the winter weather can be one of the biggest delights, and one of the biggest challenges. And even seasoned survivors can still find themselves caught off-guard occasionally by just how frigid things can get here in the Great White North, like that time Winnipeg (affectionately and justifiably known by locals as “Winterpeg”) was colder than Mars, or how Ottawa regularly fights for the title of coldest capital city in the world.
But friends don’t let friends freeze their way through winter unnecessarily, so we wanted to share our top tips for staying cozy in the coldest weather. Here are our winter must-haves:
Warm and Waterproof Snow Boots
Intuitively, we know to look for warm winter clothing items, but we often forget about the waterproof part until we step into a pile of half-frozen slush and suddenly we’re in the worst of both worlds: cold and wet. When buying winter boots, make sure you look for ones that state they’re waterproof and able to tolerate the lowest average temperatures. It seems like a lot to go through for a simple pair of boots, but trust us, your feet will thank you for it.
Because we’re so far north, winters here aren’t just cold, they’re also pretty dark, with longer nights and shorter days than most are used to. This means that two-thirds of Canadians don’t have enough of the “sunshine vitamin,” aka, vitamin D, which our body makes when skin is exposed to sunlight and protects us from a wide range of chronic diseases. Since we can’t make the winter days any longer, or sunnier, adding vitamin D supplements and vitamin D–rich foods like salmon, spinach and fortified dairy to your diet can help keep you healthy through the colder months.
Ice and snow make driving in the Canadian winter treacherous. In the worst weather, it’s always best to avoid going out at all, but if you need to drive in the snow, a good set of snow tires can make things much safer, even if you only drive in the city.
Whether you’re coming in from the cold, or stuck inside suffering through the stuffy nose of a winter cold, nothing warms you up better or faster than a big bowl of chicken soup. If we could only eat one food all winter long, it would be this slow cooker chicken soup recipe from our sister site, Maple Lodge Farms!
What are your favourite tips and tricks for staying warm all winter long? Share them with us over on the Zabiha Halal Facebook Page!