Talk:Cold weather

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Initial comments[edit]

Good start.

Standard safety advice for people whose cars break down in Canadian prairie winters is stay in the car, but it is fairly common for people to try to make it to town or wherever on foot and freeze to death en route.

There's also a whole lot of packing advice we might include here, different for auto, foot, snowmobile, ... travel. What emergency supplies do you need? A sleeping bag and high-energy food. What else?

The article does not mention keeping dry, which can be really important. (WT-en) Pashley 11:10, 31 July 2012 (EDT)

Promote to Guide?[edit]

I think this now meets the criteria for Guide status. Other opinions? Pashley (talk) 19:16, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

Rereading, and looking at sections I had not checked before, it may not be quite there but it is certainly close. Volunteers to improve it? Pashley (talk) 19:22, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
I will do it now. Can't come to think of anything missing. Cold weather can probably also be a good Ftt next winter or just before. --ϒpsilon (talk) 13:15, 6 January 2016 (UTC)

On not breaking a leg[edit]

Another danger in cold weather, not currently mentioned in the article, is getting injured by slipping on ice or packed snow. Should we add that? Where? Arguably, it is a third risk to be listed with frostbite & hypothermia, but it is a different sort of risk, so perhaps should be treated elsewhere rather than listed with them. It certainly affects choice of boots, so could be mentioned under Clothing, but is that enough?

What about other risks in (some) cold terrain, like avalanche or falling into a crevasse? Ideally mountaineering would cover those & this article could just link there, but currently it is just a redirect. Would anyone care to fix that? Pashley (talk) 16:46, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

I added a new sections for these. Not well written, feel free to improve or undo. Mountaineering should indeed cover some of the risk, but I think they should be mentioned here also, at least when they are encountered when not going for real adventures. --LPfi (talk) 16:43, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
Yaktrax, one kind of slip preventer.
I notice my English is seriously lacking in this field. What would you call slip preventers meant to be attached to the shoe (Swedish: halkskydd)? There are many different products, also discreet ones for use in town.
About falling ice and snow: I think big icicles falling even a few metres are easily able to kill if hitting right. There is a second risk. Snow on the roof will melt partly in warmer weather, forming ice at the bottom. When these pieces come down, often heavy enough to kill if coming from high roofs, they have motion out from the building and will often fall where careful pedestrians walk to avoid the icicles. I do not know how much we should write on this subject, but the wordings should at least suggest both risks.
--LPfi (talk) 18:47, 13 September 2013 (UTC)

The recent improvements[edit]

I have two questions about the recent improvements:

  • "A warm jumpsuit" is mentioned as the best solution (to falling snow? keeping warm?). What cloth is this and why is it especially good? Some clarification is probably needed in the article.
  • A paragraph about layered clothing and underwear was removed. Was it considered bad advice or irrelevant? Or simply meant to be moved and then forgotten?

LPfi (talk) 22:45, 6 January 2016 (UTC)

A third one: the wind chill diagram. It is marked as own work, without pointers to any data source. Is it correct? For what people in what circumstances? I think having "danger of frostbite" starting at -20°C in 12 m/s is quite an underestimate, at least given normal tourists. I would be weary in 5 m/s at that temperature (I would not get frostbitten, but I would not trust my guests not to be, if left alone). --LPfi (talk) 23:01, 6 January 2016 (UTC)


Det är ju halare som är "jumpsuit" på engelska ("overall" är annars hängselbyxor). A jumpsuit keeps the warmth better than a combination of a jacket and pants, as there are less opportunities for the heat to escape. Of course it also gives better protection from snow.
I did't know I removed the paragraph, and it was certainly not my intention. It's back now.
Concerning the windchill diagram, I do think we should have one in the article. This is the only diagram available on Commons that's both in English and in metric units and the diagram is used in the English Wikipedia article too. ϒpsilon (talk) 06:49, 7 January 2016 (UTC)
As a native (American) English speaker, I don't know what a "jumpsuit" is. Perhaps an image of one could be included. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:55, 7 January 2016 (UTC)
w:Jumpsuit, is according to WP "a common term for any one-piece garment with sleeves and legs" and I don't know any better name for it. There's also a thing called w:boilersuit which looks the same, is that term familiar to you? ϒpsilon (talk) 07:07, 7 January 2016 (UTC)
Changed to one-piece garment. ϒpsilon (talk) 07:14, 7 January 2016 (UTC)
I don't know any of those terms, but "one-piece garment" is clear. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:04, 7 January 2016 (UTC)
I believe the term is "snowsuit" (or "snowmobile suit") for a winter-insulated one-piece garment. A "jumpsuit" could be many things (such as an orange one-piece jail inmate uniform) that aren't particularly warm nor weatherproof. K7L (talk) 21:03, 9 April 2016 (UTC)
I get your points, so maybe "snowsuit" is the best term, but what's more important is that a clear photo of the type of garment in question is on the page. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:53, 9 April 2016 (UTC)

Wind chill[edit]

I agree we should have a wind chill diagram, but there should either be a reliable source (with enough info), or it should agree with our experiences. Giving false impressions on when you should consider frostbite a risk is outright dangerous. If the diagram is about an average well dressed healthy adult, we need to state that – our prime concern is the inexperienced, susceptible and badly clothed tourist. --LPfi (talk) 09:54, 7 January 2016 (UTC)
Is this diagram better? In that one the wind speed is given in km/h instead of the normal (?) m/s, though. The rest of the diagrams in c:Category:Wind chill all seem to have some issues. Don't know how exact the charts with the imperial units are, but in most parts of the world where it gets seriously cold the metric system is used. ϒpsilon (talk) 10:27, 7 January 2016 (UTC)
I think using km/h is confusing – it says little to many readers (although the maths is simple). It says it uses "the new formula" on en-wp, so we have at least some information on what it tells. I like the first graph better, were it not for the explicitly stated frostbite risks (which depend too much on the person) and my feeling there might be some miscalculations in it. Is there somebody here who has experience in editing SVG? I think making a new diagram would not be too difficult. --LPfi (talk) 07:22, 8 January 2016 (UTC)

[indent reset] New table is up, with the wind speed in m/s and without any commentary on the frostbite risk. I used the Canadian formula mentioned at w:Wind_chill#North_American_and_United_Kingdom_wind_chill_index in Open Office calc to calculate the wind chill values. ϒpsilon (talk) 18:44, 9 April 2016 (UTC)

Section headers[edit]

This article does not use headers like "get around" for transportation. Is that a problem? I know travel topics are more free form than destination articles, but I wanted to bring it up nonetheless. Hobbitschuster (talk) 09:24, 21 November 2016 (UTC)

Renaming that one section would not work, as other sections are also named by another logic. I think it is unnecessary to try to squeeze this article into the standard format. Using standard headings would require a rewrite. --LPfi (talk) 22:03, 13 December 2017 (UTC)

Importance of headwear[edit]

I happened to watch an episode of Game of Thrones, where people would be outdoors with hair wet of falling snow. Did it not occur to the director that getting your hair wet is one of the last things to do in cold weather – and that those fur-wearing people should know it? Perhaps we need to point it out very clearly to our readers? (I have the same problem watching scenes were actors pretending to be in a severe Canadian winter behave like on a cold day in Italy.) --LPfi (talk) 22:19, 13 December 2017 (UTC)

Well having all actors bundled up in covering clothing makes it hard to distinguish the main characters... Hobbitschuster (talk) 23:48, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
And even if it's not snowing, it's a bad idea to be in a cold environment with a bare head. The Clothing section already covers (no pun intended) that, but feel free to expand it if you think it needs to be stressed even more. --ϒpsilon (talk) 15:38, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
What we currently have is (after a section on footwear):
Also pay attention to the head; it needs plenty of insulation and good protection from wind. The circulation system is adapted to keep the brain warm, even at the expense of other organs; roughly a third of the blood supply goes to the brain. An unprotected head may not feel cold since the scalp has few nerve endings, but it can quickly drain the body of heat. There is also a risk of frostbite of the ears, which can be very painful. ...
I doubt that needs expansion, but we might adjust things somehow to emphasize the point that head, hands & feet absolutely must be protected to avoid extreme discomfort and perhaps serious injury. I'm not sure what adjustments would work. Pashley (talk) 05:47, 15 December 2017 (UTC)

Normal winter clothing[edit]

@ ‎Ypsilon: This paragraph was added to the description of normal winter clothing ("in Finland it can be quite nice indoors even if it's -30°C outdoors, probably not if it drops below freezing e.g. in India"):

If cold weather is common and expected in your destination, indoor spaces are likely equipped with adequate heating and properly insulated. On the other hand, if the weather is much colder than what is normal there (and the buildings are built for), in the worst case indoor can be about as cold as outdoor.

Yes, it is "quite nice" indoors, but that means 18–24°C in normal homes, possibly with an icy draft across the floor, while our visitor from "a mild or tropical climate" may be used to warmer indoor temperatures. I think long trousers, long-sleeved shirts, undershirt and wool socks are quite normal dressing and if your host is climate aware you might need also the suit jacket or sweater. Taking them off is easy. I also suspect that people from the tropics may feel chilly when dressed like the host, and in any case it is easier to remove the extra than getting more clothes, so the description will not make anybody miserable.

The paragraph could be useful elsewhere, perhaps in Understand, but I think the paragraph complicates the description unnecessarily when inserted here.

--LPfi (talk) 19:27, 26 January 2019 (UTC)

I didn't delete any of the clothing advice, though. It's probably true that people from warmer countries do need more clothing than locals even indoors, even if rooms might be warmer here than at home where they might keep air conditioning running 24/7 to keep the indoor temperatures low, so that people can escape the heat and humidity on the outside.
Nevertheless, I think it can come as a bad surprise even (especially?) for us who are used to cold outdoor temperatures, to go somewhere where the houses have single windows, "walls of paper", and ridiculously weak heating etc. which can be the case already as far north as London. So we should mention that too, somewhere. ϒψιλον (talk) 20:25, 26 January 2019 (UTC)
It really depends on where those "normal" homes are. In Eastern Europe it is normal to wear layers of clothers or freeze indoors in the winter. Philaweb (talk) 21:01, 26 January 2019 (UTC)