Friday, March 4, 2011

All In A Day's....Walk

Took Sophie down to the boardwalk and trail just before lunchtime yesterday. 

It was very sunny outside and the outdoor temp said minus 5 degrees C. Not too bad I thought. I will have to dress accordingly. 

So took Sophie out to the car and into the back seat. I realized that it was windy as well and with the wind chill from that the temperature would be much minus 20 degrees C.! I therefore left the camera home.

I knew right away that I had to go back inside and add another layer to the mix....otherwise it would be touch and go down by the ocean.

Thought I would share with all of you, especially you who live in the more 'southern' climes, what we in the 'far north' (lol) have to consider before we even leave the house.

First off, long underwear made of Merino wool is essential from late October to I'd say May. Then over these of course your jeans. That long underwear has to be tucked into a thick pair of woolen socks. All this you will have to 'picture' for yourselves!

OK. From here a t-shirt for the first upper-body layer. Over this a long-sleeved t-shirt. Then a light, down-filled jacket pull-over. And yesterday I needed a sweater over this! And last but not least a light-weight, poly-filled winter coat. There, body done! Five layers!!!

Now don't start thinking that I am complaining. This is all so automatic by December that we don't even think about it.

But I will say that I look forward every year to the day that I can just step outside with a t-shirt and shorts!! No restrictive clothing!

Where was I? Oh yes, body done and now for the hands and feet. 

First the feet. This time of year if you plan to spend up to an hour outside you will need footwear that is winterized and waterproof. So I wear these hiking boots. They look heavy but are not too bad at all and they have a great sole with lots of 'gripping' things, treads, on the bottom.

Now for the hands. My nemesis. I knew how much my hands froze last year on our walks, so this past fall I was determined to find mitts that would keep the hands warm.

So I found these.

I find that mitts are warmer because the fingers are together inside  helping along the process. As clumsy as they look, they are much better than gloves. But these mitts are different. Look!

Yes, they have lithium batteries inside! These are connected to 'wires' in the mitts to heat them up. And they work! Mind you, it's not like a furnace inside there, but they do keep the fingers from freezing off! I love them.

Oh yes, I almost forgot. There are two more pieces of clothing that are  essential for our hour-long walks at the beach. First is a fleece neck-warmer/cowl that can be pulled up over your face if need be. And lastly, a touque/for the head....this of course will be 'covered' by the coat's hood!

I know, why would we put ourselves through all this just to go for a walk?! Good question. And my only answer is that we are so used to doing this every winter, as are most Canadians except for the west coast, that it has become a part of what we do up here in the 'Far North'.

Just to make it clear, we do not live in the Far North here in Nova Scotia. As you can see in the above map, the 'Far North' is way up there in the northern parts of  Quebec, Labrador, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and the Yukon.

Canadians from those parts of the north would probably laugh at us thinking that it is cold here in the 'south'.

So there you have it! It's all in a day's walk here in Nova Scotia.

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