Playing in an Arctic Winter

People (friends/family/blog readers) always ask us what we do in the winter when it gets stinking cold? We have options, though limited, we can walk around town, go to ‘penny sales’, go snow machining, go skijoring or just stay inside.  This weekend, Sophia and I broke out the serious winter clothes; parkas, snow pants, Steger Mukluks and our treasured fur mitts. Regardless of what others might say, there is nothing that compares to a well made pair of fur mitts, not even store bought ones. Sophia and I  each have 3 different pairs of fur mitts; Sophia has a set of beaver, seal skin, and wolf mitts; I have a set of seal skin, caribou and beaver mitts. In the deep cold of winter or when snowmachining, I wear my big beaver mitts that were made by Jane Dragon (from Fort Smith, NWT) about 8 years ago and Sophia uses her wolf mitts.  Around town, I wear my cherished sealskin mitts with wolf trim that were made by Kenojuak Ashevak, an artist from Cape Dorset, Nunavut.  She made these mitts for me back in 2001 while I was living and working there for Dorset Fine Arts and the mitts have never let me down!  Sophia wears her sealskin mitts that were made by a lady from Kugluktuk, NU and when it gets below -25 ºC, she pulls out her beaver mitts that she made herself.

Mitts to keep you warm

Rob’s mitts to keep him warm

Sealskin mitts with fox trim

Sealskin mitts with fox trim

Beaver mitts with fox trim

Beaver mitts with fox trim

Wolf mitts - the warmest pair of mitts

Wolf mitts – the warmest pair of mitts

So what are the differences between playing outside in the north compared to the south? Well… it was only -27 ºC with a windchill of -36 ºC today.  For many, this would mean staying inside snuggling under a warm blanket, maybe curled up in front of a fire, or watching TV.  I don’t think my mom would have let me out if it was this cold when I was growing up.  Would your mom have? If Sophia and I were real wimps we wouldn’t go outside for almost 6 months of the year! As a side note, Sophia is much tougher, ‘less wimpier’ than me when it comes to going outside, maybe I’m getting old?

Rob in winter gear

Rob in winter gear

Sophia in winter gear

Sophia in winter gear

We took the dogs out for a walk today and Loka had one of her back feet get cold while trying to go to the bathroom. So she balanced on 3 legs and did her duty (number 2).  Sophia and I thought it was hilarious (sorry no pictures of that one). When we got back to our apartment we came across our neighbours’ kids; two boys playing outside with their dump truck in the snow and enjoying every moment of it at -36 ºC!

Kids playing outside

Kids playing outside

Ready, set, go!

Ready, set, go!

Playing in the snow

Playing in the snow

So that is life in the north! – Rob

Sundog in Baker Lake

Sundog in Baker Lake

Advertisements