It’s been a blustery month in B.C., which is all the more reason to focus on all the things that will get us through bad weather — from an emergency lantern with a phone charger to hand warmers that last 18 hours. Here’s what’s worth stocking up on in case the lights to out.
FOR WHEN THERE'S NO POWER
This LED lantern is a smart addition to a home emergency kit: it charges three ways (USB, solar power and hand crank), has a built-in 3000mAh, 12 LED bulbs, lantern or flashlight capabilities, and a power bank to charge a phone. It gets high marks from reviewers who use it for camping and in the home during storms and power outages. Available on Amazon.
Who it's ideal for: Anyone who wants to bulk up their emergency kit.
Why we're endorsing it: Multiple ways to charge, ingenuity, light and phone charger.
Where it could use improvements: Solar charging and hand cranking take time, but it can also be charged with a 5V 2A adapter (sold separately).
Size/weight/dimensions: 4.96” × 3.19” × 3.11”.
FOR THE 'HOME OFFICE' IN THE BASEMENT
This small ceramic space heater is light enough to be carted between rooms when needed and has enough power to heat a small room (around 200 square feet) pretty quickly. Electric heaters are quiet (so it won’t be a distraction in a work-from-home office) and it has key safety features (shuts off automatically when tipped over or overheating). Available on Amazon.
Who it's ideal for: Anyone who wants to heat up a chilly space, like an office or basement.
Why we're endorsing it: Price, size, user reviews.
Where it could use improvements: Does not have a timer.
Size/weight/dimensions: 8.3” x 6.3” x 4”.
For a larger area, this Senville heater has four modes (high, low, eco and fan), a digital display and 24-hour timer. It can be positioned as a tower or as a horizontal space heater. User reviews praise it for its power and low noise level. Available on Amazon.
Who it's ideal for: Anyone who wants to supplement the heat in their home.
Why we're endorsing it: Size, power, user reviews, Canadian company.
Where it could use improvements: No oscillating function.
Size/weight/dimensions: 56.39 x 19.05 x 17.78 cm.
FOR WHEN THE HOT AIR IS TOO DRY
To deal with a constant stream of heated air (which can dry out the throat, nose and skin), humidifiers gently pump mist to moisten the environment. This one from Honeywell has a compartment for essential oil; peppermint, eucalyptus, tea treat and oregano oil are recommended for winter months. Available on Amazon.
Who it's ideal for: Anyone who feels dried out from being indoors more.
Why we're endorsing it: Brand trust, reviews, ease of use.
Where it could use improvements: If not using distilled water, the built-in filter will require descaling.
Size/weight/dimensions: 27 x 16.2 x 30.1 cm.
FOR WHEN WINTER CLOTHES NEED A BOOST
HotHands are small, individually sealed hand and body warmers that don't require batteries. Simply take it out of the package and give it a good shake; in less than half an hour, it turns toasty and can fit inside gloves or pockets. It’s great for outdoor exercise, hiking and weekend sporting events (for both the parents who are watching and the kids who are playing). Available on Amazon and at Canadian Tire.
Who it's ideal for: Anyone who wants an extra warming accessory.
Why we're endorsing it: Ease of use, brand trust, safety.
Where it could use improvements: Packs can’t be reused (but last up to 18 hours).
Size/weight/dimensions: 40 in a pack.
FOR A HEALTHY WAY TO STAY WARM
Regular sauna use is common in places like Finland (many homes have their own) and over the last few years, the benefits of infrared sauna has caught the attention of North American wellness bloggers. While the detoxification claims aren’t backed by science, there are benefits to regular sauna use, including easing joint pain and relaxation (which can lessen stress). This hemlock sauna is made for two, has a CD player and AUX capabilities, towel hooks, a magazine rack and a multi-year warranty. Available at Walmart.
Who it's ideal for: Anyone who wants to invest in down time.
Why we're endorsing it: Luxurious, healthy, convenient.
Where it could use improvements: This is a significant home investment and requires assembly.
Size/weight/dimensions: 75” H.
FOR THE HOME THAT CAN’T FIT A STAND-UP SAUNA
If a stand-up sauna is a dream that doesn’t quite fit your space, the Higher Dose Infrared Sauna Blanket might be the next best thing. It’s a single-size blanket with openings in front and at the feet (secure it closed with Velcro) made from polyurethane, with layers of charcoal, crystals and clay. The heat settings are 1-8 (around 159 F is the max). This can be moved room to room and doesn’t require more than a plug and a towel, but it does heat up quickly for a good sweat session. Available at Higher Dose.
Who it's ideal for: Anyone who wants a sauna they can use on their lunch break.
Why we're endorsing it: Uniqueness, popularity.
Where it could use improvements: Social media influencers and celebrities sometimes promote scientifically unproven benefits to sauna use (like the general phrase “detoxification”). Ships from the U.S. and duty charges apply.
Size/weight/dimensions: 71 x 71 inches.
FOR WHEN THE COLD REALLY SNAPS
The thing about needing ice melt for the steps, deck and sidewalk is that the morning you realize it’s cold enough to freeze, so does everyone else in the neighbourhood (leading to a mad dash to find a bag). Keep one container of a fast-working ice melter (this one has calcium magnesium acetate) on hand for when the temperature drops and be ready for the first true blast of winter. Available at Canadian Tire.
Who it's ideal for: People who like to be prepared for cold weather.
Why we're endorsing it: Price, safety, stores easily.
Where it could use improvements: Some users don't like the blue colour of the product.
Size/weight/dimensions: 11 pounds.