The Long John Index Service of Canada

Keeping Canadians Warm and Entertained since Mid to late October

How the Long John Index Works

Long John Index4 Comments

Disclaimer: The Long John Index is a 'not-scientific-whatsoever' method of measuring when, and if, one should be wearing a pair of thermal long underwear, known more commonly in the Dominion of Canada as 'Long Johns”.  It is used for entertainment and gambling purposes, and should not be confused with your preferred weather service. 

The Index runs on a scale from 1 to 5; 1 being the lowest, and 5 being the highest, and starts at the Freezing/Melting point of 0 Degrees Celsius ( or 32 Degrees Fahrenheit). The simplest way to understand the Long John Index, is as the temperature drops, the Long John Index goes up, and subsequently, the time you should be spending outside without wearing Long Johns decreases. As you see in the scale below, the Long John Index increases by 1, as the temperature drops 10 Degrees Celsius. 

Anything above zero, is considered "Not Applicable", marked in the Long John Index summary as an "NA" or variation of nope, which means feel free wear whatever ever you like. 

Long John Index of 1: 

  • Temperature Range: 0 to – 9 Celsius ( 32 to 15.8 Fahrenheit). 
  • Windchill: None.
  • Length of time you can be outside without Long Johns: 4-5 Hours*
  • Explanation: Long Johns shouldn't be needed, unless one is spending 7+ hours outside with no toque and standing so still they might be mistaken for one of those creepy living mannequins. Any movement will generate enough body heat to not need Long Johns.
  • *Should you live in a part of the Canada not considered classically frigid, you may want to wear some Long Johns if outside for more than an hour. Looking at you, Vancouver and Toronto.

 Long John Index of 2:

  • Temperature Range: Same as Above
  • Windchill - anything that makes the temperature feel like it is colder than -10 Celsius ( 14 Fahrenheit)
  • Length of time you can be outside without Long Johns: 1-2 Hours
  • Explanation:This is the only level which we acknowledge the very baffling and evil existence of Windchill*, as there is a very discernible difference between going outside when it's -5 with no wind, and a -5 when the wind is strong enough to knock over mini vans. Basically, if it's minus -5, but feels like -43, and you are going to be outside for an hour, you should wear your Long Johns.

Long John Index of 3:

  • Temperature Range: -10 to -19 Celsius ( 14 to -2 Fahrenheit). 
  • Length of time you can be outside without Long Johns: 30-60 Minutes
  • Explanation: Now we are at some serious winter temperatures, during which time the phrase 'bundling up' will be commonly used, and listened too. At this temperature, your Thighs will give you that 'Burny feeling', which is your body's way of telling you aren't dressed warm enough, and you should think the next time you go outside. If you are outside for commuting, working, or walking various domesticated pets (Dogs, Cats, or the occasional Moose) definitely put on some Long Johns.

Long John Index of 4:

  • Temperature Range: -20 to -29 Celsius (-4 to -20.2 Fahrenheit). 
  • Length of time you can be outside without Long Johns: 15 minutes maximum.
  • Explanation: At this point, there is no messing around. You should absolutely have your Long Johns on if you are spending any sort of time outside for any length of time. Doing so will not only keep you warm, but make you feel like an Astronaut, venturing out into the cold reaches of Space, though at this temperature, Space is probably warmer. 

Long John Index of 5:

  • Temperature Range: -30 Celsius and colder (-22 Fahrenheit and colder).
  • Length of time you can be outside without Long Johns: 0 Seconds.
  • Explanation: Long Johns should be worn INDOORS. Don’t even bother going outdoors. Don’t even look at the outdoors, unless you have Long Johns for your eyes. It’s that cold. Instead, make some tea, grab a nice book, wrap yourself in as many towels and blankets as you can and just stay inside. When it’s nice out, someone will tell you.