Photo Credit: Tanya Friedman

The safety and comfort of volunteers is an important priority for the BeaverTails Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival. Staff and returning volunteers have learned that the temperature outside on the ice can change drastically. So, with all of our volunteers in mind we have put together some helpful reminders and tips to stay warm and comfy when out helping in the community!

Make sure to dress warmly when you go outside during cold weather. Wear layers of clothing with a wind-resistant outer layer. You can remove layers if you get too warm, before you start sweating, or add a layer if you get cold. Wear warm socks, mittens, a hat and scarf. Not sure about everything you can wear or try? Checkout the Full lists of festival recommended and some of the mandatory (*) items that will help make your time on the ice the most comfortable and enjoyable.

  1. *Winter Hat – ear muffins may not be enough; the wind can pick up on the ice and a proper hat will help keep the top of your head warm.
  2. *Heavy Winter Jacket – Let’s not skip out on this, we know all of our volunteers are tough but a light jacket will not be fun.
  3. *Sweater – A sweater or hoodie is a great idea as an extra layer and if the temperature warms up a bit, it is perfect for being able to vent out your winter coat.
  4. *Long Pants – no shorts, no matter how cold resistant you are, long legged pants are a must
  5. *Warm Socks – wool or thermal socks are amazing to keep your toes toasty warm but any good pair of socks will do. Hey you could even wear several pairs… maybe bring some extra in case yours get wet…
  6. *Boots – many positions are on the ice, so boots will be essential to help avoiding tumbles and help to keep your feet dry.
  7. Undershirt / Layers – Its better to layer up and remove some if you get too warm then not have enough.
  8. Thermal Under Layer – Its not just your body that can get cold, make sure to keep your legs warm too.
  9. Scarf – necks are one of those areas that gets over looked but when the wind comes in you want yours covered.
  10. Ice Spikes for Boots – you can get some clip-on spikes that help grip the ice – This is HIGHLY recommended for safety and comfort
  11. Face Shield – wondering how our staff stays out in the cold for the 2 whole days. How do they not freeze? Well face shields are one of the small tips that help keep your cheeks snug as a bug. For those who wear glasses, you can even find some that help vent your breath away avoiding fogging.
  12. Light Under Gloves – these are smaller gloves that fit under your toasty warm ones. They are essential if your helping setup or tear down. Recommended for other positions as well.
  13. *Heavy Warm Gloves or Mittens – Keep your fingers warms!
  14. Ear Muffs – If you have a hat you might be able to get away without these but I know that my ears get cold far too easily to take a chance.
  15. Sun Glasses – If you are out on the ice and the sun comes out there is a good chance of lots of reflected light off of the ice and snow. So a pair is not a bad idea.
  16. Lip Bom – Do not forget about your lips, the cold can make them dry out pretty fast.
  17. Hand/Foot Warms – Want some extra help against the cold? These packs can be cracked opened and placed inside boots or gloves to keep all your digits toasty.
  18. Snow Pants – Helps to keep the legs warm in strong winds.

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