The weather has become the news. Extreme conditions do that I guess. Montreal, like much of Canada and the upper Midwest of the US, is socked in an incredibly cold air mass. My morning jog was more of a sprint and a promise today; when exposed skin can freeze in 10 minutes I don’t push it (when I was younger and dumber I would just keep going until I warmed up, now I realize it’s already warm at home …).
One of the indicators of just how cold it is out there is that the fallen snow squeaks when walked on making a sound like Styrofoam. The temperature is currently -27°C and with the wind factored in it’s about -38°C. As a point of reference -40°C and -40°F are the same, that is the point at wich the two scales cross.
Some tips for staying warm:
- Dress in layers; take every piece of clothing you own (summer, winter, sleep wear) and put it on in layers. This will keep you warm, but be careful not to fall over or, much like a turtle you’ll have to wait for someone to flip you over and help you up because you will look like Bib the Michelin man.
- Hard boil two eggs and put them in your mittens; they’ll keep your hands warm and provide a snack once you get to work/school – unfortunately if you’re not a fan of hard-boiled eggs, fried or scrambled eggs are not recommended for this ;
- Some people put their feet in plastic bags before putting on their shoes. I’ve heard of this as a solution to a leaky boot on wet weather, but wonder if it will help with cold;
- For those of us who wear eyeglasses keep in mind that the instant you get into an over-heated bus your glasses will steam up and freeze rendering you blind. The other frozen commuters waiting to get on after you will be very impatient as you fumble to pay and make your way to the back of the bus. There really isn’t a solution to this, just prepare yourself with some cutting retorts!
- Finally, and probably the best solution – stay home!
If you have to brave the extreme cold try to keep in mind that even this is relative. I thought I was cold this morning until I saw my neighbor from Bangalore, India. In comparison I didn’t seem to be having as much trouble coping with the cold!