Keepin' Warm in Canada, eh?

Posted on Feb 19, 2015 by The Forks Market

It's getting cold in here, folks. And although we've been living in "winter mode" for the past few months, this extreme cold is what separates those that survive from those that thrive in a Manitoba winter. So how exactly does one embrace the frigid temperatures? We asked the Kings of Cold, our Winter Crew, who built and maintain the Red Rive Mutual Trail and Arctic Glacier Winter Park.

These guys are out when it's -40 degrees Celsius, pumping river water out on the ice to make our skating trails. And believe it or not, they stay WARM! Here are the tips they suggest when going out in the cold:

  1. It's all about the base... layer, that is. You need something underneath that will wick away the sweat while you are running around.
  2. The next layer can be normal clothing, or something that you're comfortable in.
  3. The outer limits need to keep the outer elements outside! You need to consider how warm the outer layer needs to be, how much wind it will block, and how waterproof it is. If you are playing in snow (or making a river trail) you will want it to be more water resistant than if you are just going for a stroll in the park. This year, FXR helped our Winer Crew out by providing jackets and ski pants from their Hardwear line for the crew to wear. These guys worked 14 hours out in subzero temperatures and didn't even feel the cold. So remember to invest well in a good outer layer.

4. Cover your skin. Face, ears, neck- these are the parts of you that will be exposed to direct cold and wind. Make sure you have a scarf / bandanna/ buff or something that can cut down on exposure (especially in extreme cold). Ski goggles or superhero masks can also be used to protect your face/eyes and make a great fashion statement.

5. Keep your head in the game. Body heat escapes through your head, so make sure that you have a hood, toque, beanie, cap, something, anything to keep your head warm.

6. Keeping all 10 of your fingers and 10 of your toes is a good goal. Having proper mitts and boots are key to keeping you warm while being out in the cold. For trudging through the snow, you will want high boots with thicker insulation to make sure you feet don't freeze and snow stays out. If you are building a snowman, you'll want to have mitts that have waterproof layer and that can either be tucked into your jacket or go higher up your arm to keep snow out.

7. The extras:

  • There are some new things out there like hand warmers that you can stuff in your pockets or mitts to keep a bit warmer.
  • If you have a friend with you, huddling together can be useful for conserving body head.
  • If you are on the Red River Mutual Trail try to find one of the Warming Huts to take shelter from the cold *(please note some huts are warmer than others).
  • Know your limits. If you need to go inside, go inside.
  • Have a cup of hot chocolate or something warm ready to go when you come inside.

A special thanks to our Winter Crew for keeping the Red River Mutual Trail and on-land tails in tip-top shape this year! Also, a big thank you to FXR, who sponsored the outer gear to help keep our Winter Crew warm.


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