Staying Warm Outside During Winter La Petite Watson

Winter Festival Guide: How to Stay Warm Outside During Winter

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Outdoor winter festivals are a great way to embrace this frosty season. They are full of interactive activities that keep you moving in the cold. In the first few minutes, it is easy to stay warm, but as the wind, picks up and the temperature drops, your body will start to feel the chill.

Quick Tips: Use the bathroom before you go outside. Before you leave the comfort of your house scout out nearby indoor washrooms. A café is a great bathroom break and bonus, you get a hot drink to warm up your hands!

We love checking out the local Edmonton festivals and inviting our friends along to join in on the fun. We have introduced many of them to their first winter festival experience in temperatures ranging from plus 5 to minus 25 Celsius. Along the way, I have discovered that both my international and Alberta friends are not always completely familiar with how to bundle up for a cold night of fun. I have many stories of them showing up in high heel boots (“Lea, you said wear boots”) or sporting sneakers for trucking through two feet of snow.

Staying Warm Outside During Winter La Petite Watson

Looking for some Edmonton outdoor fun? See my post, “Five Edmonton Winter Events I Love!

I get it, we do not fit into our childhood snowsuits anymore. Besides that, between car starters and heated seats, how much time do we really spend outside on a weekly basis? When I moved here from the Maritimes I thought I was winter ready, but soon realized this far north my old winter jacket was more suited for fall. After a few years, I am now fully winter ready and want you to be too! Winter festivals are fantastic and worth exploring for more than 20 minutes. Let’s get back to winter basics and enjoy the great cold outdoors!


Yes, choose a jacket for the temperature but also layer up underneath (layers can always be removed if too warm). If you get cold easily and you plan to do many outside activities, I would suggest a heated jacket.

Tip: If you are cold and your jacket is not zipped up, might I suggest zipping it? (lol this is from a real-life example)


Adding a scarf to your outfit not only looks fashionable but it keeps the warmth from escaping your body. On especially windy days, it is perfect for covering your face. (I have gone to festivals in minus 30, between my hat and my scarf all you could see was my eyes, but man I was warm!)

Staying Warm Outside During Winter La Petite Watson

Heat your Head

This can be as easy as putting up your hood, bringing a toque, or wearing an artic style hat.


I always find this area tricky. Normally between wanting to check my phone and pick things up, I cannot decide what to wear on my fingers. Once my fingers get even just a bit cold they go numb and unbearable. Owning an assortment of fingerless gloves, gloves with cell phone compatible tips, heat activated gloves, and mitts is a great start. I have also stuffed my pockets with heat packs.

Legs / calves

Jeans are great for the cold because they are thick. Again layering up is important, try adding leggings underneath or long johns (Mark’s Work Warehouse has heat activated ones). For added warmth, I sometimes wear leg warmers as well.


My feet are the other area I struggle with as once they are cold, they turn white and there is nothing I can do. I own two sets of boots, one rated for minus 20 and another for minus 30 boots, and heat activated socks. Online, I have also seen heated insoles, which I am tempted to purchase.

Staying Warm Outside During Winter La Petite Watson

Examples – My go-to outfits based on the temperature in Celsius

I will show you four simple examples of how I prepare for the weather. These are just where I start, as always layer up or remove layers as necessary depending on how long you are staying outside.

+5 and above (41 Fahrenheit and above)

Light jacket with hood, light gloves (hidden in my pockets for when I need them), light scarf, jeans, and regular winter boots (my minus 20 boots are my go to)

+4 to -7 (39.2 to 19.4 Fahrenheit)

Minus 30 jacket, toque hidden in my pocket, gloves, scarf, jeans, and minus 20 boots.

Optional layering depends on the wind chill: Sweater and leggings under jeans.

Staying Warm Outside During Winter La Petite Watson

-8 to -16 (17.6 to 3.2 Fahrenheit)

Minus 30 jacket, sweater, toque, heat activated gloves, thick scarf, jeans, minus 20 boots, and heat activated socks.

Optional layering depends on the wind chill: arctic hat, mittens, leggings underneath my jeans, and leg warmers.

-17 and colder (1.4 Fahrenheit and colder)

My minus 30 jacket, sweater, arctic hat, mittens, thick scarf, jeans, long johns, minus 30 boots, heat activated socks, and leg warmers.

Optional layering depends on wind chill: heated jacket (layered under minus 30 jacket), and heat packs in pockets.

Staying Warm Outside During Winter La Petite Watson

How do you keep warm outside during the winter? Share your tips and tricks by tweeting me here or commenting below.

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Staying Warm Outside During Winter in Canada at  La Petite Watson. How to dress for +5C to -17C

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