Several years ago my husband and I were into sailing big time. At the end of the season, a friend asked what we did in the winter. “Sit on the couch and pout,” replied my husband. It was true. We didn’t do a lot of activities in the cold months of the year. But one day I saw a meme online that said, “Winter is going to happen whether you like it or not. And if you don’t like it, it’ll seem really long.” I realized that was true – especially the long part. So the next winter, instead of hunkering down, we opted to check out fun ways to keep ourselves warm in the winter.
Flopping on the couch with popcorn and watching endless streams of movies appealed to us for the first while. After that, even the best shows got to be boring. And it was only November!
Determined, to enjoy the outdoors, we checked out snowshoeing. Although there are a couple of parks near us that provide a few trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, we drove out to my parent’s farm and snowshoed through the timber lot. We discovered that snowshoeing can be very aerobic and stabler than cross-country skiing. Dressing in layers is important because you can get really warm.
3. SEA KAYAKING
Water-lovers at our core, we decided to put ‘water’ + ‘adventure’ + ‘winter’ together and came up with sea kayaking. And with the lake so close, it seemed like the perfect answer – as long as the water was open. Paddle Boston’s website gives an extended list of considerations for cold water kayaking. Best advice? Dress warm and dress in layers.
4. SNOW KAYAKING
By far, our most amazing winter adventure activity turned out to be snow kayaking. It has all the speed of skiing but none of the issues associated with kayaking in cold water. The other advantage to snow kayaking is there is no need for a PFD. You’ll want to wear protective gear such as a helmet and ear protection but no other more restrictive gear. And – wow – is it fun!
Snow kayaking is just what the phrase suggests; going down a snowy slope in a kayak. And just about any kind of kayak will do – unless you’re interested in competitive racing; then you’ll want to check out “play boats” or ‘creek boats” Because it is considered an extreme sport, not all ski hills allow it. However, a lot of snow kayaking is down backcountry, on private property (with the owner’s consent) and/or ski resorts. Started in Austria in 2002, snow kayaking’s first ‘World Championship’ was held in 2007. Since then, it’s taken off in the world of outdoor sports.
Check out this great short film for a thrilling ride in a snow kayak.
For more information about kayaks to rent or buy, check out www.crystalkayak.com
What are your favourite winter activities? Post a comment. We’d love to hear from you.