Winter hacks every Manitoban should know

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Winter tricks every Manitoban should know

Staying warm and healthy

  1. Embrace winter!
    • The best way to be warm is to stay positive.
    • Stop listening to complainers. They will make you believe that winter is terrible.
    • Winter can be fun. Everything looks fresh and uniquely beautiful this time of year.
    • Try some winter activities.
  2. Keep skin covered
    • Skin starts freezing at -27C.
    • Keep your body covered. Your fingers, toes and ears are the first to get frostbitten.
    • If you keep forgetting or losing your gloves, scarves or hats, carry a small bag. Put them inside when you’re not using them.
    • If you don’t want to carry a bag, bring spare gloves or mittens and scarves. Leave them in your workplace. Pack extra socks, in case you need to replace wet ones.
    • Mittens are better than gloves. They keep hands warmer.
    • When the temperature is very low, wear thermal underwear and ski pants. You need them if you will be outside for a long time.
    • If you are usually indoors, layer your clothes. Take off some layers when it gets warm.
  3. Moisturize
    • You will tend to have chapped lips and dry skin on elbows, feet, heels, and knees.
    • Apply lotion after a shower while your skin is still slightly wet. This will keep moisture in.
    • Have a tube of petroleum jelly or lip balm in your pocket. Apply to protect your lips from windburn (men should do this too).
  4. Sunblock and shades in winter
    • Manitoba stays sunny even in winter.
    • You need sunblock protection all year round.
    • Sunglasses are important when driving. The afternoon sun can be intense. Sun’s rays can also reflect on snow. You need eye protection to be safe.
  5. Take some vitamins
    • Ask your doctor about Vitamin D and B supplements.
    • If you are feeling down, getting sunlight and Vitamin D can help.
    • Vitamin B boosts your immune system.

Energy saving and home care tips

Keep your home safe and warm without causing high electric bills.

  1. Caulk or weatherstrip your windows and doors
    • Check windows and doors for gaps that let warm air escape.
    • Caulk or weatherstrip these spaces.
    • They are cheap ways to conserve the warm air in your home. This helps lower heating bills.
  2. Block drafts under doors
    • Check for spaces under doors.
    • Cut a foam pipe insulator and slide it under to close the gap.
    • This will help keep your room warm.
  3. Close unused rooms
    Close the door of unused rooms to keep heat in one area.
  4. Shovelling
    • Shovelling is hard work!
    • Warm up before you shovel your yard.
    • Work slowly. Watch out for back strain.
    • If it’s just light snow, it’s better to use a broom.
  5. Non-stick shovel
    • Spray non-stick cooking spray or silicone-based lubricant on your shovel.
    • This prevents snow from sticking to it.
    • It will make shovelling easier.
  6. Open curtains when the sun is out.
    • Keep your curtains open during the day when the sun is out.
    • This will let the warmth in until late afternoon.
  7. Clean up
    Change the furnace filters regularly. It will increase its efficiency and life.
  8. Thaw out locks
    • Opening doors can be hard when you come home in the afternoon or at night. Locks can be frozen.
    • Use a lighter to heat up your key before putting it into the lock.
  9. Fire safety? In winter?
    • Winter is a busy season for fires in Canada.
    • This may be due to unattended fireplaces or burning candles.
    • Check your house’s smoke alarms. Make sure that they work.
    • Make an emergency plan.

Car care and driving

  1. Park facing east
    • Park facing east as much as possible.
    • The sun will help you melt some of the snow on your car.
  2. Non-stick wipers
    • Position your windshield wipers away from the glass.
    • Put old socks to cover them.
    • This will prevent them from sticking to your windshield when you are parked outside.
  3. Pack a car mat
    • Always pack an extra car mat for emergencies.
    • Lay it down under your tires for traction if you get stuck in snow.
    • Others use kitty litter for the same purpose.
  4. Keep your car clean
    • Use an old credit card (or any used plastic card) to scrape ice from your windshield.
    • Keep newspapers in the car.Protect your carpet from muddy footwear by laying down some newspapers.
  5. Keep an emergency kit
    • Aside from a first-aid kit, pack:
      • a thick blanket
      • extra coat
      • mitts and socks
    • It can ensure that you and your family will stay warm in case of an emergency.
    • You may also be of help to someone in need.
  6. Drive safe
    • Change to winter tires.
    • Keep emergency items in the trunk:
      • flashlight
      • battery jumper cables
      • a light shovel
    • Drive slowly.
    • Brake slowly.
    • Focus and pay attention.
    • Or read Top 3 winter driving tips.

Have a safe and fun winter!

Sources: 6 tips for staying safe and healthy during cold Canadian winters, Inside Toronto; 56 life hacks to help you win at winter, Sarah Winfrey, Wise Bread; Winter life hacks to help you get through Canada’s extreme cold, Rebecca Zamon, Huffington Post Canada.

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