5 Things I think I would have DIED without this winter!

For us wimpy west-coasters, this winter has been epically cold, snowy and overall ROUGH on our poorly acclimated bodies. Don’t get me wrong I love running in the snow, but I’m used to driving to run in it at the local mountains, not stepping into it off my front door step! With that being said, I feel like I’ve had a crash course in “what’s the best gear to run in” with all the negative temps we’ve had; and I’ve quickly acquired {to my husbands disapproval}, a pretty good stash of it!

So since I’ve received quite a few messages about what I run in and the gear that I like to use in the winter on the road and on the trails, I thought a top 5 list was in order….drumroll please!!!

  1. Merino Wool base layers: I wish I could say merino wool EVERYTHING, but I haven’t quite built my stock up to that level yet. So my base layers include socks, tights, long sleeves, gloves and a neck warmer…and in the mountains I wear it all! So far I can’t find anything that quite compares to the way it insulates you when it’s cold and wicks away moisture when you start to sweat. I’ve been playing around with brands, and the material tends to be the same across them all, it mainly comes down to fit. For me icebreaker and Lululemon seem to stay up and fit the best.
  2. My Yak-Trax: Best $35 I’ve spent on winter running gear hands down! While I haven’t needed them running in the city (I’ve only needed trail shoes), I’ve worn them a tonne in the mountains. A lot of people ask me if I use snow shoes, but I’ve found as long as the snow is well packed, not too soft, and not too icey I haven’t needed them. I just slip them over my shoes and I’m good to go!

    yak-trax
    I bought mine at MEC
  3. 1,000,000 Down Jackets: While a million may be overdoing it if you’re running on the seawall, down has been my favourite form of outerwear this winter in the city and on the trail. It’s the perfect extra layer if you’re heading to a viewpoint or to watch the sunrise since it’s light, packable and super warm in the cold. I learnt this trick from my friend Hilary, whose pack is like a magicians scarf of never-ending down jackets! I usually wear a light Northface one on the way up and have an extra thick Joefresh one in my pack for the top, a vest for a back-up-just-in-case emergency, and my Lululemon run for the cold pullover in the city.
  4. Light-weight backpack: This goes with number 3 if you’re in the mountains…you need somewhere to put those down jackets…and snacks, water, camera, hand warmers, etc. And since winter stuff is heavier (except the down), I recommend the lighter the better! I have a Marmot one from Atmosphere that I love.
  5. Really good cold-when-they’re-wet socks: This is important in the city if the snow is wet and on the mountain always since you’re bound to fall knee-deep into it! I usually wear my Pro-compression (PC) sleeves under my tights for comfort and then I’ll opt for a wool sock on my feet. In the city I like the icebreaker ankle socks, but in the mountains I usually wear higher no-name-not-so-cute Costco ones rated for -40…I can’t remember the brand😬 They not be the most fashionable, but they keep my toes warm even when they’re wet so they’re a must when it’s any number below freezing!img_0026

What’s your favourite gear in the winter months?

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