Although Calgary is a very nice city to live in or visit, the winter can sometimes be very harsh and thus it is very important to prepare and to dress accordingly to avoid having a miserable time. The weather also suffers very drastic changes during the day, ranging from temperatures of -25 to +5 which means you must be ready to adapt your clothing to the changing temperatures. It is important to dress accordingly depending on the season, especially during winter.
Let’s start with what you wear under your main clothes; underwear plays a huge role in keeping you warm and it is important that you wear thermal underwear if you plan on surviving the harsh Calgary winters. Thermal underwear can be a bit difficult to adapt to and may sound uncomfortable but keep in mind that your base layer is vital for your winter setup. There are several classes of thermal underwear and you should prepare accordingly for the weather conditions. Thermal underwear classes range from Silk weight (appropriate for -10 degrees Celsius) all the way to Heavyweight (for extreme weather conditions of under -40 degrees Celsius).
Once you have the base layer figured out it is time to move on to your mid layer. This layer will be a sweater, long sleeve shirt or shirt that you will wear on top of your underwear. Mid layers serve two basic purposes, the first one is to create additional insulation between the outside and y our body and the second one is to transfer moisture from your inner layers to your outer layers in order to keep the body warmer. It is important to remember that cotton is usually a terrible choice for your mid layer as cotton absorbs a bunch of water weight which means it will always feel humid and cold. In case of extreme weather conditions, consider wearing a Merino or Cashmere sweater as they are the best material when it comes to keeping you warm.
Finally, we have our outer layer. This layer is usually the easiest one to deal with it as there are only a few things to watch out for. A synthetic jacket, vest or a wool coat are usually great choices depending on the type of weather outside. You’ll want to avoid wool if its rainy or snowing outside. In this case opt for a synthetic material that won’t absorb water. Despite what you might see on advertisements, there’s not a jacket out there that is completely waterproof but there are things you can do to avoid getting wet like using an umbrella or a poncho in extreme conditions.
Keeping your core and your head covered might sound logical. However we usually tend to forget our arms and legs, which play a vital role in maintaining body temperature. A good pair of winter gloves that don’t hinder your hand mobility are a must. Again go for synthetic materials as they are usually more resistant, but wool might work as well. Thermal socks and waterproof shoes are also equally important in keeping you warm.