We are Canadians; we know how to handle cold winters – and even enjoy the snow, ice and other winter activities!

Whether learned from parents, friends or the experience of several winter seasons, we’ve compiled some clever winter hacks to help keep you safe and warm through our coldest months.

In our chilly climates, remember to stay safe by properly maintaining your car and property to minimize risk of injury to yourself and others.

When outside:
  • Putting socks on your windshield wipers can help prevent them from freezingKeep kitty litter in the car. It can help with traction on ice or snow (pour some of that kitty dust under the tire when needed). It can also be added into a couple socks to defog windows (as the kitty litter draws moisture).
  • It’s always a good idea to have an ice scraper in your car but, in a pinch, use a credit card to remove frost that builds up inside your car.
  • Keep road maps in your car emergency kit instead of just planning on relying on cell phones because sometimes they can shut down unexpectedly in the cold. 
  • Put more old socks on your windshield wipers overnight to avoid ice forming or sticking.
  • Spray cooking oil on your shovel to help snow slide off more easily when shovelling – it’s already a hard enough chore.
  • Learn the signs of a cold-related emergency like frostbite or hypothermia ahead of time, so you're ready to respond if you or someone with you experiences one. 
  • Cover all exposed skin – before you go outside, dress in layers of tightly woven fabrics such as wool or synthetics. Inner layers should include warm socks, a shirt (long-sleeved or short), and remember outer layers, such as boots, winter coat, hat, scarf and gloves or mittens.
 When inside:
  • Warm air rises; ensure your fan is circulating to draw warm air down into the room instead of up.
  • Snow covers our boots when outside but once inside, use a dryer sheet or vinegar/water spray solution to remove salt stains from your boots.
  • Bake yourself some treats, whether cookies, muffins or anything that uses an oven! Not only will that warm your tummy, but after your treats are baked, leave the oven open for additional room warming.
  • Turn your kettle on - drink plenty of warm fluids to help your body stay warm but avoid caffeine and alcohol.
We asked to hear from other Canadians and here are some other suggestions:

@Delayniethompson: I check The Weather Network every morning before I go to work. I walk to work three times a week. So when I dress accordingly, make sure I have good mittens/scarf/toque and warm winter walking boots and good ski-pants. I also make two drinks: A hot milk drink and home made tea to get my through the harsh weather of Canada.

@VioletPomeroy: Card games with friends and a week in a warmer country helps

@RedCrossBC: Well some parts of our region don't get colder than -1 while others are -45!  We snuggle with our fur babies, drink lots of hot chocolate and bundle up when hitting the slopes or to play outside.

Send us your great Canadian winter hacks! Share your helpful tips by posting videos, photos or leave a comment.

Related: 

For other handy tips this winter, download our free First Aid app to have resources in cold-related emergencies and more.

Read more information on cold-related emergencies and how to stay safe and warm in Canadian winters.