Outdoor Exploring this Winter

Discovering nature in the colder months takes a little more prep and forethought than summertime adventures. To enjoy the great outdoors safely with your family, check out these tips from Harrowsmith magazine.

Play it safe. Check the weather conditions at your destination ahead of time. Pack appropriate gear and wear layers and reflective clothing. Remember, it’s best to swap cottons for fabrics that wick away moisture and keep you warm and dry. A compass, map, first-aid kit and multi-tool or knife might come in handy, as well as extra socks, hats, gloves, an additional layer, sunglasses, water and high-energy snacks.

Buddy up. Ideally, go with a friend or group. The risks are a lot higher with winter outings, so if you’re going to adventure solo, make sure someone knows where you’re going, what route you’re taking and approximately when you’ll be back. Also, don’t rely on your phone, as many cellphones don’t work in park interiors.

Think timing. Take sunset into account when you plan your route. The sun goes down earlier this time of year, so head out earlier and plan to be off the trail well before dark. Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination and carry a map and a flashlight just in case.

Be adventure savvy. Travelling over frozen lakes and ponds is not recommended, as ice conditions vary greatly. Stay on the designated marked trails and be aware of avalanches — check conditions before you leave. Know the warning signs and always remain in visual contact with your travel partners.

Find more outdoor activities and ideas at harrowsmithmag.com.