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6 items for surviving Chinese Winter

Know how to live in the cold

11·05·2015

6 items for surviving Chinese Winter

Know how to live in the cold

11·05·2015

For those of you living in the Middle Kingdom, take a look out your window.

Dreary, isn’t it?

For many, the temperature has become surprisingly cold, with Fall weather once again prematurely ejected before real pleasure could be derived.

The lucky amongst you will either be able to look forward to the benefits of central heating or are far south enough that the climate remains bearable. Others will have to deal with sub-zero temperatures without the relief provided by central heating.

Of course, one can always blast out warm radiation from air conditioning units, but this is not the only measure to take.

Here are 6 more pieces of equipment to help you survive through Winter in China.

 

DON’T POP THE BUBBLES

Down Jacket 羽绒服

One of the quintessential items of clothing for Chinese during frosty climates. With the look of sartorial bubblewrap, down jackets have pockets of soft feathers which trap air, which in turn acts as a natural insulator.

Where can I get one?

Almost all clothing stores will have them in stock now. Of course, you can always search “羽绒服” on Taobao or JD.com to purchase more conveniently.

 

Face Mask 口罩

OK, masks are generally required gear all year round, particularly if you reside in a major city. However, Winter can be an even more dangerous time for you lungs. Due to the onset of central heating, power plants will have to bear a heavier load, meaning the potential for higher AQI values.

Where can I get one?

Supermarkets, online shops, even 711s—finding a retailer is not a problem. Which one to get is harder to decipher. Luckily we have already prepared a handy little guide for you

 

Long Johns 秋裤

The so-called “Autumn Trouser”, long johns are something that foreigners below the age of 70 have rarely ever worn. On the other hand, Chinese youths have most likely been wearing them all their lives. And for good reason.

While a down jacket will keep your torso and arms nice and insulated, they often do not extend down past the nether regions—nor does there seem to be a trouser equivalent. Long johns provide an extra layer which, when combined with the air that it traps, provides great protection from the cold.

Where can I get one?

Similar to down jackets, most clothing outlets will have them—though don’t expect well known brands to stock them. Online is also a good choice and you can even get matching tops. Get ones with colorful flowery design to fully experience a Chinese Winter.

 

A kettle is one of those aging pieces of machinery that no longer seems vital in a household. Due to the dangers of drinking tap water in China, most households and offices simply have water dispensers which include the option for hot water. And while this hold many advantages, using the hot water for heating purposes may seem like a waste.

Enter the electric hot water bottle. Simply plug it in, let the electricity power its internal heating mechanism, and enjoy the warmth. Small and easy to use, they come in different shapes for different purposes.

Where can I get one?

Online is the place you want to browse—there’s just more variety. Buy at least two, so you can leave one at the office for when the heating inevitably malfunctions.

 

HOT UNDER THE COVERS

Electric Blanket 电热毯

Not a necessity for those living in centrally heated cities, but definitely a must for those in cities without. Air conditioning units often drain a large amount of electricity when used constantly and electric blankets also provided the added advantage of a more direct source of heat.

Just be sure to switch it off before nodding off to avoid house fires.

Where can I get one?

Large well-known supermarkets are good places, as well as respected online stores. Quality and reliability varies much more if you purchase from random markets and vendors.

 

Wind-resistant Quilt 挡风被

Traveling by bike is one of the most efficient ways to move within cities. But when the temperature becomes colder, the journeys become more and more taxing, especially on the hands and legs.

The upper body can be protected easily, with hats, coats, even ski googles. Gloves do a decent job of protection but you sacrifice dexterity. And, as is with long johns, against frosty winds, it may just be a matter of time before the cold seeps through.

The wind-resistant quilt, however, provides a thick barrier between flesh and cold. It fits snugly over bike handlebars, which means that full dexterity is maintained. There are only two problem. The first is the added wind resistance causing the bike to use more power. The other is the impracticality of installation and removal. Most users simply leave it on their bike when they park.

Where can I get one?

Online stores and bike shops are your best bets. If you visit a store, make sure to try it on your bike to ensure that the fit is to your liking.

 

For more on Winter, check out this short story by Chinese author Li Jingrui