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What to pack

A summer's evening at the beach.

A summer's evening at the beach.

What to expect for your vacation in Nova Scotia depends largely on the season.

The weather is generally nice in June, July and August. Bring a swimsuit for the beach if you’re coming in the latter half of the summer. It’s often too cool to swim early in the season.

T-shirts and shorts will be fine for sightseeing most days but have a raincoat or light jacket handy for the occasional rainy day. Long pants are good for cooler evenings around the campfire.

Clothes that cover your arms and legs will also deter mosquitoes. Don’t forget the mosquito repellent.

Visits in September and October mean no mosquitoes but also the end of beach season. Leave the swimsuit at home and pack a fleece and long trousers instead. You’ll still get away with a t-shirt on nice days but be ready for cooler temperatures.

A small umbrella and a waterproof jacket are both worth taking.

November is when the truly cold weather starts to set in. In December, January and February you should come with a winter jacket, scarf, hat, gloves and boots to cope with snow and sub-zero temperatures. At winter’s worst, the mercury can drop as low as -40°C and you’ll often have a windchill factor on top of the actual low.

If you come from a warm country, all of the things you need to cope are easily bought in Nova Scotia. Also, pack a sense of patience to deal with unexpected travel delays when bad weather sets in and make sure you have an emergency kit including things like a blanket if you’re travelling by car.

Temperatures start warming gradually in March but snowstorms aren’t unheard of in April and snow flurries can appear anytime through to early May. A warm jacket and gloves are recommended. In March particularly, the roads can be full of slush so you’ll also want a pair of waterproof boots.