tips for winter adventurers
There are so many health benefits to being outside in the winter from getting some much needed vitamin D in the sun to burning extra calories in the cold. It's so easy to stay inside and blame it on the weather, but I almost always feel energized and happy after going outside. If you're really brave you can try winter camping, but even a short winter hike will bring you these benefits. Here are some tips if you're thinking about heading on a winter adventure!
1. Meal Prep
Winter adventuring doesn't have to mean the quality of your meal suffers. Prepare a stew in advance by chopping up veggies and tossing some beans, spices, olive oil and a bit of water in a tupperware container. Heat that stew up in a pot over the fire! Some other vegetarian friendly snacks I suggest are granola bars, roasted chickpeas, nuts and fresh fruit!
2. Rise Early
Driving with the sunrise means you'll have more daylight to explore and also get the chance to watch the beautiful scenery being lit up as you drive. Starting your day early will ensure that you'll have enough time to get a good hike in, set up your area and start cooking your outdoor meal in the light! Then you can eat under the stars.
3. Layer Up
A good coat only goes so far. Long johns, wool socks and a toque are also key to staying warm. I usually try to bring an extra pair of wool socks in case mine get wet. Having a base layer helps keep the warmth locked in, and if you're staying overnight make sure you have a sleeping bag that is rated for winter temps!
A winter adventure is best enjoyed phoneless. I understand in some cases you may need it to navigate, but I find the time spent in chilly nature is most fulfilling when I leave my phone at home or restrict its use to photos. The most important part is spending quality time with whoever is brave enough to join you!
5. Useful Tools
A flashlight, an axe and tin foil are always found with us on winter adventures. Although most phones have a flashlight feature they often die quickly in the cold, so it's a good idea to have a backup flashlight or headlamp to navigate the dark. You will need an axe to cut firewood but if there's bushes in the way of the trail it comes in handy then as well. A lightweight one will be easier to lug around. Finally, tin foil is an excellent way to cook food quickly over the fire. Whether it's sweet potatoes or some apples and oats, it's very simple to wrap it up and let it steam!