How to Survive Snow in Ukraine
For southern and/or coastal expats winters in Ukraine can be challenging. Here’s some tips how to survive the cold, the snow and the ice.
1. Know how to dress
Some say: "There is no bad weather, just bad clothing!" Good clothes are the must to function in Ukrainian winters.
Forget about fashion when it’s freezing outside! It’s time to invest in some good winter clothes. You need to look in natural materials: down, wool and silk (and some synthetics like fleece). Fur is good too (depending on your stance of fur, of course). But don’t trust cotton and linen – once wet, they do not keep you warm at all! Cotton and linen are great for the summer, but your favourite jeans alone will not keep you warm at -15C.
Essential items that you need: good down or wool coat, wool sweaters, snow boots with thick soles, scarves, gloves and hats, and long underwear. Dress warm from head to toe!
2. Fear the ice
Snow is not your main enemy; ice is. When snow melts and freezes again, it becomes very dangerous to walk on, and the scary sheet of ice coats a lot of Kyiv’s sidewalks.
Ice-related injuries are very common: in the season doctors report twice the usual number of injuries. The broken wrists, fractured knees and ankles are not a joke! So take measures.
So to walk safely and avoid slipping, look at the professionals – penguins. Walk slowly, with small steps, don’t lift your feet too much from the ground, and you’re safe!
Also it's smart to invest in some ice gripers if your steps are faltering.
3. Avoid icicles
Due to the melting snow, icicles are forming on roofs. Some of them are long and as sharp as daggers. They can be a serious danger if they fall on your head.
So, watch what’s over your head and don’t walk too close to buildings.
4. Drive safely
Driving your car on the snowy and icy road can be stressful. So, you need to get the snow tires and drive safely! Keep more distance from cars in front of you and apply the brakes really gently. Also, do not forget about the icicles: never park your car just under the roof with them.