How to survive a Vancouver winter (of rain)

Funny I would get around to this post when we are looking at a week relatively free of rain. But who’s complaining?!

I hate the rain in Vancouver in a instinctive knee-jerk kind of way, but there’s no point in dwelling upon it. I also eschew sing-song platitudes like, “I love the Vancouver rain because it makes it so green and the most beautiful place in the world!” Yech.

The rain and gloomy days seem endless but I don’t count them because that would make it seem worse. And, over the years, I’ve built up an arsenal to make it all more bearable. These days, I walk to work – 25 minutes each way – which necessitates some equipment and this is what is working for me.

  1. A selection of umbrellas. It’s kind of sad but purchasing an umbrella these days is as enjoyable as shopping for accessories like a bag or shoes. Once upon a time, I had one of those Ikea umbrellas that is too large for one person, really, but you stay so nice and dry. I also had a cheerful yellow umbrella that automatically opened and closed, but that was stolen from right outside my apartment stoop. So I replaced the yellow umbrella with another one that doest not automatically close :( but sufficient in size for two people. I have a girly stick umbrella that I pick up on trips to Toronto at One’s for $16. I also have three purse-size umbrellas, of which only one is shown – it’s also from One’s and and is company colours. ;)
  2. Waterproof boots. I don’t love mine because in an absolute sense, they look a bit ugly like pure-black wellies. You can see in this photo that actually the upper part is a black watch plaid pattern and these were a gift from Lil Sis from Joe Fresh. The plaid makes it more interesting and only subtly so but I get worried that if I wear another pattern, it might clash with the plaid. I kind of want Hunter boots but these are easier to kick off.In conjunction with wearing boots, I also exclusively wear dresses with tights during the rainy season. I feel horribly unslick if I tucked pants into boots and dresses make me feel pretty when the raingear drives the opposite feeling.
  3. Waterproof bags. I love the Cath Kidston bag because of its pattern. I don’t love so much it is a shoulder bag. This past week, I’ve been oh-so comfortably slinging the LeSportSac cross-body, throwing in my wallet, workout clothes and lunch and having a heck of a time digging in there for my work pass right when I’m at the front door. :P It took a long time to (a) find the right bag shape at the right price and (b) find a pattern that was signature LeSportSac but can stand the test of time.For more elegant rainy days (do those even exist?), I have a chrome-colour slouchy hobo-style Matt & Nat bag (not pictured) that is made of recycled and/or vegan materials that is water-resistant.
  4. Podcasts. I can’t claim that my podcast subscriptions are really interesting. They are confined to a bunch of CBC and Quick & Dirty Tips and one BBC World Service documentary subscription. Marketing, comedy and movie reviews make the time go by much better.

  5. My Fitbit. I just got it last Christmas from NPY because you just couldn’t escape it at any turn as being the tech gift of the season. :D My apartment is located such that it takes 25 minutes to walk to work. If I take a train in, it is only two stops, costs me $2.10 at the “discounted” ticket price and takes seven minutes to walk to the train station – it feels like bad value. I end up wanting to walk unless I know I’m running late. I get ~4,000 steps each way I walk that goes towards my low daily goal of 10,000 steps. So, for the sake of not falling behind, I’m convinced to walk every day. Even in pouring rain.

  6. Finally, a mental trick: I love Toronto and all and I’m still tough eastern Canada transplant but I’ll take moisture over the harsh, dry, skin-damaging cold of the rest of Canada. (Heh, this post is also not so timely because we’re not too far from that number the snowstorms did on air travel when everyone was trying to get back to work/school after holidays.)

On this day..