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Old 02-14-2013, 08:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Working outside in calgary -tips?

For about the first three weeks of march my company is sending me somewhere outside of calgary for work. I don't know much yet, but I know most of the work will be outside. I really don't know what clothes to bring. Im from tennessee,usa so i definitely am not used to northern winter time. How do people that work outside usually dress? I have some under armor and patagonia base layers that I am planning on bringing as well as an insulated carhart jacket. What about gloves that keep your hands warm while still providing good dexterity? Any other tips or insight will be appreciated.
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I just spent a month and a half up in northern BC for work as well. I'd never been up north for a real winter and was a little leery about what I was in for. It's humid here during the winter but rarely goes much below freezing and I've lived here my whole life. I've worked outside during some storms where it was supposedly around -20C, but still.

Honestly, it isn't that bad. I'm real hardy when it comes to the temperatures in both hot and cold, and I was the only one on my crew that didn't whine and complain about working in the ice and snow, but still.

A good baselayer is the most important part. A nice thick warm one makes all the difference. Calgary is a big city with lots of guys who work so you'll have no problem finding stuff if you need it but start with what you have. You should be good with a big insulated Carhartt jacket, but you might need a shell on top to shed the snow and wind. I wear my Carhartt rain jacket, the breathable one. Bring a toque ("beanie" as you silly yanks like to call 'em ) and some warm socks. Bring some hoodies that you can layer if you have to. Boots are best if they're waterproof. Lots of guys wear big Baffin (Canadian brand, I think) gum boots with liners and steel toes but I prefer wool socks in my waterproof Red Wings with Vibram soles. Most guys have the insulated Carhartt overalls. These are the other big key item. They'll keep you real warm. As for gloves, it's tough to get something warm with dexterity. I wore heavy insulated gloves and got skillful with them.

What are you going to be doing?
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Finding clothing out here will be easy, and I can't really comment on working outside for long periods of time. However, all of Alberta is typically not very cold ambient temperature wise, but because of the mountains rolling out onto the plains, it gets windy here. It's usually the windchill that gets you, and its always (in the winter) a cold, dry area to work in.

Layers will be your friend as the temps here can go up and down like a rollercoaster throughout the day. It's not too uncommon to get a 20*C difference in a day if a chinook rolls through, or a cold front comes in behind one.
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Old 03-04-2013, 04:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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When I used to live there and work outside I would have to wear 2 base layers when it was below -20 (-4f) felt like the freaking stay puft marshmallow man but stayed relatively warm. Other than that it your typical thick wool or merino socks and good jacket and gloves, don't forget your toque eh.
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