Monday, February 28, 2011

How to dress for a Yukon winter, from head to toe

Want to dress warmly when visiting somewhere cold during the winter? Take your cue from the mushers of the Yukon Quest dogsled race.

Want to dress warmly when visiting somewhere cold during the winter? Take your cue from the mushers of the Yukon Quest dogsled race.

Photograph by: Mark Stachiew, Postmedia News

If you travel to the Yukon in winter, there is no need to bring a steamer trunk full of Arctic clothing. Tour operators there which will rent you the necessary cold-weather gear. In case you do want to outfit yourself, or just bring portions of your outfit, here’s our guide to keeping warm:
A good hat that will cover your ears is essential. If you have a balaclava, that is even better as there are times that you may have your face exposed to frostbite-worthy temperatures.
If you don’t have a balaclava, some sort of scarf or neck and face protector is needed to keep the wind off your skin.
Sunglasses won’t keep you warm, but they will protect your eyes from the glare of the sun which never gets very high in the sky during the coldest months.
Lip balm will keep your lips from cracking under the cold conditions.
It’s all about layers. Start with a thin shirt then layer over it a sweater, preferably one with a zipper so that you can open and close it if you get overheated or cool off. The outer layer should be a down-filled coat, preferably a parka with a hood that will help keep your head and neck warm.
Mittens are warmer than gloves, but for there are times you want to pull your hands out to manipulate something, like a camera. Wear thin gloves or glove liners in your mittens so that when you pull out your hands, they are not exposed to the cold.
For times that you can’t keep your fingers warm no matter how thick your gloves or mittens are, pop in a few chemical warmers. They will last for hours and you’ll be thankful for them.
Snow pants are essential if you are going to be tromping around the forest or on frozen waterways. Some come with suspenders and bibs that help keep your torso warm.
Wrap your feet in a pair of warm socks then stick them into thick, waterproof boots such as snowmobile boots so that your toes don’t fall off. Like your mittens, you can wear chemical heating packs in your boots to keep your feet from going numb.
You may feel like an astronaut wearing all of this gear, but keeping warm ensures that you will enjoy yourself for the many hours that you will want to be outside enjoying the activities that a Yukon winter has to offer.
Cold weather gear rental in Whitehorse is possible with MW Outfits,

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