Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and there’s nothing more we should be thankful for than family and friends. Memories with the people who matter most are the ones you treasure and keep.
Late this year, an opportunity opens up to give our family even more memories to cherish. The great outdoors are ripe for the picking, and the nasty critters are all hibernating (bars!). From learning a survival skill to seeing the glory of dusk on top a mountain peak, here are a few things you and your family can tick off your bucket list.
Most people think that when the winter comes, the hiking season is over, but that’s definitely not the case. Many areas of the country have low-elevation trails that can be hiked year-round.
Hiking in the off-season often comes with the benefit of having the trails to yourself. In the winter, trails are less crowded, and there are views that you’ll never see during the summer.
Trekking poles and traction devices like micro-spikes may be the only gear you need besides some warm, layered clothing, which makes winter hiking a simple and affordable way to get outside with the whole family.
Drive A Snowmobile
With thousands of miles of snowmobiling trails, you and your family will always have an exciting time riding through the powdery snow. Snowmobiling trails offer fantastic scenery while you wind through pine forests, along with crystal-clear lakes, and wide open fields.
Of course, you need the right gear to whiz through snow and stay warm & toasty. If you don’t have any winter-gear, gas, or an actual snowmobile, you can always book a stay in a winter ranch or resort. They’ll take care of everything you need.
Sliding on anything downhill has always been fun to children, but the adults in the family don’t have to miss out. Children will take to skiing naturally, and it’s another way of getting the family to exercise and enjoy the outdoors on conditions tailor-made for hot cocoa in front of the fireplace.
A well-maintained trail network is a great place to learn skiing, but any snow-covered forest road will do. The benefit of an established trail network is they often have shelters that make good places to stop over and dine out in the crisp, frosty air.
Learn To Snowboard
Another way you can go about traversing the mountainside is on a snowboard, which is really the ski’s cooler cousin. The benefit of snowboarding is that you can excel to higher skill levels quicker than skiing once you’re past the initial learning curve.
Bond better with your kids by hooking an action camera onto your gear, and record your way down the mountain!
Go Ice Fishing
Bundle up, break out your portable seat and spend a relaxing (albeit chilly) day fishing for your dinner. This popular cold weather sport is done using tools like an ice auger, skimmer and gaff hook to catch an array of fish.
Ice Skate On A Lake
This time of year marks the freezing of ponds, lakes, and rivers (does not apply to southern states, of course). This yearly marvel of nature provides you with the most scenic ice skating rink you can ever find. Why settle for an indoor skating rink?
The only thing you have to consider is safety. Make sure the ice is thick enough to skate, most especially if your family is a large one, or if you’re skating with other people.
If you don’t know how to skate, this would be a good time. There are plenty of guaranteed skaters around to teach you the basics and is a great way for you and your family to mingle and interact.
The short days and long, cold nights of winter intimidate some people but think of snow camping as camping free of bugs, snakes, dust, rain, or crowds. Sounds suddenly appealing, isn’t it?
Spending a winter evening outside is a sure way to make an interesting and unforgettable family memory. Make sure you research on snow-shelter construction and survival basics before even trying this, though. This experience can also be an advantageous learning experience for your children.
Children love tree houses and forts, and one made of snow is a sure winner (in the fort and parenting departments). Building a winter shelter big enough to fit the entire family takes effort, but all the hard work will help you keep warm.
The simplest mode of travel in deep snow, snowshoeing is a great Native American way of exploring the snow-covered environment all around you. Age and skill level is not an issue, and you’ll find that it’s easy to cover terrain on snowshoes when in areas that require advanced ski skills to traverse.
Snowshoeing is best to do when there’s a fresh layer of fresh snow, making it a perfect way of experiencing the magic of winter with your family.
Whichever outdoor winter activities you choose, just be sure to read up and prepare for any eventuality first. If you got that covered, then you can rest assured that you and your family will enjoy the season together!