Chill out and stay warm

How to survive Calgary’s cold spell

AFrostbite Fight online colourCalgary has been experiencing one of the coldest winters in years with temperatures often falling below -25 C.

These temperatures don’t take into account wind chill. Everything considered, it is important for SAIT students to stay warm and beat the cold.

“I walk from the station to my house, [and] it’s a good 15 minutes. My hands and feet [get] so cold. I couldn’t feel my toes this year,” said Supneet Sekhon, a SAIT student in the bachelor of business administration program.

In order to combat the cold, Sekhan said she wears thick socks, warm or long boots, and has started to wear a beanie.

Students in Calgary often face freezing temperatures and potential frostbite during their commutes. 

The Mayo Clinic, a non-profit medical research group and practice located in Minnesota, recommends trying to limit the time spent outdoors as much as possible.

Hypothermia is a possibility in this weather. One of the first warning signs of hypothermia is shivering, which occurs  when one’s core temperature starts to drop, causing the body to shake in order to generate heat. 

In the event that the shivering stops, it’s time to find somewhere warm. 

Frostbite can also happen quickly, so be aware of red or pale skin, or the sensation of prickling and numbness.

“I got frostbite on my lip. I was walking outside for 10 to 15 minutes. It was all blue, and I couldn’t feel my lips for a good two weeks,” said Karamdip Dhillon, a bachelor of business administration student at SAIT. 

These simple tips will help make the daily commute to school a bit more bearable.

When outside, avoid sitting down, as direct contact with chilly surfaces will drain the heat from your body.

Layer on clothing that is loose and warm to trap air between clothes in order to add extra insulation. Adding long underwear, a Canadian fashion staple, and thick socks can help prevent your body from losing heat as well.

Waterproof outerwear is essential in Calgary to protect against snow and rain. Windproof clothing is also important because the wind moves the warmth out of your body.

Bust out your toque, balaclava, earmuffs or headband to protect your ears and face in the biting cold.

While gloves can help against the cold, mittens provide better protection. However, when it gets really cold, layering up is the best way to keep your hands warm.

The more coverage you have from head to toe, the warmer you’re going to be when it gets bone-chillingly cold outside.

“The first few years here, I was fascinated by the cold,” said Jean Patterson, an instructor in the School of Information and Communication Technologies who is originally from Vancouver.

“I’ve gotten used to the weather here, but appreciate Chinooks.” 

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