I have an industrial-strength parka that’s so big and thick that it stands up by itself. It’s perfect for standing around on set amid the depths of a Canadian winter. I’ve tried various combination of gloves and mitts over the years and found a combo of liner and mitt that actually warms my hands during those frigid outside days that never appear to end. On the feet… liners, sub-zero socks and heavy-duty Sorel winter boots, of course. I can be ready for the worst of outside winter weather.

Or so I thought…

After a trip to the Yukon in January and taking a dog sled ride I was rightfully humbled. The host – barely regarding me as he organized to prepare our trip – handed me a parka. I protested, saying that I had brought my own “real” parka, and started to explain its sub-zero features. He looked at me plainly and said: “You’ll need this one too.”

I was speechless.

I’ve filmed outside in minus 30, wearing but 1 parka. I’ve filmed dog sledding – albeit in Ontario – and wore only 1 parka. I’ve seen “Snowbuddies” and other films featuring dog sledding. No matter how bad the weather, I swear they were each only wearing 1 parka.

But sometimes film does not reflect life.

My host was so right. Layered parkas were essential. A human parka blimp, my body could take the cold and windchill as we sped across the frozen Yukon River. And what a ride it was!

Remember a time when your preconceived notions (from film life) surprised you in real life? Sure it’s great to watch it (on film) but it sure is awesome to live it, no?

Cheers & a warm shoot to you,