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Tuesday, January 03, 2012

What to wear on a cold day in Toronto

Happy New Year! I'ts bitterly cold in Toronto this morning. -13C, but with the wind chill, it's closer to -24C (or -11F). For a guy from temperate Seattle, WA, that's cold.

Luckily, and thanks to my Love, I am prepared. So what do you wear to stay warm on a bitterly cold day? Here are my outer gear choices, from the top down:

  • Toque - Mine is just a red Nike woven cotton one. Nothing fancy.
  • Neck Warmer - I got this polar fleece one from Mountain Equipment Co-op. It works well because you can pull it up over your face too.
  • Scarf - A good scarf can be wrapped any number of ways to keep your neck, face and chest a little more comfortable and takes care of areas a neck warmer can't cover.
  • Down Jacket - This is where I got fancy (but my Love says its an "investment"). The jacket is a Canada Goose "Banff" Parka and it's my pride and joy. I won't mention all the features (read them here), but a serious winter jacket is a must and this one keeps me more than comfortable without heating me up and making me sweat. 
  • Gloves - While most days I get away with lined leather, on a day like today you need snow gloves that are warm. These are also from Mountain Equipment Co-op
  • Impermeable Boots - Toronto is big on salt. They spread it everywhere on cold days to keep cars on the road and people on their feet. Trouble is, it will ruin your shoes. So a pair of impermeable boots are a must, and insulated ones like my Kamik Insulated Rubber Boot (from Canadian Tire) are good to -40C. No frozen toes for me.
What you wear under all this is up to you, but these basics will keep most of you warm and dry. All told, there's around  $1,000 in gear here (blame the jacket). It can be done cheaper of course - but if you want to adventure in -24C temperatures, be sure and take your clothing seriously.

Have a warm start to your New Year!

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