Saturday, September 15, 2007

A little help please

This is directed at my new "northern" friends. Rob and I are shopping for winter gear and are looking for some suggestions. What does everyone wear? Where did you buy / order it from? I have a MEC snowsuit for Joey and a Columbia Jacket and snow pants for Colby, so they are set. Now it's just us. And looking at a few blogs where it has already snowed up here, and the average temperature right now in NWT is about 4 degrees, we are going to need some winter gear soon!


Jason said...

Try to get a couple of Canada Goose Parkas - the store may have them, or they are in Selections. May be too warm for where you are, but great if you move somewhere colder. They are not cheap, but you'll get a staff discount as well. A Resolute is the most popular, or a Snow Mantra if you want to go all out, or think you'll get transfered farther north, past the tree line. Nothing will crack on them, I've heard that can happen on some of the "southern" parkas. It's a big advantage to put on ONE coat, instead of a couple shirts, fleeces, and then your parka just to walk to work or unload freight. They will last for years.

Might want something lighter for spring, these are a bit too warm for anything above -15 or 20. I've found that the warmer clothes seem to get a lot dirtier, I tend to wear them when it is starting to get mucky outside. Good time for an old or 2nd hand parka(think duct tape over the rips in the spring).

The cheap snow pants and a pair of suspenders are all I've ever needed, usually just for long periods outside, and (my favorite) fleece lined jeans from Marks for everyday use.

You probably don't need the big moonboots (rated for -100) but the -40 ones are good. If it gets really cold, some knit wool socks inside (I'll sometimes wear 2 pairs if riding a skidoo for a few hours) will do the job. Supposedly you can buy new liners when you need, but I have never tried.

Good trick (if you know how to knit, or know someone who does) is to buy some big, unlined leather mitts and put homemade mittens inside. -25 = one pair inside, colder than that = 2 pairs inside. No fingers, but I have yet to find any gloves with fingers that keep my fingers warm. Grandma loves to hear about someone actully wearing out socks and mitts. The cloth mountie type caps with rabbit fur on the flaps are great, but may also be too warm for you there. You don't want sweaty head when it is cold. Actually, sweaty anything if you can't get inside and dry off is a problem.

Hope this helps. I've been in the North (working for Northern too, nostly in Nunavut) for 7 years, and absolutely hate being cold. Rankin and Churchill have to be the coldest places I can think of, but these clothes made them comfortable. I did find a lot too warm for the "near north", places with trees, but better than wearing all the clothes I owned to go outside. Bad experience the first few weeks all that time ago.

Enjoying reading your blog, I can relate to most of it.


Kara and Matt said...

Hi Tina!
Right there in YK is Weaver and Devore. They carry all kinds of good winter gear including snow goose. They have a website as well- just google it. Matt and I both wear our snow goose during the super cold months. The rest of the winter -20 and up I just wear a cheap 3 in 1 winter coat. I get really hot when I walk to work and back, so I have never been cold! I only wear my Sorel winter boots when I got skidooing. The rest of the winter I wear a Merrell winter walking shoe. It is a slip on insulated shoe. Only problem is if you get a lot of snow drifts, they are only ankle height- so you sometimes get full of snow! I like them b/c they are light on my feet for walking around town. My husband has a heavy duty pair of mittens that he got from weaver and devore and he likes them. Definately get mittens- not gloves! Your fingers will freeze! I have an old pair of mittens that are held together with duct tape that I just love. My hands are also always hot, so I don't have much use for a heavy duty pair!
Helly Hanson makes good under things like face masks and long johns. My husband also has a pair of snow pants from them and he says they are great!
Have fun shopping!

Anonymous said...

Hi not sure if the Sears website delivers where you are but I got fleece lined jeans for Mike there for under $20, on there outlet site and he found them great last winter as he is outside in all weather here in St John's. I know we do not get as cold as you but he finds the cold weather and he really thought they were neat.
Mary Lou

J Consortium said...

We bought our parkas and snowpants from Weaver and Devore in Yellowknife. Boots came from Winnipeg Outfitters (I don't recommend buying through them, the shipping is outrageous). Balaclavas from MEC. Mittens made from local people.


Anonymous said...

My turn!! For the first year and a bit we had the Nex brand of parkas- but this last year we upgraded to matching Snow Goose- awww- we're twins! (he hates that) I got kamik boots- _40 but found they crapped out at -25- and I added another insole- and now they are toasty. I have leather mitts I lined with bunny fur- nice!! And he has snow mobile mitts, an sorels. I think the googles are a good investment though you don't use them alot- but on the days you need them- you are glad to have them. And some type of wind/snow pants are a must. Even though you only have a few inches between the parka and the boots- my oh my can the wind sneak in!!
thats my list- from our time in the arctic

Rob said...

Hey everyone, thanks! I was talking to the managers wife the other day and out of nowhere she asked if I had a parka yet. I told her we were looking and still hadn't ordered one yet. She told me that she had one out back, brand new that someone ordered from selections and never picked it up. It's an XL "NEX" brand, $399 in selections, I guess it had been in the back since the store opened, they sold it to me for $100. Could not pass it up! Just need mitts and boots for me now!