With winter fast approaching, I thought I'd do a fun little post around some of the winter gear you're going to want to think about picking up or dusting out of storage. I learned first hand that the winters we get are nowhere close to the type of cold that you go through in Quebec. I told myself that I'd be prepared next time around. So here's to bundling up and of course doing it in style.
Head gear is critical
To stay warm, you have to look at getting yourself covered from head to toe. My first choice is to go with a really nice and warm toque (pardon my Canadianism). I've gone through my fair share of toques over the years but I've learned that the key to it all is that it has good coverage around the ears. Keeping your head warm is a good part of the winter battle.
As a traveller, one of the hardest things to do is finding clothing from another country that you'd legitimately wear back home. Trust me, I've gone through a ton of random purchases over the years where you get home, pick it up and go, “Yeah maybe that wasn't such a great idea.” So when I found this toque on Territory Ahead that was not only extremely functional with its built-in fleece headband and good looking, it also had the added bonus of being 100% handmade and natural, I was all over it. Tell me you're not intrigued by the fact that this came straight from the hands of Nepalese craftswomen. This one's a true keeper in my books.
The poofy jacket
I don't know how this phenomenon began but I'm sure it had something to do with Canada Goose. Everywhere you go in the winter (at least in Canada), everyone's rocking some sort of poofy down feather jacket with furry hoods. Wanting to at least try to keep up the fashion trends, I made it a mission of mine to find something that would fit the bill for what I wanted to do this winter.
It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Columbia. In fact, I was pretty much fully outfitted with their clothing and gear for my recent trip to Peru. So with that, I knew that's where I would look. One thing that really caught my eye this year was the Barlow Pass 550 Turbodown Jacket. What really stood out to me was the fact that it incorporated their signature silver foil reflective layer on the inside (Omni-Heat) to keep you warm while also using their super fancy waterproof and breathable outer layer (Omni-Shield) that I had with my Columbia backpack and shoes. Beyond that you get all the fixins you'd expect from a jacket like this with uber warm down insulation, removable fur hood, and more pockets that you have use for. If you're a snowboarder like me, this is the perfect balance of style and winter activity versatility.
Keep your toes warm and dry
One thing I've always lacked year to year has been a solid pair of boots that look good. I don't mean the crazy bulky boots that you'd go trekking with nor the super utilitarian construction worker's boot but just a plain old leather you-got-some-style kind of boots.
It took a little bit of digging but I finally found a pair that I was looking for. It ended up coming from Territory Ahead again and a brand that I've never even heard of. These boots you're looking at are from Børn and called the Jax Chukka Boots. These guys are artisan crafted footwear where the focus is on using an age-old hand-stitching technique called Opanaka where the upper, insole and bottom of the shoe are sewn together. I was very happy to support an “back to the roots” shoe company and style wise, I love the rugged look of the full-grain leather uppers in combination with the burnished toes. I can finally make those skinny jeans look GOOD.
Capture the moment
It's not enough to just take photos of your travels these days. GoPro is making video as accessible as ever and with that, you need to make sure you accessorize properly. With winter approaching, one of the best uses of the GoPro is any sort of action sport. So if we're talking about filming something like dogsledding or carving some killer snow on your board, there are 3 key mounts that you'll need.
- GoPro Jaw Clamp – This has to be one of the best mounts I have for fixed positions. When I went dogsledding in Quebec last year, I did away with the gooseneck and had this fixed on sled's handle and it gave me some great point of view footage.
- XShot Pro – New this year, this all-metal extendible GoPro selfie stick is looking like it's going to be a major improvement over my last pole. It has a tripod style ball mount which makes for extreme flexibility in angles, the metal construction makes it extremely sturdy, the rubber handle provides fantastic grip, and collapses into a nice compact size. This is great for hand-held shots that allow you to pan on yourself or landscapes. A must-have for any GoPro enthusiasts!
- Lanparte GoPro Gimbal – A lot of people have asked me how I kept my video footage so stable during Competitours and they trick was really in the use of this nifty little battery-powered stabilizer. This cuts vibrations almost to nil and is a must-have piece of gear for anyone looking for that silky, buttery smooth video.
As a Torontonian…scratch that…as any fan of baseball, how can you forget Jose Bautista's infamous bat flip? October was a treat for all of us in the city and to keep the city pride alive, I wanted to give honourable mention to my friends over at Peace Collective for their awesome Toronto-inspired gear.
What's your winter gear set look like this year?