Visiting Canada in Winter from India - Some Interesting Information & Tips

Hello Friends
This Article is taken from a post from my another blog sambathkumaar.blogspot.ca


I am sure there are going to be several people who would have secured admission into several of the universities in Canada for the Winter term beginning January 2015.

To all those who have finalized their travel plans and to those who haven't, I am sure you will be welcomed with warmth and love into this beautiful country.

Quick info about myself. I am Sambath and I have been in Canada for over an year now. I am from Coimbatore, India. I arrived in Windsor, Ontario by the 18th of July, 2013. It has been a tremendous and incredible journey ever since. I am pursuing and almost at the end of my Master of Engineering in Automotive at the University of Windsor. Here, in this post, I am going to share with you some tips to ensure a smooth transition from crazy India to a relatively calm Canada specifically while landing during the peak winter season.

First of all guys, its just cold. Within Canada, you can find that you have varying levels of cold. Windsor, being the southern most city of Canada experienced one of the worst winters in 2013 that it had seen in over 20 years. The worst we faced down in Windsor was -25 degrees Celsius. Imagine how it would be in the Northern Territories! So, again, it is just cold. Let us see what kind of precautions you need to be prepared for to tackle this Canadian cold.







  1. GLOVES - Primary need if you think you need to use your hands for anything. It is a really hard task to even fold all your fingers and hold something, if you expose your hands to the bitter cold air. Failing to have gloves on, you will encounter involuntary dropping of artifacts from your hands as your fingers just won't listen to you anymore. I suggest a thick pair of woolen gloves or a pair of good quality leather gloves. Depending on your tolerance level, you can get a new pair once you are here in Canada.
  2. SKULL CAP - It is a fact that most of our body heat escapes from our head. Although covering your head is the preliminary function of a skull cap, I use it to cover my ears. You will realize upon prolonged exposure to the sub-zero temperatures that your ears had actually fallen off long while back.
  3. GOOD SHOES - For now, as you are just entering Canada, I wouldn't recommend getting the snow shoes as it is heavy to carry and occupies a huge space in your already insufficient baggage allowance. Just wear some really good shoes with good quality socks. 
  4. JACKET - Again, as winter jackets are really heavy and huge, it is very difficult to carry this all the way from India. The best thing to do would be buying a pretty thick jacket and bring it along. This jacket would keep you warm in almost all enclosed areas. You will hardly be exposed to outside air once in Canada. Even then, I seriously do not recommend enjoying the new found snow with this jacket and shoe of yours.
  5. SCARFS - A good woolen scarf will not add any weight and it is good to wind around your neck for extra warmth. Under wind chill warning conditions (mentioned below), these can be used to cover your face except your eyes.
  6. EXTRA PAIR - This is highly recommended. Please do carry an extra pair of gloves, socks and a skull cap. These artifacts have the high risk of getting lost or damaged. For example, you might risk stepping into a puddle or losing your gloves during your travel. Carry the extra pair along with a set of extra clothing (under wears, brush, tooth paste, soap, towel, charger) in your carry on luggage. 
So, now you know what to bring with you when you step into the cold abyss, that is Canada!

Remember fellas, you need not get all the rugged winter stuff that you need to withstand the severe cold here in Canada, from India. As I had mentioned in those 6 bullets, some, like the Winter Jacket and the Winter Shoes are best to be bought in Canada where you can find many of them in sale for a cheaper price. We also have the logistics barrier too.
Look out for the weather forecast even while you leave India. Regular drop in temperatures during winter (January) would be -15 to -18 degree Celsius in Windsor. At these temperatures, you can be warm with the above mentioned 5 artifacts. But, if the weather alert says WIND CHILL WARNING, that's when you need to pay more attention. This happens when the wind aggravates the cold and makes the -20 degree Celsius feel like -45 degree Celsius. It can really be bone chilling if you do not protect yourself properly. When that alert is active, ensure that you do not expose any part of your skin to the cold air. A little over 1 or 2 minutes of exposure can result in frost bites. Scarves come into play at these moments. You can safeguard your nose, lips and your face skin by covering them up with the scarf. Poor eyes, they have to remain open! Pity them!


SNOW

Personally, I was someone who looked forward eagerly for snow. As I was set to experience snow for the first time in my life, I was really excited.  Believe me guys, snow is something really cool. Yes, really cool. I still have to admit that despite hating it at several occasions, I am just gonna fall in love the moment I see it gently and patiently fall to the ground. Unlike rain, snow has no hurry to reach the earth. Its soft, and tender and really makes the place look beautiful. Things you need to know about how to tackle snow are listed below.

  1. WINTER SHOES - These are not regular shoes. These shoes cover your ankle and are a little higher than your ankle level. They are mostly water resistant but every winter shoe must tolerate at least -25 degrees Celsius.
  2. WATER RESISTANT GLOVES - If you are planning on playing with snow, you definitely need water resistant and cold tolerant gloves to protect your hands. 
  3. WINTER JACKET - You can get one of these heavy jackets in Canada. They keep you warm and are also water resistant.
I believe that snow is the best thing about the winter in Canada. The temperature, although is a pain, the snow is the sigh of relief most of the time at least. Snow has its drawbacks too. Snow does hinder your day to day activities specially for those who drive and also for those who walk. It is just another work out session to walk over snow.


OTHER TIPS

Primary measures would be to use all the accessories that I have already mentioned. Those for sure, are gonna keep you warm. But, your body should have the energy within, to produce enough heat to keep your internal organs at the desired temperature range. In order to achieve that, you must not go hungry. Going hungry is something that is inversely proportional to warmth. The more hungry you get, the more colder you get. 
  • Take in sufficient amounts of fat that can help fight the cold weather outside. 
  • Keep your tummy running most of the time. 
  • Prevent your lips from going dry by moisturizing it often.
  • Keep your face and hand skin moisturized by applying appropriate creams. 
  • Wear multiple layer of clothing so that it is easy to adjust to the change in temperature.
  • Keep up a high spirit.
Above all, if you think that you need to enjoy the country for what it is, you will learn to adjust and live with the weather without complaining. Yes, it is going to be cold, like the cold you would never have imagined. But, it is also something different that you have never had the chance to experience before. People still survive in this bitter cold and so can you. Believe me, most of you will forget all the pessimistic opinions you might have about the cold once you see the beautiful snow falling gently on your head. Of course, blizzards are the worst!

I think I have given sufficient information regarding the methods to tackle the harsh winter for the new comers into Canada. You will learn more as you start your life here. It is going to be interesting and exciting. Every step you take, every little things you get to experience, you will cherish and remember for certainly a long time. 

Welcoming you with warmth (needed very much) and wishing you a HAPPY JOURNEY!

For further information or clarification, kindly comment below and I will follow up accordingly.

DISCLAIMER: The above mentioned tips or information are purely my personal opinion and experience. I cannot guarantee that these will stand true for every situation and I highly recommend that logical thinking be used before making any decision.

Photo Credits: All the pictures in this post are taken by me through my Nexus 5. The one picture in which I am in, was clicked by my friend. All the pictures are taken in Windsor in the period of December, January and February.

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