08:02 GMT26 February 2021
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    Even when temperatures drop below -60 degrees Celsius (-76 degrees Fahrenheit), life in Yakutia doesn’t stop. Check out these life hacks, that help local people continue their lives as normal during the notoriously severe Siberian winters.

    It looks like residents of Russia's Sakha Republic (Yakutia), who have recently experienced a freezing minus 68 degrees Celsius (minus 90.4 degrees Fahrenheit), can easily brave any meteorological cataclysm. Despite the unusual temperatures, they continue to study, work and enjoy their hobbies. Even the icy mist is not an obstacle. This is how they do it.

    "As practice shows, even the most modern winter boots gradually ‘absorb' the cold air," Ruslan Ochirov, a traveler and TV presenter, told RIA Novosti. Therefore, people wear mukluks — typical winter boots traditionally made from reindeer skin with a thick felt sole. In addition, two pairs of trousers, warm gloves and a cap are mandatory attributes for the majority of locals.

    When the temperature reaches minus 50 degrees Celsius, not many decide to drive their cars out of warm garages. Those who have no garage install a preheater in their vehicle. "At 6:15 am, the timer switches on the heater, at 7:00 I wake up and remotely start the engine with the keychain. By 8 o'clock I sit down in a warm car and go to work," Ruslan revealed. In winter there are no problems with parking in the yard: cars on the road are about half as many as in summer.

    The city of Yakutsk is situated in a valley, and in windless weather, when the temperature plunges below 40, it is covered with a thick fog, and visibility on the roads is very low. There is no ice on the roads, as the climate here is quite dry. When temperatures suddenly change, roads are sprinkled with sand, because anti-ice chemicals are useless here.

    It's never too cold to be beautiful! According to make-up artist Yanarina Alexandrova, many women of the Far North have an elegant winter wardrobe consisting of mink, sable, fox and karakul fur coats, embroidered with beads, leather and spangles. She agrees that nothing can keep your feet warm in minus 60 degrees better than a pair of mukluks. They can be decorated with beads, shiny threads and national ornaments.

    Despite the extreme cold, there are many people outside, usually in the morning, during lunch time and in the evening after work. They don't walk at usual pace but rather quickly run from building to another.

    Important life hack: cover your mouth and nose with your hand in a mitten, if you don't wear a scarf, otherwise your face will become frostbitten. Thus, the air inhaled through the fabric is less cold, and when you exhale, your breath warms the face, Yanarina added.

    It is also important to remember about skin care — it is necessary to use nutritious, fat facial cream and lip balm.

    For children, it is more difficult to survive frost than for adults, because they need to go for a walk, said Vera Krivoshapkina, a kindergarten teacher. "We go out only when temperatures are not lower than 15 degrees. When it's colder, we stay indoors and play active games, dance, run and jump," she explained.

    Kindergartens in Yakutia, like schools and colleges, only work till temperatures reach —52°C.

    Moms dress their kids in layers: an undershirt, a T-shirt, a warm jacket and a thick puffer or a fur coat. They also wear a wide scarf so that they can cover their faces, mittens, double pants, woolen socks and mukluks. So, when kindergarten teachers take kids for a walk, it takes at least half an hour to help them dress.

    Bitter cold is not a reason to forget about your hobbies. Photography in such weather has its own intricacies. "When you take pictures in the cold, there is no time for hesitation — every smallest detail should be thought out in advance," professional photographer Petr Chugunov explained. "For example, I once photographed ballerinas in the fog. It was a whole project shot both in summer and in winter. The shooting took only several minutes, otherwise the models would freeze," he recalled.

    Single-lens reflex cameras tolerate the cold very well, though condensation starts to form in them after half an hour outdoors. The batteries for photographic equipment should be original — replicas are used up very quickly. 


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    frost, winter, weather, Russia, Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Siberia
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