RX for Winter: Get Outside

Snow in At. Henri. Photo Rachel Levine

I won’t name the weather phenomenon that should not be named, but all Montrealers agree that yes, for the last few weeks, it’s been cold out there. We’ve got Edmonton temperatures, Winnipeg temperatures, Yellowknife temperatures. WTF? The popular shot of the weather app comparing Montreal to the North Pole and Siberia has done the rounds on many a facebook feed.

Cold temperatures in Montreal viral photo.

Cold temperatures in Montreal viral photo.

So while you could theoretically huddle up under blankets at home near a space heater, you could also haul your butt outside.

Maybe wait for all warnings of blowing snow to end. But, even then, once the sidewalk plows have done their work, the sidewalks are walkable. I’ve seen runners. Yes! Runners! Perhaps they’re training for the marathon. Or crazy. Or dedicated.

But if you get outside, you enjoy something so few people get to see. When it’s super cold and blanketed in snow, Montreal emits a soothing, sound-dampening stillness. Everything is beautiful, sparkling. Or maybe it’s just comforting NOT to see orange construction pylons for a change.

Snowman. Photo Rachel Levine

Snowman. Photo Rachel Levine

Dress to Impress?

Igloofest January 17 2015. Photo Fernando Landin

Igloofest January 17 2015. Photo Fernando Landin

In Norway, they say, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.”To go outside, gear is required. Chances are you’ve got the right stuff. Boots designed for -40, double socks, under-silks or other moisture wicking base layers, fleecy hoodies. Get some insulation on every body part — face, neck, ears, wrists, ankles. Go for mittens over gloves. Tuck things in to form a seal. Pick shoes that put a layer between your feet and the ground. You don’t have to look sexy — okay, you live in Montreal, you automatically look sexy. If your hands are cold, chances are you’re not keeping the body warm enough. Did you put something on underneath your jeans?

Igloofest January 17 2015. Photo Fernando Landin

You could always try a full body costume over your coat. Igloofest January 17 2015. Photo Fernando Landin

 

Swing in a private residence. Outaouais River (Ottawa). Photo Marlene Wilson.

Swing in a private residence. Outaouais River (Ottawa). Photo Marlene Wilson.

Where should you walk?

Recommendations from some winter outdoor walkers include:

The mountain.
The Old Port.
Along the river.

Ice on the Lakeshore. Photo Nancy Berman

Ice on the Lakeshore. Photo Nancy Berman

St. Catherine street.
Any public park.
The Lachine canal.

Jack Layton Park in Hudson. Photo Marlene Wilson.

Jack Layton Park in Hudson. Photo Marlene Wilson.

A few more tips.

1) Your phone is probably not going to last the duration of a long walk in -25. No, it isn’t part of that Apple slowdown fiasco (or maybe it is a little). Cold weather kills batteries. So, if you’re going to bring the technology, tuck into the deepest layer you can.

2) Figure out if you’re walking into or against the wind. Walk with the wind, ride the metro back.

3) Walk to a heated destination. Nothing says “good job for getting out there” like hot chocolate or a cold one.

 

Got a winter tip for the Rx for Winter? Comment below!

 

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About Rachel Levine

Rachel Levine is the big cheese around here. Contact: Website | More Posts