Winter essentials for FIFO workers

By Virginia Heffernan

Wintry weather adds a whole new dimension to working FIFO. If you are about to head out for your first rotation at a FIFO operation, or if you’re returning to camp after a fall vacation, you’ll need to pack differently to account for sub-zero temperatures, snow and ice. Here are some suggestions compiled from members of the Mining and Metals Professionally LinkedIn group as well as expert opinion from Bret Wiseman, a CHPP Training Supervisor for Anglo American with years of experience in FIFO camps.

Footwear

Legs & Torso

The main message here is to make sure you can layer your clothing to adjust to changes in ambient or body temperature.

Head & Hands

Miscellaneous

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Most of the items can be found at stores that specialize in outdoor gear such as Deakin Equipment in Vancouver or Weaver & Devore Trading in Yellowknife. But make sure you check with the camp first to see what will be provided in the way of winter wear. Strict baggage allowances on flights may mean that some items need to be shipped separately. Most of all, as Wiseman says, bring a good attitude and enjoy the cold!

Thanks to all the geoscientists, lab technicians, mappers, drillers, training supervisors, and construction managers who contributed to this column.

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