Category Archives: Life

Edmonton Winter Survival Tips


This is my third winter living in Edmonton (!) and over the years I have learned some ways to keep myself warm. I don’t have a vehicle so most of the time if I want to go anywhere I either walk or take the bus. With temperatures like we are getting this week I had to learn how to keep myself from freezing. Here is what I have learned:

Layers are Important

Layer One Layer Two

When the temperature is -20C or colder I make sure that I wear tights under my clothes. It makes a huge difference! Not the kind of tights you would wear with a dress, but the kind that look like yoga pants. I also wear a long tank top under my clothes all winter. These items cling right to your body and are good at keeping your body heat in. In the past I used to layer my socks too but I have since found that it doesn’t really help. It actually makes my feet colder so I would suggest against that. After my first layer I wear my regular pants and a sweater with long sleeves. Finally, I will wear a jacket on top of that. Something with a hood is preferable. I don’t usually put the hood on, but I have it kind of wrapped around my head to keep the wind off my neck.


My first winter here, my feet were not prepared for the cold. For Christmas that year I bought myself a good pair of boots. They were expensive, but they are made for -30C or -50C weather. My feet are never cold and the boots we definitely worth the money I spent on them.

Another thing you need is a coat that is made for winter. I would choose a skiing coat. They are warm and have snaps at the bottom so you can keep the cold from rushing up inside of it. Again, these coats tend to cost a lot, but if you look around in the summer you can sometimes find really good deals. I got two really nice coats for $100 total last summer. So far I’ve only worn one of them so I don’t see myself needing a new coat for many years.


The next thing you’re going to want is a wide scarf. One that is going to cover most of your face. I normally just have it folded down around my chin, but when that winter wind blows, it’s nice to have a scarf that you can roll up to your eyes like a ninja.


A winter hat is a very important thing to own too. I learned that the first winter I lived here too. My old winter hat just didn’t cut it for the winters here. You need to get a hat that covers your ears, usually called a trapper hat. It must have ties hanging down so you can tie it under your neck. It makes a huge difference at keeping your ears warm. Since moving into my new apartment last summer I haven’t been able to find the hat I bought that first winter and was very upset about it. I had a hard time finding a hat that really fit what I was looking for. I finally found a $40 one which was more than I really wanted to spend. But it has been a wonderful hat and again has paid for itself in warmth.

Finally, you have to keep your hands warm. Since I take the bus most days of the week, I also layer my hands. I will wear a pair of gloves under my mittens. That way, when I take my hand out of my mitten to get my bus pass out of my pocket, my hand doesn’t freeze off. It really keeps my hands warm too. If there are two things that make the rest of my body cold, it’s cold hands and cold feet. This winter, the only things that have been cold have been my face (mostly my eyes) and sometimes my legs when it’s really windy.

Can’t Take a Break

I just finished working 8 days in a row. Now I am off for five days. But I don’t really know how to take a break. Of these 5 days off, I really only have one day off to myself. I tend to book my days off when there are things going on that I want to attend. Tomorrow is Valentines Day and would technically be my first day to sleep in. But instead I have booked an eye appointment for 9am (I’m a year or two over due). After that I plan on going to the grocery store and spending the rest of the day making yummy food for supper for my boyfriend and I. Then Saturday night or Sunday night I want to go to the Silver Skate Festival. I went last year and it was pretty cool. They had this really nice forest walk lit up with lights, snow sculptures, and fire sculptures. If I’m lucky, I will also get to go skating which I didn’t get to do last year because I had hurt my knee right beforehand. Unfortunately the lake that they usually have the skating on is closed for maintenance this year, but they have a temporary skate surface set up. My boyfriend goes back to work on Tuesday so I will have that day to do whatever I want. Most likely though I will waste it playing The Sims 3 because I just bought three new expansions and have gotten myself addicted to it again.