With so many things to do in the winter in Parry Sound, it is important to be prepared for the weather.
In addition to peeking outside the door, there are a number of additional things to take into account when trying to determine how warmly you should dress before venturing outside. When exposed to cold temperatures, your body begins to lose heat faster than it can be produced. However, there are ways to make sure that you remain safe and warm, so that you can enjoy your time outdoors!
Tip 1: Determine the actual temperature, and then the wind chill factor. Windchill is a measure of how cold a person actually feels while outdoors. It is based on how much body heat is lost through exposed skin due to the combination of wind and cold (e-how.com). The wind chill factor comes into effect when the temperature is equal to or less than 4 degrees Celsius and the wind is greater than 8 km/hr.
Tip 2: Dress for the appropriate activity level. You will need to dress very differently if you are going cross-country skiing than for a walk.
Tip 3: Dress in layers. Several thin, warm layers are better than a few thick layers. More layers will insulate better, and allow you to strip off layers if the temperature warms up.
Tip 4: Wear a base layer. Long-johns, thermal underwear or union suits can add a warm light base. Make sure it wicks moisture away from your body, so you don’t get chilled.
Tip 5: Don’t forget your feet. If your boots don’t have lining, see if you can purchase it separately – or use boots that allow you to add several pairs of socks. Wool is best, although "fleece" socks will work. You can layer socks, but be careful that your feet are comfortable and the circulation isn't shut down.
Tip 6: Wear more than one layer on your legs. At minimum, have a base layer like long underwear and an warm outer layer, like snowboarding pants. Waterproof pants will go a long way towards keep you dry.
Tip 7: Use a really warm coat. In general the thicker the better, whether it is a synthetic, wool or a down jacket.
Tip 8: Wear a hat. Covering any exposed body part helps retain body heat – whether you believe that we lose most of our heat through our head or not. In order to be spotted easily, wear a bright scarf or hat or reflective gear so people can see you.
Tip 9: Wear gloves or mittens. Fingers and hands are very vulnerable to the cold, so keep them covered. To add in keeping your hands warm you can purchase hand warmers – small packages of chemicals that when rubbed generate heat. They can be purchased at any outdoor or hunting store.
Tip 10: Keep dry. Being wet will cause chill to set in more quickly than if you're dry. Have waterproof or at least water resistant outer layers.
Conditions such as frostbite and hypothermia can occur more quickly in windy weather because the body loses heat more rapidly. Dressing in layers of appropriate clothing slows down heat loss; however, if you think you are suffering from either of these, get indoors and seek medical attention immediately!
There are so many different things to do in winter in the Parry Sound area. Why not check out all the different things you can see and do?
If you haven't already downloaded your copy of our Parry Sound Travel Guide, here's just one of the many itineraries the guide contains. If you only have a day, and want to see as much as possible, here's "The Parry Sound Overview Tour".
In order to accomplish everything outlined in this tour, it is important to plan to arrive in Parry Sound prior to noon and drive directly to the Island Queen boat cruise location to pick up your tickets for the three hour afternoon cruise that leaves at 1:00 p.m. This is the most popular cruise as it takes you out into Georgian Bay, so you have some understanding of the incredible geological formations found, and the vastness of the 30,000 islands, which form the largest fresh water archipelago. The boat offers soup, hot dogs and other light snack items, for sale. There are several restaurants located nearby where you can also purchase lunch. The boat returns at 4:00 p.m.
After checking into your accommodation, I recommend a stroll along the Rotary Algonquin Regiment Fitness Trail (known locally as the Fitness Trail). This walk will take you by landmarks such as Sail Parry Sound, the Coast Guard Base, Wabuno Town Beach (which has life guards and a concession stand selling drinks and ice cream), the water filtration plant and old pump house, and the “Salt Docks” where road salt for maintenance of provincial roads is dropped off for Northeastern Ontario. (This is where Parry Sounder’s go to watch our incredible sunsets).
There are three restaurants located along Bay Street, which is the town’s main waterfront street – I suggest a delicious dinner on the porch to watch all the boats and activity along the waterfront.
The next morning, after a hearty breakfast, it’s time to visit our shops along our “downtown” and then just before leaving, stop at the Museum on Tower Hill to get an understanding of the history of the area, and climb the Observation Tower’s 131 steps to get the last bird’s eye view of Parry Sound before you leave. If you are wondering what else there is to see and do in Parry Sound, download the Travel Guide!
If you follow 40 Bay Street Bed & Breakfast on Face book, you’ve more than likely seen the pictures I have been posting about all the snow we have received in Parry Sound this winter.
Despite my whining about having to shovel it, I can’t imagine a better place to spend my winter. The opportunities to enjoy it aren’t confined only to those who enjoy winter sports. Not only does the snow shoveling provide me with a good work-out routine (legs, back, arms and cardio all rolled into one!), the snow stays relatively white and clean looking. That means it helps reflect the sunlight, as well as the stars at night, and provides great photo opportunities as well.
With the winds swirling the snow about, the landscape never looks the same from day to day. In addition, the view of Georgian Bay from 40 Bay Street offers an ever-changing scene – especially when we have drastic temperature changes like we are experiencing this winter! Not only does the amount of ice vary directly in front of the B&B, the roar of the waterfalls under the train trestle seem so much louder when the town is quiet. Watching the ice huts being towed back and forth and snowmobiles taking short cuts from shore to shore means there is always something to look at.
There are still people walking up and down the street (although it’s pretty hard to identify most of them – their pace is quick, and they are all bundled up in winter clothes), but fewer people seem to come this way to walk their dogs. The squirrels and chipmunks have completely disappeared, but the blue jays, cardinals and pileated wood peckers make up for their absence.
Here’s a picture of the backyard at the beginning of December when winter made it's first appearance, and then one month later.
So, even if you’re not into snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or ice-fishing, Parry Sound still offers beautiful scenery to look at – even in the winter! Why not come and check it out for yourself?