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What clothing do I need for Canada in January

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi
My family normally ski in Europe nearer easter, so we’re used to warmer weather.
However this year we’re very excited to be going to Canada in January (panorama and Banff).

We know it will be cold, and want to be prepared for the weather.
Can you advise on what additional clothing we might need? I assume extra base layers? Would mitts be better than gloves? Would you recommend face protection?
Any advice welcome, thank you.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Global warming means it is less cold than it used to be.

But still worth taking as backup:

Balaclava.
Neck gaiter.
Wrist gaiters.

Cover up anywhere there is a major blood vessel.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Prepare for -30 C and a significant windchill.

If it's warmer wear less and celebrate.
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The best advice I was given was to buy Marino underpants.! I prefer 'icebreaker ' a softer option than most alternatives.
Use a layering system if possible. Hard shell jacket and trousers and then base and mid layers.
Glove liners in gloves not mittens. And a Marino balaclava. Mountain Warehouse do good value on thouse. And a good chap stick. The other thing to remember is a low light lense option in your goggles
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Gimp mask can be essential. When in gets into proper cold or windchill you really don't want any exposed flesh. But they are readily available there and once conditions get into the realm where nostril hair freezes then you probably won't want to be out.
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I know the accepted wisdom is a shell jacket with layering, but I run pretty cold and for those kind of temps I have found a down ski jacket to do the trick, layered with a decent base layer, a thinnish fleece, and roubaix material bike tights under insulated salopettes. The down jacket is handy for walking about town, so not really a waste of room. I ski with other people who would be roasted in that outfit though!
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I too use a down jacket when required, but under my shell jacket. Ready for anything. Then in Spring or Summer just the shell if needed.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
hand and toe warmers...before you go out
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I used to get cold hands, so I wear thinish gloves with thick mittens over the top. Then a hot shot (hand warmer) in between. Don't bother with the re-usable warmers they wont cut it. Hot shots above the toes, and bring spares. Clip poles help. For the kid I put a hot shot in a thin sock and stick it in her very thick mittens. Definitely a belaclava or mask!

https://www.millets.co.uk/walking-hiking/100504-the-north-face-mens-etip-gloves-black.html/165533/?utm_source=Google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Shopping&istCompanyId=b238823a-59fd-4816-9c36-7dd47877f2a8&istItemId=raxrmpili&istBid=tzpt&gclid=CjwKCAjwt7PcBRBbEiwAfwfVGO_Hd_Y2tHQJTlvHTWDNTa_K340Jj_7HVIsqhs0OI4bqUta1efqpoBoCaicQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds
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I forgot to mention that you can usually buy hot shots in bulk at the big supermarkets / costco in Canada for far less than in resort.
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Brrr. I don't think I would cope. Minus 15 without wind chill is cold enough for me!
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
It's not so bad if you dress for it Smile
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
I think for people who have not experienced cold in the Canadian or US Interior it can be slightly surprising. European resorts often get cold because of prevailing wind or whatever but rarely the sustained stalled system cold you can get there. It's also a dry cold so while it might not get "in your bones" as much your flesh can be turning white.

There's basically 2 types of cold - functional cold (or what Canucks call " bit chilly") where you wrap up but basically continue with ordinary activities and non-functional cold where you do not expose any flesh, you sprint between shops or whatever in town and you do a frostbite check every lift. In the latter cars without a block heater seize up and lifts and resorts do get shut down. The first type is much more common but you certainly know about it when you experience the second e.g. teh nostril test as above.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
You need top quality skiing mittens eg Black Diamond Mercury Mitts. I had C&A Sheepskin mitts which did just fine. You need inner gloves.

You need a face mask a thick woolen balaclava and a thin silk one. You can not expose ANY skin to the cold. When I skied Panorama [New Year] the lifities would not let kids onto the lifts without face masks.

They had huts with heaters which were called warming stations. We got into a routine of doing two or three runs then stopping for a warm up. All 4 of us had facial frostnip at times.

Do not underestimate the cold. At times it was survival skiing. I would not do it now I am an old wuss.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Here's my reply to a "How cold is too cold" thread...

Ski'd in -30 in Canada a few times... add wind chill to that when you're moving i.e. skiing and beware.

Do NOT have ANY exposed skin - it'll be frostbitten before you know it, and that means dead skin layers.

Tried those Canuck face cover thingies, but a good full face balaclava is best - google 'Dissent' as theirs is fantastic (as are their socks). Add a 'skull cap' below your helmet and goggles, neckwarmer/snood and that's the face sorted.

Feet - decent fitted boots, otherwise you'll have to crank your clips too tight and cut off the blood supply t your feet which is what'll keep them warm...ish. A set of the Dryguy boot covers, neoprene booties that cover the forefoot are a good idea - and you should have room inthe boot to slap one of those heat pads ontop of your foot just next to your toes for help too.

Get a goose down 'gilet' (?) to keep your body warm, so you can keep pumping warm blood to the freezing extremities.

Hands - good thin glove liner, then a 'spring skiing' weight glve over that... and then a 'main' glove, pref mitten and prob need to get a new one at least a size bigger to fit the two layers beneath it (!)...

Sounds a faff... but, really, really cold temps mean if YOU can stay warm, everyone else is huddling in an overcrowded restaurant while you'll be outside enjoying the empty slopes.

ps added : just got Zipfit liners on last trip (to Park City) and they are the bizniss... and really need minimal boot/shell clamp pressure so the blood can flow to your feet... Also got some oversize mittens so can now have usual thin glove liner, then a spring ski glove on top and the mitten over those (!) - so I'm ready for the next -30 ski days, and if you can stay outside while others are shivering in cafes and huts then you can enjoy empty slopes....

Wasn't quite as viciously Canadian level of cold this day but still...
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
coops1967 wrote:
...Get a goose down 'gilet' (?) to keep your body warm...


The bee‘s knees!

Were the Zipfits really that good?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Zipfits are a revelation. (And I've had foamed liners, and Intuition). (The gilet/vest i got is a preposterously light Arcteryx one that packs into its own pocket... Cerium SL vest? )
http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=137477&highlight=
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
As @Canuck says ... Costco is a useful place to visit but you have to have a membership
card to use the store.

But once you can use it ... you can save yourself a bundle ...
particularly on those expensive ski passes.

OK, -30 is pretty nippy but its so cold and dry that it doesn't seem in colder than -15.
Essentials are those chemical hand warmers, you can buy them in the Banff "dollar shop".
That balaclava is pretty handy in your pocket and on your head.
I'd take a pair of thin "under gloves" cos that's where you feel it on the extremities.

I've found that its a good idea to take a bobble hat with you to the hot tub, so your brain keeps from freezing as you sip your shots Crown Royal with a glob of maple syrup in it.

Thinking about it .. its worth getting cold for.
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I found the neoprene boot covers made a big difference.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Thanks for all the great advice! Really appreciated.
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You know, it will end up being a balmy -10 and all the locals will be out in their t-shirts Wink Enjoy Canada Smile
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excuse to buy a canada goose jacket cheaply
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Just a quick update and a thank you for all the replies to my original post.
We've back from Canada and had a fantastically toasty time thanks to all your good advice.

I think we got lucky and experienced reasonably mild conditions (-14 was the coldest we saw when skiing).
The most useful gear we bought was:
- merino base layers: life changing!
- glove liners
- hand and foot warmers (the single-use type)
- but best of all were the balaclavas - they made a real difference!

Thanks again for all the input. We loved the Canadian trip and will be back there again soon.
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Little Angel Thanks for the follow-up! Sounds like it was a great trip
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