Last December 2012, my friends and I went to Beijing, China, and as you know, December is part of the winter months in Beijing. The temperature may drop up to -15 degrees celsius so, before going there, I made sure that I was ready to face the cold winter weather in Beijing!
Well, I’m in love with the cold weather, so I was really excited to enjoy this climate-change (no, not that climate change that you are thinking! :)) but what I didn’t know about is the craziness, yes the craziness of preparing for a winter escapade! The craziness started when I knew that the cold freaking weather can go down at -20 degrees celsius, crazy right?? A person living in the tropics might just die (o, ika nga sa filipino, mangisay nalang ako! haha) Therefore, as early as 2 months before my flight, I started shopping for my winter outfits…. it is crazy ‘coz unlike my other trips, I just wear whatever I already have, but this, this needs preparation. if we are not prepared going to that “war” ! Knowing that our climate is +32 degrees celsius more, and the lowest that we can get is 18 degrees. If we weren’t ready we will never be able to go out and look around the areas that we are supposed to see, so before going out your tropical-usually hot climate country, you should be prepared. Anyway, nuff said. So here are my little tips, for your crazy climate temperature-change, ermm… snow-laden vacation:
1. Research on how low the temperature can get. If the temperature goes down to a negative, then you need to follow my advice, if it’s not, but you are the type of person who cannot withstand a 20 degrees airconditioned room, then you can also follow my advice (especially those going to HK, since last year December 2012, when I went there, the temp dropped to 5 degrees celsius, which it is not supposed to do because HK temp is usually above 10 degrees!! and yeah, I was really glad that I have my Beijing clothing with me that time! :))
2. If you can fathom buying second hand clothing for your winter escapade, then why not? that’s what I did. I bought clothes from the ukay-ukay or thrift shops in Harrison Plaza, just behind the national book store. For only P150,00 to P350.00 you can get a down jacket or a coat. This is the best way to save money for your trip, why? because a down jacket or a coat may cost you more than your airticket going to your destination (I’m talking about my kind, who patiently waits for seat sales of various airlines and get the usual P15,000 worth or airticket for only P2000-P5000). heh! 🙂 But, if you have the money, why not splurge? My philosophy why I bought second hand clothing is that I will only use it once. Just make sure that you soak it up with the best cleaners that you have! But, if you are the yucky-it’s second hand type, then try the Surplus stalls located in the Mall of Asia (the biggest surplus store, they sell coats and down jackets too, quite expensive than the usual second hands but it is all worth it too). However, I bought my other two coats in the Surplus Store inside a mall in Divisoria, that mall nearest to Lucky China Town, and along Reyna Regente Street, it is before you arrive the much well-known 168 mall. I’ll put the name here when I remember its name. Well, in the top floor of that mall, there is this surplus shop which sells various branded clothing for only a dime. I bought there an Anne Klein coat for only P100.00. hah! such a great deal? ayt?! Well, these are surpluses, so they are not “ukays” or second hands, they are overruns or surpluses, but always check for damages! 🙂
3. The type of textile/cloth used in your clothing may make or break your vacation, so please.. please…. please… (3 cute pleases, with a wink! :)) you should remember this clothing that will never ever ever ever make you warm during this vacation, don’t make any of these are your jacket, but you can use them as an outer pants. 🙂
- Maong or those in your jeans
- leather – don’t use leather jackets there, except if you wanna die or if you have a bike! hah! 🙂 peace, to the leather lovers!
Because these textiles or tela does not retain moisture, they absorb them! your clothes need to retain moisture because that very same moisture will warm you up. Nah, I don’t get the idea, but from my thorough research, that was what I found.
Best textiles/cloth that can help you:
- and alike..
So, just check while you buy your clothes, it can be found in the tags of the clothes.
- Things to buy for your winter escapade!
- Outer Jacket – must be made of wool, or goose feathers (you know, the one which will make you look like a Michelin man, but if you have this you will definitely survive the battle 🙂
- Inner Jacket – you should have 3-4 layers of clothing, so here is the other one, it can be a cardigan made of wool, polyester and all. But not those mentioned above that should not be worn.
- Your woolen or stitched/ gantsillo kind of sweater.Or any shirts not made from those mentioned above (cotton etc.)
- Underwear– no, not that usual underwear we use in the tropics, but you can still wear them. No, you should still wear them. So what I’m saying here is that, after wearing your usual panties-bra or briefs, you should wear this “winter-ready underwears” which is called long-johns, or what we call warmers with heat-tech technology. It looks like leggings and tights, but aside from the same appearance, the latter does not have the same capability of making you stay warm. What you buy here is the heat-tech technology. I bought one pair mine in UNIQLO which is P795.00 and one pair from Marks and Spencers which costs P1395.00 per piece. For a pair in M&S I bought it for P2500.00 and it will depend on the type or quality of the warmers you’ll gonna buy. But, you can go to 168 mall, 2nd floor, and there is a stall there selling underwear, ask them to give you warmers or long johns. And you can buy a pair for P450.00. Well, the difference between those sold in UNIQLO and 168 mall is the thickness. the one sold in 168 is thicker which means it will be bulkier to look at once you worn all the outfits, on the other hand those sold in Marks and Spencers or UNIQLO are super thin, it feels as if it’s your second skin. By the way, this is very important, don’t forget to buy this!
- Socks – Please buy a pair of heat-tech socks, not those ordinary ones as most of them are made in cotton, which is not a good textile to use because when it gets wet, it absorbs it, and stays cold for the rest of the time. Remember, you are going to a snowy filled place, and snow is water, and when it gets to you, it will feel wet and cold. This happened to one of my friends who used cotton or ordinary socks, she said, her feet felt numb.
- Scarf – Buy one in any stores that you will find, Buy those stitched/gantsillo/knitted ones, or those pashmina kind of scarves not those bought for the beach, the ones which are transparent or look like it would not shield you from anything.
- Gloves – Don’t buy leather gloves unless you want to sacrifice your hands by making them feel numb all the time. leather does not, never, makes you feel warm, and actually it will make you feel cold. Knitted or mittens are recommended.
- Hat – Though you can buy it in your destination, it is still good if you already have this with you. It is one of the most important, as heat escapes almost 90 percent from our head. Hence, to keep you warm, you should make sure that you have a head gear
- Earmuffs- Oh, I tell you, this is not for show! They have their own use, which is to make your head and ear nice and warm. I’ll tell you, you wanna protect your ears, they are also prone to frost bite. you don’t wan’t to home, earless, aren’t you? hahaha. But you can buy this in the place of your destination, as it is cheaper there than buying here.
- Boots/ Shoes- don’t use leather, unless your shoes are those trekking-in-southpole-mount-everest- kind of leather shoes, then why not? Boots sold here in our country is nothing but for the purpose of design, not functionality, so it would not help you at all. I saw one in Aldo, it’s an uggs type, so it would be helpful. You can also try buying in Forever 21, or if not, visit the thrift shop I metioned above, since they also sell these goodies. However, I didn’t buy it because I’m afraid of athletes’ foot. 🙂 So, I got mine in F21. Make sure that it looks warm and cozy. Rubber Shoes ladies and gentlemen, is not, never will be a winter shoes. the cold slips through the rubber, which will make you say “I’m cold” all the time. Trust me, my friend told me that she had made a mistake! hahaha. But, I tell you, you can buy shoes in the place of your destination. It’s actually better to buy there as it is cheaper, so you can use your rubber shoes for a time, then just buy there, make sure, you will be shopping during your first day, but if not, better buy here or in your home country
- Petroleum Jelly – Instead of the usual lip balm, use this. Your lips will be extremely dry that an ordinary lip balm (may it be burt’s bees or nivea) cannot withstand. Petroleum Jelly is the best to prevent wind burns and dryness. Believe me, in our group, they insisted in using their balms and later on they said that it doesn’t work, and they asked to share in my petroleum jelly
- Skin lotion and face moisturizers- due to the dry temperature, you need this to prevent wind burn.
One of the down side of traveling in winter, is how bulky your luggage can get, or that you will have the same jacket for the rest of the trip. Worry not, my fellow travelers who loves winter clothing. You can minimize your luggage by buying those vacuum bags that make your clothes thinner when you put it in your luggage. Trust me, they will be flat, but there’s no need to iron it again!
I bought 5 vacuum bags from Japan Home Store for P88 or P66 pesos each. and then…. it does it magic.
This is how we looked! BTW, i practiced wearing my clothes before my flight to Beijing, just to see how it looks, but nah! when you’re there already, sish to fashion!! This is true, I didn’t care about how I look because I care more about how I’ll survive the cold! 🙂
So, that’s all! Hope this helps!