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I'm on my way to Tbilisi Georgia where I plan to stay all winter and since I'm from a warm country I'd like to know how cold it will get and whether I will need to invest in some winter clothing and gear.

I'm from Australia but I've travelled a lot with winters in Western Europe, USA, and Canada and I've experienced as low as -40 degrees below zero so I know I can handle it.

But winters vary greatly. I would've expected Georgia to be frozen but I'm told the capital is pretty temperate and every time I asked my friends if there was snow last winter I got the answer "not yet". I think the Caucasus mountains offer a lot of protection.

So how cold can I expect it to get? Is there typically no snow, only bits that melt again, or does it pile up and get icy and slippery? How about wind and rain and humidity? Should I buy special winter clothes or will jeans and a couple of extra layers suffice?

I should add that my budget is very tight so I wouldn't mind a second-hand jacket or coat and I would definitely prefer to buy my winter stuff in Georgia. Does that mean I'd end up with cheap and old but good leather/fur as opposed to expensive and new and good hi-tech western stuff?

There's a similar question about a short visit to western Europe but I don't think my question about a long stay in the Caucasus is a duplicate.

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Looks like it's going to be colder winter than usual... –  Giorgi Nov 14 '11 at 9:00
    
Yep we've had snow already and most days I'm wearing four layers! –  hippietrail Nov 14 '11 at 11:56
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up vote 9 down vote accepted

Typically there is very little amount of snow in Tbilisi which usually melts in a day or two in most parts of the city but it can also pile up and go icy (in 2008 we had snow for about three weeks). Wind and rain is more common.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'special winter clothes' but a sweater and a coat should be enough most of the time. You will also need gloves, scarf and a hat.

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"Special winter clothes" could mean anything not usual in warm countries such as Goretex, long underwear, etc (-: Thanks! –  hippietrail Oct 9 '11 at 20:24
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@hippietrail: No, you won't need anything like that. –  Giorgi Oct 10 '11 at 7:04
    
For the record, it never dropped below -10 the winter I was there. We did get icy patches on a couple of hills near where I was staying so I had to buy new shoes because there wasn't enough tread left on the soles of my old shoes. I was given a warm second-hand coat by a traveller on his way home. There was really no wind or humidity until the very end of winter in January or February for about one week when the cold defeated my warm clothes. The rest of the time was awesome! –  hippietrail Oct 18 '13 at 9:57
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