Tips on How To Prepare For a Beijing Winter

by Duncan on November 15, 2010

Image from: http://www.snapshotjourneys.com/

As the cold winter weather begins to set in on Beijing, we’d like to give all of you newcomers some tips on how to prepare for and survive the bitter cold weather that we get here. The winter season in Beijing is long and arduous, and temperatures start to drop from the beginning of November, and only begin to warm up towards the end of March. It’s important to be well prepared from the outset of the cold season though, since the heating system doesn’t usually kick-in until the 15th of November in Beijing, but nonetheless temperatures can begin to drop to 0° Celsius in the evenings before heating gets switched on.

The temperature averaged -7° Celsius in December last year, and -9° Celsius in January, but this doesn’t take into account the wind chill factor, which can drop the temperature several more degrees. The weather here is not only cold, but also very dry, and chapped lips and dry itchy skin can also cause those with sensitive skin a lot of irritation, so it’s important to use some moisturizer and chap-stick to alleviate the irritation.

With all that said, here are some tips that will hopefully help you prepare for the winter season in Beijing:

Layering is important.

Wear base-layer thermal underwear, an insulating layer such as a hoodie, or fleece jacket, and then also an outer layer that will help to break the wind. Layering is also important because you can quickly run into situations where you go indoors and if you’re too hot, you can just take off your outer layer, but not expose yourself too much to risk catching a cold.

 

Drink lots of water, use moisturizer lotion, and also chap-stick.

It’s not only important to use external lotions, but staying hydrated in the dry Beijing winter also helps your skin to stay moisturized.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neck and head protection.

Getting a scarf or a neck gaiter can not only help to keep the wind out of your jacket, but getting a beanie or hat can help to keep you warmer than you think, as about 20% of heat loss is from your head alone[1]. You can pick up a neck gaiter on TaoBao.

 

 

 

 

 

Despite the discomfort that the winter season brings, there’s a lot to do around Beijing during this time, there are skiing and snowboarding resorts not too far from the Beijing city, ice skating on several of Beijing’s lakes, and the Olympic park and water-cube is transformed into a winter snow park. Winter activities and recommendations will be another post though.

If you have any of your own winter preparation tips on how to stay warm in Beijing, please do share them with us!

1. Bookspan, Jolie. Healthline. http://www.healthline.com/blogs/exercise_fitness/2009/03/do-you-lose-most-of-your-heat-through.html

 

  • http://google.ee Urmas

    Great blog it’s not often that I comment but I felt you deserve it.

  • http://falky84.com Kittie Haroutunian

    I appreciate, cause I found just what I was looking for. You have ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

  • http://www.facebook.com/vgrajan Govindarajan Venugopal

    Thanks for the advice. This helps really as I’m due to be there in December. Also do you have any advice for people who are on a strict vegetarian diet – includes no eggs and meat of any variety (chicken, mutton, seafood,beef etc). Also what oil is used to cook veggies in China. Is it fish oil? any advice on veg restaurants?

  • http://www.1on1mandarin.com/blog/ Learn Chinese Blog

    As for oil, I don’t think Chinese people use fish oil to cook food. however, veg oil is widely used in China, such as bean oil. About veg restaurants, there are some strict veg restaurants, but it really depends on where you live in Beijing. I know one is quite closed to Tsinghua University if you happen to live nearby.

    Sorry for this late reply, I’ve been quite busy those days. -Darren

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