Depending on where you are in BC, the cold winter can vary from wet and chliiy to snowy and freezing within only a few miles. Those along the coast generally experience milder winters, but the further inland you travel, the icier it gets.
The wind can make everything feel much colder. The average subzero temperatures that are already in minus double-figures will often be accompanied by a wind chill that makes it feel like tens of degrees lower than that. With weather between November and March ranging from heavy rainfall and gusting winds to snow showers and blizzards worthy of an Arctic expedition, it is important to keep yourself as warm and as comfortable as possible at all times.
Although more adventurous souls like to venture out into the bitter cold and storms to pursue a plethora of winter sports activities such as ice skating and hockey, skiing, and even mountain climbing, or they simply have to go to school or work, everyone dresses appropriately to combat the elements.
The most important piece of clothing you will need is a good quality winter coat to keep yourself dry and warm. It’s not without good reason that Canadians love their famous goose down parkas. When shopping for a coat in BC, it’s good to talk to your family and friends to see what they would wear. You can even talk to the salesperson at the store to find out how warm a parka really is, as they probably wear exactly the same one themselves. In most places a 650-fill power goose down parka will be ideal, but you may need a higher fill power than that.
In cold weather, we lose most of our body heat through our heads, so you will also want a warm wool hat which will cover your ears. Mittens or gloves can help keep your hands warm, and of course, you will definitely need some waterproof boots to keep your feet dry. If you are well prepared, going outside in winter can sometimes be fun.
Obviously being inside is a better and a safer option, so it’s a good idea to make sure that your home is well-insulated, all the cracks and drafts are sealed up, and that your furnace or fireplace is fully functional before those winter storms strike.
There are many things you can do to keep the house warm such as letting sunlight in during the day and closing the curtains at night, keeping doors shut, using space heaters to only heat the rooms that you use the most, and making sure that furniture isn’t blocking any vents if you have a forced-air system. Single-glazed windows can be upgraded by covering them with bubblewrap or special clingwrap kits, and don’t forget to block the draft coming from under the door with a “door snake”. Baking and doing more cooking than usual will usually make the kitchen your favorite and warmest place until bedtime.
With the wind howling outside and icy rain lashing your windows, cosily snuggling under goose down bedding is an excellent choice when you want to stay warm in cold weather. Soft goose down comforters come in a variety of sizes, colors, and fill powers.
Trying to find the best down comforter can be slightly confusing at first, but it’s mostly a matter of comparing the fill power rating and construction. Very high-quality down comforters will have many different layers of baffle boxes to prevent the feathers from shifting and to keep the warmth more uniform.
The fill power rating simply represents the number of cubic inches that an ounce of down feathers will take up. The higher the rating, the denser and larger the goose down clusters. Many brands use cheaper fillers such as duck down to reduce the cost. At this point, it mostly comes down to budget and taste as these comforters need to be heavier and thicker to provide the same amount of warmth. Whatever you choose will most certainly keep you toasty warm at night, but the best down comforter should be made from 100% goose down.