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Winter Skills That You Should Master When Living in Canada

On Thursday (November 19th) morning, a fresh coat of snow greeted most of Manitobans, including us here in Winnipeg, here come’s winter.

According to Environment Canada, Winnipeg received about 3 to 10 centimeters of snow on Thursday morning and for over 24 hours, temperatures made a 15-degree swing from 1 degree Celsius with the wind-chill of feeling like -14.

Actually, 2 weeks before the first significant snowfall in Manitoba, I’ve already started preparing my household’s winter “gear” – jackets, toque, gloves, neck warmers, gloves, ski pants and boots. While I was preparing them, I realized that it was the seventh time that I will wear winter stuff (like what I always mention, I was born and raised in the Philippines and we do not have winter in our country), come to think of it, being able to experience winter even allowed me to gain new skills.  Yes, you read it right, skills! Why not? For people like me who came from a tropical country, acquiring or even mastering skills that you never thought you’ll need one day is an accomplishment. I may sound funny but yeah, there are certain skills that you need to acquire when you live in Canada, and let me share with you what are these skills that I am talking about….

Photo by Von Cruz
Photo by Von Cruz

Becoming a layering pro – dressing for the winter is one of the first things that you must learn and layering is a trend this season.  Layered approach is the a practical way to dress in winter, it not just make you feel warm but also makes adapting to changing conditions easier since it allows you to adjust your temperature, whether inside or outside.  Proper layering allows you to remove or add insulation, thus you won’t be very cold or it won’t be too hot for you. In a very cold temperature, you can have 3 “under-shell” layers to wear. First, you have a base layer, which can be a turtleneck top or any comfy, tight-fitting apparel worn against the body. Then you have your mid-layer which can be a long-sleeved shirt or fleece vest and then you have your insulating layer, it could be a fleece jacket or down vest which will act as your primary source of warmth underneath your winter shell.

Shov­el­ing the snow – if you think this is a man’s duty, you’re wrong.  If you live in Canada, at one point or another you will be faced in a situation where you have to shovel or clear snow especially if you have a house and have a driveway.  Shoveling snow is not a fun activity, although it could be a sort of a workout, it is really a backbreaking and tiresome job.  Aside from investing in the right kind of shovel you must also learn the best ways to remove snow without straining the back or hurting yourself.  When shoveling, you have to be heart smart – don’t eat or smoke before shoveling snow. As much as possible, clear the snow as soon it has fallen, fresh snow is lighter in weight. Shovel in small amounts and instead of lifting the snow, push the snow. There are a lot of websites that offers tips for snow shoveling, take time to read and find techniques that will work best for you and for your situation.

De-icing your driveway/walkways.  Though shoveling is always the best deicing option, there are still times that ice cannot be removed by shoveling and this makes it necessary for you to lay down a deicer to ensure that your driveway and walkways are safe.  There are many deicing options that are currently available which will not just make your home safer but will also protect your home’s hardscaping and landscaping.  Aside from salt, sand and gravel are also commonly used as de-icing options. But you have to remember that the purpose of putting a deicer is to haw ice so that it is easier to remove, not to completely dissolve the ice and using a greater amount of deicer will not make the ice melt any quicker.

Driving in snow.  I cannot discuss much about winter driving because I don’t drive (I will soon do it but not in winter), but I decided to put it in my list because, it’s a fact! Even it is winter and roads are icy, people in Canada or even in other countries experiencing winter still go out and drive. Snow is one of the top causes of road accidents that’s why if you live in a place where there’s this season called winter, it is important that you know how to drive your vehicle when the roads are covered with ice.  By employing a little extra caution and a few smart tips for winter driving, your chances of avoiding a car accident are much better.

Using your Hands with Gloves/Mittens.  If you’ll read back the previous 3 skills that I discussed, you would realize that in doing all of these properly, you have to be dressed properly and your extremities (hands and feet) must be well covered to keep yourself warm.  That is why wearing gloves or mittens is a must in Canada, if you wont cover your hands in the cold, they will get numb.  This is why most people here in Canada are used of doing things with their gloves on.  Though, mittens are often recommended over gloves, because your fingers help keep each other warm from body heat most people prefer to use gloves because it allows them more flexibility in using their hands, so don’t be surprise seeing people eating or drinking with their gloves or even using their phone even while wearing gloves.

How about you do you have any other ” skills” that you think should be added in this list? Please share in comments…


Tips for Snow Shoveling: How to Avoid Back Pain. Retrieved November 25, 2015

Snow Shoveling Techniques to Prevent Low Back Injuries.  Retrieved November 25, 2015

De-Icing Your Driveway The Right Way. Retrieved November 25, 2015

Driving in Snow. Retrieved November 25, 2015

The Ten Commandments of Winter Driving.  Retrieved November 25, 2015



Momsiecle is short for Momsie's Circle. I started my first blog on a free blogging platform in 2006 as a just for fun blog. When my family and I moved to Winnipeg in 2009, I started to write about my challenges and discoveries about living in Canada as an immigrant. In 2012, I decided to make a place to come for aspiring Canadian immigrants and for people who are embracing life in the “new world” that they are in.

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2 thoughts on “Winter Skills That You Should Master When Living in Canada”

  1. Hi Cristina!

    Been following your blog for a while now. My fiance and I recently started to document our own journey to Canada from the Philippines (we’re hoping to move after our wedding this October).

    Anyway, thank you so much for this post! It’s so informative since I’m pretty sure that adjusting to the cold weather will be the #1 adjustment that Filipinos have to make when moving to Canada.

    Crossing our fingers that everything will work out for us. 🙂

    1. Thank you also for following my blog, wishing you and your fiancee all the best, I will try my best to post more informative info that will be very helpful to new immigrants or those who are considering to come to Canada. Please continue to follow my site.

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