Extreme Cold Dos and Don’ts

Environment Canada has issued an Extreme Cold Warning for the Province of Quebec. The terribly cold air mass is bad enough, but when the wind blows the ‘feels like’ concept is bone-chilling, dipping to -40C (which is where the two scales meet, so it’s -40 Celsius or Fahrenheit).

The key to surviving this cold is to dress in layers; shirts and sweaters can always be removed if they prove to be too much. But getting halfway to your destination and realizing you are not suitably layered is another case indeed.

There are a number of don’ts, as well as dos; for instance, don’t forget a hat. So much body heat escapes via an uncapped noggin that even with a warm coat you will feel it. Don’t go out if you have respiratory problems as that cold gusting wind can take anyone’s breath away. Be vigilant to exposed skin, Frostnip is a superficial nonfreezing cold injury due to vasoconstriction. The skin will be pale and may have paresthesias or numbness. It is common on the cheeks, ears, and nose. The skin is still pliable. This is a major difference between frostnip and frostbite.

And perhaps most importantly DO NOT put your tongue on a frozen street pole or lamp standard, no matter how tempting it may be. Leave that for a warmer day, or preferably not at all. And if someone dares you to try it, do not fall for it. It is a scientific fact that your tongue will adhere to the frosty pole. I must confess that my pose in the above photo was purely for illustrative purposes, even I’m not dumb enough to really do that!!

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

5 thoughts on “Extreme Cold Dos and Don’ts

  1. Pingback: Author Interview – Paul Barrett & Steve Murphy – “Knight Errant” (Sci-Fi/Fantasy) | toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)

  2. Some advice please. I remember being quite comfortable walking about at -20 Celsius with thermal underwear and jeans. But I am planning to go on a snowmobile ride. With an average temperature of between -5 and -10 Celsius, how important is it to wear windproof pants? I am Malaysian so I am usually at 35 Celsius. Thanks.

    • Hello LGS. Although -5C to -10C is not all that bad,if one is used to the cold, coming from +35C this may be a bit of a shock. Being on a snowmobile in that is a wee bit like being on a motorcycle, the riders of which often wear leather jackets even on mild days. It will feel colder. You may well want to borrow a pair of suitable pants. Enjoy!!

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