There’s something magical about the silence that comes with winter and ice. It allows you to experience the wildlife like you never have before, like following tracks and rabbit trails to your destination.
Whether you’re looking to go skiing across the mountain slopes or looking for a fun winter activity to do to stave off the winter blues.
Of course, winter exploration does come with its own set of challenges. Not only are you more likely to run into weather problems when traveling outdoors during the winter, but you also have to face off with cold, windchill, and of course, snow. After all, no one likes soggy socks in their winter boots on a long hike.
But just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you need to stay indoors. The snow blankets some of the noise of the world around you, it causes you to slow down and enjoy the snow-covered scenery around you. Whether you’re snowmobiling down back roads or cross country skiing across the countryside, there’s so much to explore once the snow settles in and everything finally gets quiet.
So strap on your boots, make sure to double up on your thermal socks, and get ready to experience the wonder of exploring a winter wonderland.
Snow Place Like the Great Outdoors
One of the most important things to keep in mind about snow travel is to make sure you stay on top of the snow, rather than sinking into it. Thankfully, there are many different ways to explore the outdoors once the winter blanket settles in so that you don’t end up waddling through soft powder. It can even allow you to explore places you weren’t able to reach during the warmer months. And while it’s always a good idea to double (and triple) check that any ice you start to travel across is definitely frozen and to hold your weight, there’s nothing quite like taking a snowmobile across a frozen lake on a clear winter day. But before you decide to bundle up and embrace the great outdoors, you want to make sure you’re geared up properly! Otherwise, you might find yourself in a situation that really frostbites.
The first thing you want to do is to make sure that your clothes have the proper installation. A good snowboard jacket should be warm and waterproof, but also allow some airflow so you don’t end up sweating through your clothes on a cold winter day. You also want to make sure you have the right weight jacket for your outdoor venture. Any day closer to the 30°F mark probably warrants a light to medium-weight coat, but once it hits -10°F or lower, you want to make sure that your cote will actually keep out the chill so you don’t find yourself making an igloo for warmth. Heated jackets are a wonderful way to keep you warm and dry during the colder days of winter, and windbreakers can be a great investment for when the sun decides to pay a surprise visit, but make sure you wear a sweater just in case! It is also a good idea to invest in other ways of keeping warm, from hand warmers and high-quality ski gloves to good snowboard boots that will stand up to even the hardest of treks. Most of these items are small and can easily fit inside your snowboard backpack.
Other winter gear can be more specialized depending on what you intend to do in the great outdoors. Cross-country skiing requires a different set of skis than your traditional downhill skis since you don’t want to be lifting long skis while exploring the trails. You want to make sure that you have your skis fitted professionally and routinely taken care of, otherwise, your day on the go might turn into a slog when your skis don’t slide as they should. If you are skiing you will need a good ski helmet. You should also invest in a good pair of snowshoes. Far from the tennis racket-looking snowshoes of the past, modern snowshoes click on to the bottom of your boots and have a balancing mechanism to help make sure that there’s a spring in your step even though springtime may be a long way away! Snowshoes also come in a wide range of sizes so that anyone can join in the snowshoeing fun without feeling like they’re dragging along the entire tennis court with them. Similar to snowshoes, ice cleats can prevent you from slipping on ice.
Snowboarding will require at the very minimum a snowboard, a snowboard helmet, snowboard bindings, and good snowboard wax to keep you moving fast. While not technically required, having snowboard goggles will help protect your eyes on the slopes. Carrying all the extra equipment can be a hassle, so make sure to pick up a snowboard bag.
Of course, there are some outdoor vehicles that can make playing in the snow the best time of year. Investing a good snowmobile is a great way to ensure that you see everything the wilderness has to offer during the chilly season. Not only can it be used to help bring people to the top of the hill without tiring them out during the sledding season, but it also allows you to explore backfields and four wheeler trails that you might not have been able to go down otherwise. There is nothing quite as serene as driving across a field covered in snow, and a good snowmobile is an investment that will last for years. Of course, not all snowmobiles are created equal, which is why it’s always a great idea to take a look at some of our recommendations to make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck. And of course, like anything, there are plenty of add-ons and personalizing touches you can use to make sure that your snowmobile is the outfitted for whatever byway you are adventuring down next.
Prepping for the Adventure
From trekking through the woods to sliding down the biggest hill you can find, there are a few small things you should keep in mind once the snow starts to fall. The first thing you want to do is make sure that you have a general idea of where you’re going before you head out, and make sure to have some emergency supplies on hand. It’s always best to bring a water bottle, general fire starting equipment if you think you’ll be out for a little bit, and a fully charged phone as long as you have a waterproof place to store it. After all, electronics and ice don’t always mix. It’s also a good idea to let someone know where you’re going. While you might be tempted to enjoy the serenity of the winter air, letting someone know that you’re heading out can help save you from a scary situation if you get lost. All these precautions aside, exploring the byways the winter opens up for you doesn’t have to be a terrifying or strenuous experience. It can bring a sense of peace that you only experience when to take the time to appreciate the outdoors. A base layer for cold weather is always a good idea. And, of course, that cup of hot cocoa you have waiting for you when you get back.
So start up your snowmobile or strap on your snowboard pants and explore everything there is to see in your winter wonderland. And that nice cup of hot cocoa waiting for you when you get back, of course. So go check out the snow, see what the quiet of the wood has to offer, and unlike in Narnia, we promise Christmas is coming eventually.