Warm and warmer: One degree can be a big difference

Sleet stung my face as I squinted to navigate the jagged strata of streets glazed by semifrozen furrows of ice and snow. I muttered a mix of blessings for studded bike tires and curses for cars that pass too close and too fast. Couldn’t the drivers see the child trailer I was pulling?

This past winter, my first in Norway, I commuted to my two-year-old’s day care by bike. I knew limited daylight was part of the deal in winter in Norway, and I didn’t curse the darkness; I just flicked on my helmet-mounted headlamp. What I did curse—along with the drivers—was the confounding climate. There’s a saying here: There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.

Since settling in Oslo, I’ve had to make some significant wardrobe adjustments—but they haven’t been snowshoes and puffy down parkas. My main investment has been in head-to-toe Gore-Tex rain gear.