Packing for an unpredictable two weeks in Canada

‘When I’m traveling, I like extremes. It’s nice for me to go to Canada in the mountains where it’s snowing’ – Jessica Henwick

My mum always used to say that there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes choices. And whilst that might be true, that certainly didn’t help me on our recent holiday to Canada. Where the weather forecast said it would be a very pleasant 12 degrees and sunny and it actually turned out to be -4 and snowing an actual, official blizzard.

So, you know that scene in friends where Joey gets pissed off that Chandler stole his underwear so gets him back by wearing everything he owns? That was me, on Saturday 28th September 2019 and as Dave will attest to. I was not a happy bunny.

Now don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a post of me moaning about how I was so cold that my hair started to crystallise or that I ended up with a frozen left bum cheek which took almost two hours to thaw out. No! It’s a post about what to pack for a holiday when the weather is, let’s say, changeable; what worked and what didn’t what I was pleased to have and what I should have brought more of. You get the idea:

What worked:

There were a couple of things I was pretty glad to have in my arsenal; the main being that I had the forethought to bring a hat and gloves ‘just in case’. Saying that, Dave had to buy some over there, which meant his were new and Canadian, whereas mine were old and from Primark. Monkey saw, monkey wanted.

Those aside my staples turned out to be:

Pineapple Gillet

I’ve had this thing for years, I mean it must be old, who buys Pineapple merchandise any more? It’s thickly padded and deceivingly warm. Plus it’s black, goes with everything and from certain angles made my jiggery pokeries look massive (I assure you, they’re not)

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Waterproof jacket from Next

I bought this months ago from eBay, always with the intention of taking to Canada but always with a side eye on something better. Funnily enough Dave and I had a discussion the day before we left about how my trusty purple anorak with fleece lining would be ‘overkill’ oh how I laughed as I was warming up that bum cheek. This jacket did do the job though, again it went with everything and was big enough to still zip up over my gillet for when I was wearing all the clothes. I only wish it was a tad longer to keep my botty warm.

Skechers

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The absolute MVP of the whole trip though was undoubtedly my Skechers, which I bought for an absolute steal from M and M Direct. They were also deceivingly warm, gripped almost as good as walking boots, were waterproof, and let’s be honest, look ever so stylish. The *only* time they let me down was when Dave wanted to get to the top of The Whistlers, which was slippy as a mofo. They did get me half way up though and in hindsight probably would have gotten me all the way up if I persevered. I would however had probably needed to come back down on my recently thawed out arse (I’ll stop now I promise).

Primark backpack

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For £8 this little backpack turned out to be a miracle. It was big enough to fit most things in; maps, bottles of water, emergency layers of clothes. Without being so big you felt like you were embarking on a expedition up Everest. It did of course mean that  ended up carrying everything, but I suppose Dave was doing all the driving so was a fair swap.

What didn’t work:

I really, really want to be one of those girls who can have a capsule travel wardrobe and come home having worn everything I packed in my case. But I’m just not that girl. I need options for my ever-changing mood. We were sharing hold luggage, so I had to be clever about my packing. I even tried to stick to the ‘everything goes with everything’ rule so could pick out any top or any pair of trousers and they will go together. Which simply means a lot of black, white and grey. And that’s not me either. Le sigh. The fight to become the perfect packer continues…

Linen trousers

No surprises here I suppose given the temperature, but I had visions of my flipping up the deuces on top of a mountain with my low-slung baggy pants and beanie hat on All Saints style. But the wind whistles right through that fabric like a hot vindaloo and would have served no heat retaining purposed whatsoever.

Brand new white Vans

This could be a case of misinformation or it could be user error, I’ll let you decide. My vans were serving me really well in terms of comfort and style up until we thought it would be a nice idea to have a walk to the riverside in the Enchanted Forest near Revelstoke to look for spawning Salmon. I’d read the guide book and a bit on the internet and it appeared this walk was a nice wooden boardwalk among the reeds. Turns out it wasn’t. It was pretty much just a swamp. And my brand-new white trainers ended up looking like this:

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What. A. Tit

A crocheted hat

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Hats are a funny thing with me, I have quite a small head so getting one that suits me is tricky, but when I do find one that suits me, they look quite nice. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know how attached I am to my beloved crochet beanie (99p from H&M ten years ago bargain fans) however crochet material does not a warm head make and my poor little bonce was pretty chilly in the colder areas.

I guess you live and learn, so I reckon in future, i’ll plan a little better, save the linen pants for when I’m in Ibiza (or its the 90S again) and pack a few extra layers just in case.

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