Preparing for Manitoba

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of June 13-19, 1996
Grand Teton guides
Preparing for Manitoba
Fat-tire rides in Crested Butte
Hiking in Illinois
Paddle trips with kids
Four Corners mountain biking

Preparing for Manitoba
Question: What kind of clothing should one wear in Churchill, Manitoba, in July and August?

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
[email protected]

Adventure Adviser: One should bring seersucker shorts, a flouncy straw hat for UV protection, and a silk dress for evening wear. High heel pumps and hosiery are optional, but a batik sundress for afternoon tea is always wise.

You wish.

Seriously, summer in Churchill--a mere 990 miles north of Winnipeg and well above timberline--is no stint at the beach. July sees an average daily high of just 62 degrees Fahrenheit, with nighttime lows plummeting to 44 degrees. In August, things cool down a bit to afternoon temps of about 60 degrees and lows of about 42. Summer's the rainiest time, which explains why the polar bears go on hiatus and the mosquitoes come out in force.

The good news is that nearly 3,000 half-ton beluga whales summer in the Churchill River, so there are plenty of Moby Dick-type activities to choose from.

As for what to bring, the best strategy--as always--is layering. Pack shorts and T-shirts for those occasional warm afternoons. Bring long pants, wool sweaters and socks, a fleece jacket, and--most importantly--a waterproof shell for the rain. As a rule, I try never to leave home without my fleece hat and mittens when I'm heading up north.

Oh, and, of course, don't forget a brimmed hat and sunblock to survive the average of nearly 280 hours of sunshine in July. Polypropylene long underwear may seem a tad extravagant--even slightly geeky--but, hey, better safe than sorry.

For more information, call the Manitoba Tourism Department at 204-945-3777.

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