When I checked the weather for my week-long trip to Edmonton in Alberta, Canada in February, I almost fell off of my chair: -29°C. I was never going to survive in that!
Luckily, things got better and by the time I arrived it was “only” -13°C. The next days it would even warm up to around 4°C during the day. So what to pack for winter in Edmonton, Canada if temperatures fluctuate that much?
What to pack for for winter in Edmonton, Canada
People in Edmonton told me that a 20 to 30 degrees (Celcius) difference within one week isn't a rare occurrence over there and so the best is to be prepared for the worst and layer up. That way, you can take things off when you're inside or leave things at the hotel when it's getting slightly warmer outside.
Now, I do have to say that I rarely took something off, but I'm very easily cold.
Just like when I packed for my winter trip to Quebec in 2014 or for my trip to Austria in winter last year, I didn't buy any special winter gear, though I must say I did already have a few things. The others, I borrowed.
So if you're wondering how to survive winter in Edmonton, it's perfectly doable in rather normal clothes :-)
My Edmonton winter packing list
Clothes and accessories
- 1 light fleece sweater
- 1 light woolen sweater
- 1 thick dress legging (which I brought to wear to the Edmonton Oilers Ice Hockey game and to my birthday dinner)
- 1 pair of jeans
- 1 Icebreaker Lightweight 200 g legging (that I wore every day underneath my jeans)
- 1 Icebreaker lightweight Oasis Henley 200 g base layer + 2 other base layers
- gloves with special fingertips so you can use them with your phone
- warm woolen socks, including one pair of Icebreaker merino woolen socks
- basic underwear and bras
- a nice pull-over and shirt
- a hat
- my ski pants – I brought these to go snowshoeing at Elk Island but ended up not wearing them
- a long, warm, wind and waterproof winter jacket
- 1 fleece buff
- Solomon snow boots I'd borrowed from Boyfriend's mom. They're a bit clucky but I always borrow these and they're amazing. Warm and water proof! I wore them to Elk Island and the Silver Skate Festival.
- all-leather Aesics sneakers
- zomig (for migraine attacks)
- immodium (against diarrhea)
- montelukast (against allergies)
- cetirizine (against allergies)
- motilium (against nausea)
- spidifen (painkiller)
- symbicort (inhaler)
- birth control pil
- special bandages against blisters
- 2 packs of paper tissues
- my Eagle Creek Specter Pack-It cubes
- my Pacsafe Citysafe travel handbag
- my new Lowepro Slingshot Edge AW 150 camera bag
- a notebook and pens
- my flight pillow
- laptop + charger
- my camera + charger
- my smartphone + charger
- a Samsung Gear 360
- my Kindle Paperwhite
- USB-cables to connect all the electronics to each other
- my external hard drive
- 2 universal chargers
- small shower gels and small shampoos that I took with me from a hotel on another trip (yes, I'm that kind of person)
- facial creme
- sun screen (which I wish I'd used!)
- lip balm
- solid deodorant
- hair brush and comb
- basic make-up and make-up remover
- toothpaste + tooth brush
- and probably some other basic bathroom items
And that's about it!
Now, if I didn't have that trip planned to Elk Island, I might not have brought the snow boots. While I could definitely use them at the Silver Skate Festival, I also had to wear them on the plane as they didn't fit my carry-on and I didn't need them to explore the city.
While Edmonton winters are filled with snow, the streets in Edmonton are kept snow-free very well so you're fine with wearing sturdy shoes. I did see a lot of people walking around in snow boots, though, so it's definitely not unusual.
I'd also like to say that I didn't feel like it was super warm inside in most places. So it's not the case that you have to layer up to go out but will then melt once you step into a place.
Where to stay in Edmonton
While I was in Edmonton, I stayed at the Metterra Hotel on the popular Whyte Ave in the Old Strathcona district. Now, it's not often that I rave about city hotels but I loved my stay here.
My room consisted of a hallway, a lounge area, the bedroom and the bathroom. There was a lovely complimentary breakfast buffet every morning and complimentary cheese and wine tasting every evening. You read that right: free cheese. Wifi also worked perfectly, which isn't always the case at hotels, and personnel was super friendly and helpful.
Want to stay at the Metterra too? Check here for more review, prices, and availability.
Don't forget travel insurance
Plan for the best, prepare for the worst. Travel insurance has you covered in case (part of) your trip gets canceled, you get sick or hurt abroad, and sometimes even when your electronics break or get stolen. I always make sure I'm covered on every trip I go on.
Don't have travel insurance yet? Check out SafetyWing. They offer super flexible plans that you can even sign up for while you're already on your trip. On top of that, they were the first travel insurance to cover COVID, and when I got COVID, they reimbursed all of my expenses without making a fuss. Their customer support team is great and I can personally recommend them.
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