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Canada in Winter - Packing List for Winter Travel

Winter clothing for Canada in winter with freezing temperatures
The ballerina in ice is only beautiful if winter clothing in Canada protects against the cold in winter

Canada in winter - what is the best winter clothing?

What is the best winter clothing for Canada in winter? We asked ourselves this question as soon as it became clear that we were visiting the Winterlude Festival in Ottawa. It's not easy to pack for such a trip. Because temperatures of -33° C are unknown where we live. Not every year temperatures are that icy at the Winterlude in Ottawa. When we were there, we were told that temperatures this cold were extraordinary.

Petar in winter clothing for Canada in winter
Petar in winter clothing in Canada in winter

What are Canadian Winter Temperatures like?

It's hard to say in general. Canada is the largest country in the world and has many climate zones. These are usually colder than where we live in Europe. Canada has no mountain ranges that run from east to west. They do not keep out the temperatures and winds from the north. Therefore, the wind can make the temperature feel colder than it actually is due to the wind chill factor. Temperatures also fluctuate a lot from year to year. During our stay in Ottawa, for example, we had extreme cold during our visit at the Winterlude. But it doesn't have to be that way every year. It is best to check the temperatures before you leave and pack your winter clothing accordingly for your winter vacation in Canada. Winter clothing in Canada must correspond to different climates.

Average temperatures in Celsius - Which winter clothing is the best for winter in Canada
Average temperatures in Celsius in Canada (source: www.klimatabelle.info)

Canada in winter is cold - and not just in winter

Icy temperatures were a good thing for our visit at the Winterlude. They made the conditions on the Rideau Canal perfect to prepare the ice rink. The Winterlude Festival is known for the scating rink. As it turned out, it was a different cold than what we know in Central Europe. Dry but icy. When the wind blows, the wind chill factor is added. This factor makes the icy cold extremely noticeable. Therefore, you should know before you travel, how to best protect yourself against the cold in the Canadian winter. Which winter clothing is the best? These tips are also helpful for other activities that are possible in Canada in winter. These tips are just as interesting for skiers as for trips to regions with extreme cold. The two Canadians Karla and Matt from Must Do Canada show you in their video what a Canadian wears in winter.

Videos are subject to copyright

What does perfect Winter Clothing look like at the Winterlude in Ottawa?

First of all, you have to be aware that on the one hand, you will be spending a lot of time outdoors, and thus be out in the freezing cold. Unlike skiing or other outdoor winter activities, Winterlude offers you the opportunity to visit cafes, restaurants, hotels or even warm up in heated tents, that are erected specifically for that purpose. On the one hand, that means, that the winter cold in Ottawa can be tolerated well. On the other hand, this also means that you are constantly going from the freezing cold outdoors to heavily overheated rooms. We've never spent so much time on a trip putting our winter clothes on and off. Therefore one thing is absolutely important: you have to dress accordingly.

Ice carver in winter clothing in winter in Canada
Ice carver wrapped up warm at work

Canada clothing in winter - based on the onion principle

Underwear and pants

The more layers you wear on top of your winter clothing for Canada, the warmer you get. Outdoors! But also in the overheated rooms. We therefore considered it that we Woolen underwear * wore on the skin. Also remember to protect your legs with long underpants * under warm winter pants *, If two layers are not enough, you can always add another. This ensures that you are protected twice (or triple) against cold on your legs outdoors. So the cutting wind can not affect you so quickly. In warm rooms you can pull out one layer at a time if it gets too warm.

Sweaters, Jackets and Winter Coats

We wore it lightweight turtleneck sweater * or sweatshirts *, And then came one more thick, warm cardigan *, One is also possible warm softshell jacket *, I wore my normal over it Winter coat with winter lining *and Petar wore his Loden coat *, In our winter clothing we looked like Michelin men, but we were well equipped to deal with the cold outdoors. And that's why we didn't notice. Because this is the time of year for everyone in Canada.

If it was still too cold for us outdoors, we went to cafes, restaurants or hotel lobbies, where we warmed up again. Since this was usually done very quickly with our layers look, we were soon too hot. If we used the breaks for a warm drink, we had to shed layers one after the other until we felt comfortable again inside.

What helps against cold Feet and Hands?

Feet and hands are particularly sensitive when it is icy outside. At temperatures of -33 ° C you need warm ones gloves * and thick socks*, Hands and feet are particularly sensitive when the wind whistles over cold snow or ice. Therefore, you should definitely make sure warm shoes * take. I underestimated that on our trip to Ottawa. But there is a remedy that helps quickly.

The best Winter Protection in Canada: Hand and Foot Warmers

At -33 ° C, this is usually only enough for a few minutes. But inventive, as the Canadians are, there's also a solution. Do you already know hand warmer that you put in the gloves? These keep you warm for up to eight hours. Although we were not eight hours straight at these lows outside on the way. But the time we spent outdoors in Canada during the winter kept our hands warm. There are, for example, the rechargeable Hand warmers *that exist in all forms and with practical additional functions. Practical are these too Hand warmers *, These are simply put in the gloves and immediately have warm hands for several hours, no matter how cold it is outside. They have done us excellent service in the icy temperatures during the winter lapse in Ottawa.


Foot Warmers

And of course there are also foot warmers for the feet and especially the toes. After all, there is nothing more unpleasant than ice-cold feet, when you're out and about in the freezing cold of winter. Simply put these pads under your feet in your shoes. After that, neither ice nor snow will bother you.

Protect Head and Ears

Also important is good protection for the head and ears. When the cutting wind blows from the north, ears and head feel it first. The best way to help a thick and warm cap *that you can pull up over your ears. It is best if she has a border to fold. Then your ears are doubly protected. Or you also use it Earmuffs *, If your one warm winter jacket with big hood * you can also wear them over the warm winter hat. So you are perfectly protected against the extreme cold in winter in Canada.

The optimal protection against the cold is everything that covers the skin several times. However, it should also be so convenient that you can take these things off and on quickly. To do this warm scarf for the neck *, It should ideally be so large that you can pull it over your nose if necessary. Then you are perfectly equipped for winter in Canada (and elsewhere).

With this clothing you are optimally protected against extreme cold

This winter clothing ensures a fun-filled winter in Canada experience, whether you're in Ottawa in winter or skiing in the Rocky Mountains. Protected like that you can really enjoy Canadian winter events, without having to worry about the cold.

Source: own research on site for the article "What is guaranteed cold protection in winter in Canada?". We thank Tourism Ottawa, Ontario Tourism and the Canadian Tourism Commission for supporting this trip.

Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photo: © Copyright by Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline


  1. Antje
    | Reply

    I swear on the Onellock, but unfortunately it does not help against cold feet. Especially if you are not constantly on the move. The tip with the Fußwärmern I think so great, did not know the yet, I'll give it a try.

    • Monika & Petar Fox
      | Reply

      Dear Antje,

      Feet and hands are always the weak points when it's really cold. Since the foot and hand warmers are really great.

      Best regards,

  2. Outdoor pleasure
    | Reply

    Being outside in winter is our job. We have a lot of experience with the Scandinavian winter, and sometimes it gets zapfig. From our experience, it is important that the upper and lower body ends are well warmed. So cap and headband on the head, you can also pull on each other well and then for warm feet, for example, through thick socks and thermal soles in the shoes (which should have thick soles). Otherwise, the onion principle is perfect and I (female) find a kidney warmer really great!

    Many greetings Silke & Thomas of outdoor enjoyment

    • Monika & Petar Fox
      | Reply

      Dear Silke, dear Thomas,

      I can well imagine that it will be cold in the Scandinavian winter. These are similar latitudes as in Canada. How are the temperatures there in winter?

      Best regards,

  3. Angela
    | Reply

    Dear Monika,

    The onion principle in clothing actually always makes sense, even if it's not that cold. I always use that with myself and with my son when we're on the road. Especially when traveling, it is extremely convenient because you are always dressed properly in changing places with changing temperatures.

    Best regards

    • Monika & Petar Fox
      | Reply

      Dear Angela,

      It also has the advantage that you do not necessarily have to take the thickest sweater and the suitcase is not already filled with a garment.

      Best regards,

  4. Charnette
    | Reply

    Dear Monika,
    Thanks for the great tips, although I have already known most of course. What we have never tested before are the foot warmers. How is your experience? Do not you get extremely cold feet when the heat goes out?

    • Monika & Petar Fox
      | Reply

      Dear Charnette,

      we loved the foot and hand warmers. Without them, we would have had half as much fun on this trip. But that's how they really kept our feet, toes and hands warm. And even after that there were no cold feet. I would recommend to anyone who has cold feet problems in winter.


  5. Alex
    | Reply

    Since we live a little higher, extreme minus temperatures are not unknown to us. Unfortunately, the damp cold climate predominates here, which is much more disgusting than the dry cold.

    • Monika & Petar Fox
      | Reply

      Dear Alex,

      you're right. The dry cold of Canada is quite good to endure, if you dress warm. We had great luck with the weather during our visit to Winterlude. Throughout our stay in Ottawa, the sun was shining from the deep blue sky. We gladly went exploring the Winter Wonderland in the Canadian capital.

      Best regards,

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