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  # 1387081 14-Sep-2015 11:01
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vavroom: For those of you who don't remember me, I was raised in Quebec and lived through about a LOT of winters before leaving North America to go live in NZ for a dozen years. I've now been back in Quebec for a couple years.

The advice elpie gave is spot on. I can only reiterate: Layers will keep you warm. Natural fibers for under layers (wool is best), and a good waterproof/windproof outer layer. And a good pair of snow boots if you're going to face that.

I don't really do big down coats or jackets, even when it's -40C.

As for Canada Goose
Geektastic: I was in Queenstown last week and saw some Canada Goose stuff. Very expensive indeed. It's never cheap because it is very good, but pretty sure it would be cheaper in Canada.


Canada Goose USED to be very good. Now they are average. They are still trading on their name. They were never designed for urban activities. Now, they have models designed for that, but their entire range has gone down hill. It's a veritable fashion to wear Canada Goose (incidentally, it's a HUGE fashion also to wear Ugg boots outdoors in winter here).

But as many have pointed out, it depends on where in Canada you are coming (it takes 5 days to drive from one end of the country to the other, so it's not like the weather will be the same...) and it depends how long you'll be here.


That is a shame to hear; mine is one of the ones made for the antarctic expedition folks and in Whistler, I wore it comfortably at -15 with a t shirt underneath when going out in the evening apres ski.







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  # 1387179 14-Sep-2015 14:07
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I think the polar bear people are supplying some outer wear so just need it for the rest of the holiday. I dont want to take an entire winter wardrobe with me, so probably just one piece of each outer-wear (coat, pants, gloves, boots) and many of the under-layer stuff. After that may send the gear to England so I can use it when visiting family over there at winter.




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  # 1387197 14-Sep-2015 14:17
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One thing to remember: If you are getting winter boots: Make sure to remember you will be using double thick socks when wearing them. If you get a snug fit for regular thin socks you are really going to struggle when you layer up..






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  # 1387202 14-Sep-2015 14:24
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jarledb: One thing to remember: If you are getting winter boots: Make sure to remember you will be using double thick socks when wearing them. If you get a snug fit for regular thin socks you are really going to struggle when you layer up..

Good point, I'll remember that. I find wearing stockings under socks keeps my feet quite warm.




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  # 1387210 14-Sep-2015 14:38
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kiwifidget:
jarledb: One thing to remember: If you are getting winter boots: Make sure to remember you will be using double thick socks when wearing them. If you get a snug fit for regular thin socks you are really going to struggle when you layer up..

Good point, I'll remember that. I find wearing stockings under socks keeps my feet quite warm.


Synthetic materials under socks can actually cause problems with extreme cold. Dampness needs to be able to be wicked away. Stockings trap this next to the skin. Thick wool (or, better yet, possum/merino) socks are all you need if you are wearing the right boots. Winter boots have insulating liners. The right footwear will have your feet comfortable - not warm and not cold- without letting the cold seep up from the soles.

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  # 1387228 14-Sep-2015 14:54
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kiwifidget: I think the polar bear people are supplying some outer wear so just need it for the rest of the holiday. I dont want to take an entire winter wardrobe with me, so probably just one piece of each outer-wear (coat, pants, gloves, boots) and many of the under-layer stuff. After that may send the gear to England so I can use it when visiting family over there at winter.


I'd get under layers in NZ and a good jumper, hat and scarf too. Then wait until you book your polar bear experience to find out what equipment is included. There's every chance that you will move from a heated hotel into a heated vehicle and back. Polar bear tours generally keep people safe inside vehicles. You are unlikely to spend much/any time outside in Churchill. Tours usually supply any outerwear that's necessary. 

For Vancouver and lower BC, you don't need winter boots or down coats. Apart from normal NZ winter wear, the only things you will need that you may not already have are good, grippy waterproof footwear and a breathable waterproof rain jacket/coat. An umbrella for Vancouver is also a good idea. 

It's worth taking two of every outerwear item (hat, gloves, scarf, jumper, trousers) if you plan to be out and about each day. Vancouver and lower BC get a LOT of rain and up in Churchill snow is wet. If you get wet you will want dry things to put on while the first things dry out. 

A year out is a long time for planning. Whether the things you want should be bought in NZ or Canada will be influenced by this. At the moment, the NZ dollar is really low against the Canadian dollar, making everything more expensive here if you are paying in NZ funds. This could change greatly over the next year. 
However, if you plan to buy in NZ then watch out for sale items as stores clear out the winter stock. Look also at Amazon for bargains through March/April/May when the North American winter gear starts clearing out. 

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