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.


  1. Ooooo, battery-operated mitts -- how futuristic! Glad they work well!

  2. Mercy me that's some serious layering up going on there! I can see needing every bit of it too in your temps!

    I am totally all over finding those gloves! No we do not have the temps here that you do, however this year we hit single digits and minus 0 wind chills a few times. Last year we had a bad winter as well. I have a condition in my hands that causes them to react severely to the cold. I have yet to find gloves that I could stay out in those temps more than 15 minutes. I do believe these gloves of yours would do the trick! I am going to google them now and see if I can find them here in the U.S.

  3. DH had battery operated socks, I can't remember if they were worth what we paid for them. I think the mittens are so much better than gloves, when it gets that cold. Not a fashion statement, but who cares???

  4. i really enjoyed looking at that map. i dont think i have ever put it all into perspective before, all the different parts of canada. i was only familiar with my lil kneck of the woods surrounding montreal and quebec city! thanks, jimbo! i hope you dont mind me calling you jimbo, its said in an affection warm fuzzy oral hug. hee hee. cuz i can. i love those mittens and if only they made socks to match!!

  5. Those might be the most impressive mittens I have ever seen! I am glad you can stay warm and cozy! : ) Soon we will be in shorts, right? Hoping it is sooner rather than later!

  6. I love those mittens. Each year, I guess like you did, I promise to buy myself some great gloves/mittens for the Winter. And each year I wear the same old crappy ones. I truly hate the cold and I'm sure if I visited you, I would freeze to death. Even just looking at your photos from your walks make me shiver. So I mostly read your Blog while in bed under a few covers. Fred sometimes walks in and questions what sites I'm actually viewing. You know I'm just joking, right?
    Your Friend, m.

  7. Wow! That is about two more layers from top to bottom than we have to wear up here "at altitude". Seems like you could get away with less except for those winds you have all the time.

    I just came inside from splitting more wood...a whole truckload. March is our snowiest month here and we will be having fire in the stoves through May, I suppose. Just like you.

  8. now some battery operated socks and neck scarf would be a big help...should I invent those? We spent some time in Alaska, not the far north but north indeed, and cold. You've got a pretty good system going there. Keep warm.

  9. Love the sound of those mittens- I really feel the cold -will have to get myself some ! if I put that many layers on I don`t think i could walk -let alone fit through the door ! LOL XX

  10. I love those mittens and will look for some next year. Do you use them when you are shoveling snow, too? They look like they might be a little slippy for that. What about when you're taking pictures. Are you bare handed for that?

    I understand what you mean about getting used to the layers, though. It's the same here, and becomes second nature. So much so that it's actually somewhat of a surprise the first few times you go outside and don't have to bundle up.

  11. I love those mittens,batery operated ones too! My word. I would struggle to keep upright with all those clothes on,I would look like a drunkie! I am in need of a good pair of hiking boots too,I have 2 pairs of really good ones that are a little too big,so no good...


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