Surviving Sub Zero Temperatures

By Lily King

Us Brits love a good moan about the weather in the UK, but how do people cope in really cold climates? I asked five UoB students who have lived in cold countries for their advice on keeping warm…

Maisie: Ontario, Canada

“Never go outside with wet hair- I made this mistake once and my hair literally froze to my head! Also, don’t buy your winter jacket in the UK because it probably won’t be warm enough- I bought new winter clothes when I got to Canada and they were so much warmer. Make sure you layer up under your coat too, but be prepared to de-layer when you’re inside, as buildings and public transport are usually well heated!”

Rory: Otago area, New Zealand

“Make sure you always know exactly where you’re going when you leave the house so you don’t have to stop at any point on the way. Also don’t be afraid to wear tights if you’re a boy! They are absolute life savers. Never keep your hands still in your pockets, even if you are wearing gloves- squeeze them like you have a stress ball. A couple of people I know actually carried things in their pockets to fiddle with to keep their hands warm when walking!”

Maria: Quebec, Canada

“A big thing for me was actually learning about warm weather clothing- Primark thermals and socks won’t cut it in -15 degree temperatures! It doesn’t have to be expensive but definitely do your research. Uniqlo thermal leggings completely saved me! Also a massive pro-tip: I got a winter coat from Columbia that has 2 parts- the warm inside with heat technology can be taken out and you can wear the snow-proof part alone. Though this was expensive, it was cheaper than the bigger brands and I still get so much wear out of it now!”

Patrick: Sweden

“I owned plenty of thermal underskins for basically every part of my body by the end of winter and bought some high grip walking boots to help with the ice.  I also learnt not to shower in the mornings before lectures, because any bit of your hair that’s wet freezes almost instantly when you go outside.  Bikes need to be left inside because the chain can freeze and break.”

Meg: Ontario, Canada

“I always kept my ankles covered, no trainers- just long socks and boots! And try to stay indoors when it gets dark because the temperature really drops!”

Whether you are heading somewhere freezing cold or boiling hot on your hols, make sure you visit https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/ before you go for some travel tips.

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