Prepare to hate winter less A bit of preparation may even help you enjoy the frozen tundra

‘Winter is coming’ and a stark change in the weather will soon be upon us.

For many of us, the coming of winter calls for hibernating by the fire, wrapped in blankets and sipping hot cocoa, or precisely the opposite: heading out to shred some powder on the hills. 

Whatever your fancy, Calgary gets cold. Everybody needs a reliable strategy to stay warm this winter, but the incoming cold doesn’t have to chill you to the bones.

“Always make sure you have extra wool and polypropylene socks on you – if your feet get cold and wet, you’re going to be miserable,” said Dorian Munday, a survival expert and instructor who served with Calgary’s Highlanders Cadets. 

“You also always want to be wearing a wick layer to keep water off your skin. 

“Being warm is one thing, but if you start to sweat you’re going to be in trouble really fast.”

When it comes to embracing the snow and ice that’s going to stick around for the next six months, there’s definitely more to do than sitting inside and waiting it out.

“Pick a lake and go for a winter hike.

“There’s no better way to integrate or embrace nature,” said Munday.

Mackenzie Wardle, a paramedic with the Associated Ambulance Service (AAS) and SAIT alumnus, said he prefers to bundle up in several thinner layers rather than one thick one so he can undress if he gets too warm.

“Avoid cotton, as it doesn’t stay warm long when it gets wet or sweaty,” said Wardle.

An often overlooked part of winter survival are sunglasses, explained Munday.

“You don’t really tend to think about it because a lot of the sun is being blocked by cloud cover, but a lot of light being reflected off the snow can do some serious damage to your eyes very quickly.”

For students just looking to stay warm on their commute, the standard plugging in of cars, bundling up for a delayed train ride, and keeping a mug of hot chocolate or coffee in hand typically makes commuting, at the very least, tolerable. 

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