Alberta – Hibernation in Edmonton.

When winter rolled along back home I would throw on a jumper (sweater for you Canadians/Americans) and put some slippers on and be satisfied. Now winter consists of adding an extra 10-15 minutes to my morning ritual of getting ready. First you start with your base layer, then socks & two pairs if it’s extra cold, your next layer, a scarf, beanie (toque), a down jacket, a pair or warm lace up boots and lastly but not least, gloves!

Edmonton winter

It may be a lot of extra effort, and it is, but it is worth the beautiful snow draped wonderland I just stepped into. Hibernation is real and I am guilty of hibernating most of winter. When the weather hits into the -20’s no one wants to do anything! You walk to the car and it’s brutal especially if you haven’t let it warm up for 10 minutes so the heater will work when you jump in. Being outside for extended periods of time (and I mean 10 minutes or more) burns your face no matter how many layers you have on and the extra 10-15 minutes getting ready don’t feel worth it when you know the feel of the ice wind freezing that face of yours!

Here’s some tips to enjoy hibernation in Edmonton or any Canadian city that love to throw a little cold weather at ya!

1. Sign up to Netflix if you haven’t already and make sure it’s the American version. You will be able to watch all the trash tv until your heart is content. Plus throw movie nights with your friends. Just order a pizza, fill a few glasses of wine and you’ll be set.

2. Start planning and organizing all of those trips you’ve wanted to do, places you’ve wanted to see and people you hope to meet. The best time to start is when hibernation sets in so it at least gives you something to look forward to. Think warm beaches, margaritas and all of the sunshine!

3. Start games nights at your house. That way you’ll never have to leave your home, you’re being social and your plan to hibernate as long as possible is working! Just make sure you don’t have too many friends with the same ideas 😉

4. Get some exercise in. Even living in a small apartment you can make room to do a work out but you may want to consider your poor neighbours downstairs when doing those star jumps. I’ve been using Kayla Itsines workout every now and then. I’m awful at self motivation and commitment so it’s been a love/hate relationship when I finally get around to doing it.

5. Learn to love poutine – The first time I saw poutine I thought it looked like something you would feed to a dog. That is, until I tried it and fell in love with the hearty feeling it gave you after a big warm meal. I’m vegetarian so finding poutine can be somewhat harder but never fear, it is possible! If you’re in Edmonton head to The Next Act and be ready to down a cider (or beer), a burger and some of the best vegetarian poutine you can get your hands on. Try making it yourself, I did and failed miserably so now I keep the poutine in the hands of the talented :P.

When all of the indoor hibernation fails, get out there and enjoy the winter sports. Just pick a day where it is warmer than -25. Throw on a pair of skates and head to the lake for some beautiful winter wonderland skating or jump in the car and head to the slopes. People who complain about winter every year don’t learn to embrace it. Even an Australian who has lived in 25+ weather most of her life can acclimatize and enjoy the cold cold days of Canada living.

Alberta photographer


– Grace


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