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A Good Winter Kit Makes All the Difference

Published January 18, 2020.
Est. Reading: 3 minutes

Welcome to 2020! Man, is it cold! With ambient temperatures dipping below -35 and windchills of below -40, we're starting the year off with what most Canadians know and refer to as A Deep Freeze. One thing we think (or hope) all Canadians eventually learn in life is: making it through the winter is made significantly less stressful and more enjoyable by having a really good winter kit. Setting yourself up with good quality wears that are made to keep you warm, even in the coldest conditions, opens up your options for navigating the environment we live in and they're worth the investment. As you can probably imagine, we here at the mill have a good few items that allow us to live out the winters in relative comfort and general happiness!

For Your Person:

Dressing in wool is a time-tested and proven way to keep yourself warm in cold weather. Wool's unique moisture handling properties mean that if you are working up a sweat outside doing chores or shoveling the walk, wool will transfer moisture, creating heat while it does, so that you stay warm and dry rather that allowing you to become damp, cold, and clammy. Of course the most important way to keep yourself warm is to keep your head warm - wear a toque! In extremely cold conditions, the lofty nature of a toque knit from our Prairie Wool Bulky 6-Strand or Prairie Sea Fusion yarns will trap warm air amid the wool fibres so your body doesn't lose all its warmth like a chimney out the top of the house! Next, dressing in layers is a big recommendation. You need to be able to dress down for when you are inside and dress up for heading into the great outdoors. A staple part of our wardrobe is the Seine River Shepherds Vest - layered over a mid-weight sweater such as one knit from our Mule Spinner 2-Ply and some Stanfields wool long underwear, and under something to cut the wind, the core of your body will stay nice and toasty, keeping that heat pumping out to your limbs. Lastly, having your hands and feet clothed in good quality mitts, socks, and footwear to keep them from becoming frostbitten. For these extremely cold temperatures, thrummed mittens such as the ones we are making in the 2020 CWM Natural Dye Club are a cozy and warm option. On your feet, our Prairie Wool Extra Thick 100% Wool Socks inside a good pair of mukluks will never let you down, or, in an emergency, two pairs of 100% Wool or Wool/Mohair socks will get you to safety with your feet in good shape, as demonstrated by survival instructor Mors Kochanski with Karamata Wilderness Ways in the YouTube video below.



For an Emergency Car Kit:

While it is always good to have a few emergency supplies in your vehicle, when conditions get this cold and even the most reliable vehicles can leave you stranded on the side of the road, we like to throw a couple extra items in the backseat or trunk of the car. First, when temperatures dip below -30, we always travel with a Cold Country Wool Sleeping Bag in the vehicle. Filled with 100% wool batting and covered with a heavy cotton canvas, these sleeping bags trap heat! If you are broken down on the side of the road and waiting for a tow truck, or you come across a situation where someone is getting too cold and needs assistance (which can particularly happen to the elderly and less mobile), wrapping a person up in one of our big sleeping bags can really change the outcome. We also always travel with a few extra pairs of 100% wool socks in the car, for the above mentioned situations, plus, in a pinch, they can be worn on a person's hands if you have forgotten your gloves or come across someone in immediate distress.



So, here's wishing you stay warm out there and enjoy the beautiful Canadian winter, in all the cold glory it has to offer! If you need some better winter kit, come visit us at the mill!

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