Sunday, November 13, 2011

Packing for a Winter Visit to Churchill, Manitoba, Canada

In my opinion, the best thing we did when packing for this trip was to plan on layering. With everyone dressing for the outdoor wind and cold, I could not understand why the buildings were kept so warm. I peeled every time we entered a gift shop or sat down in a restaurant. Plus it got hot in the polar rover if the windows were closed for any length of time.

The weather when we visited, at the end of October/beginning of November, was unusually warm. (We were told that the pack ice was forming two weeks later than normal.) Daytime temps were in the 30’s and we had only a dusting of snow. We never wore the boots provided by NatHab but certainly would have if there had been a few inches of snow or it had been significantly colder. As it was, we wore our hiking shoes with sock liners and wool socks.

During the day, we layered with items like long underwear, quick dry t-shirt, long sleeved shirt, fleece jacket and/or fleece vest. We topped it off with our waterproof/windproof shell that we had received from Hurtigruten on our Antarctica trip. We added gloves/mittens with glove liners, hats and I added a scarf. Jerry added windproof pants since he planned on spending time photographing from the rover’s open deck.

Night was different. It was COLD. At night we wore the NatHab parka instead of our waterproof/windproof shell. We still had our layers underneath so we could shed based upon the inside temperature.

Finally, if soap in a bar and shampoo in a bottle is important to you, pack them. The Northern Lights (photo), the hotel we stayed at in Churchill (and I’m guessing the few other hotels also) had dispensers at both the sink and in the shower containing a blue gel that came out as a foam. It worked fine for us but I can see where some people would prefer a bar of soap and liquid shampoo.

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