Unless You Are A Bear, There Is No Reason To Hibernate!

excited-for-winterThat’s right, unless you are a bear there is no reason to hibernate during the winter months. We have been exposed to an “early” winter this year, with the Thanksgiving snowfall and the recent cold snaps this winter is shaping up to be a doozie. That is no reason to say, “Except for traveling between home and work, there is no reason to be outside.” Not True! There are four seasons for a reason, and winter is the one of the best.

In full disclosure I am a ski instructor during the winter, and can often be seen outside for 8-10h at a clip. This is unusual for most people, but please don’t dismiss what I am talking about as the ranting of a crazy person… just someone who isn’t afraid of the cold.

  • Winter is a great time to get out and enjoy nature, especially in New Hampshire. In addition to the aforementioned downhill skiing and snowboarding there are so many wonderful things to do, if you prepare properly. In New Hampshire there are 15 downhill resorts and 18 Nordic resorts. With 33 resorts I can possibly name them all or do them justice with a review, visit SkiNH.com to learn about one near you.
  • If you have never been skiing or snowboarding January is learn to ski and ride month. Visit http://www.skiandsnowboardmonth.org/ to learn more and find great deals on starter packages. The website also has a great section on how to dress for the cold weather, tips for skiing with kids etc.
  • What else can you do during the winter? How about snowshowing! The NH Dept. of Parks And Recreation has a great page on their website that shows you popular trails and parks that are good for snowshoeing. You can also find trails at most of the major alpine resorts if you aren’t ready to venture off into the woods by yourself. If you aren’t ready to fully invest in the equipment you can rent snowshoes from EMS.
  • There is also ice fishing, snowmobiling, skating (both indoors and out), sledding, snowball fights, sleigh rides, and more!

The key to being outdoors in the winter is proper clothing and a positive attitude. Winter does present some unique challenges for clothing and activities. You want to be comfortable, but not too well insulated. If moisture can’t escape from your clothing it will build up and ultimately freeze making you very uncomfortable. By moisture, I mean sweat. You will sweat if you are exerting yourself so you want to make sure you dress in layers, and natural fabrics that can breathe.

You don’t need 3-4 pairs of socks on. In fact, 1 good pair of wool socks should be all you need. This is especially true for skiing! I am now going to tell you the secret to keeping your hands and feet warm during the winter. No, it isn’t hand warmers… It is layering up around your core. If your core is warm it will allow for better blood flow to your extremities, and therefore warmer hands and feet. If your core is cold the body will pull blood from the limbs to keep your vital organs safe. Wearing a vest or something similar can make all the difference.

Lastly, don’t forget to hydrate! It is very easy to get dehydrate in the winter time. The reason being, most people don’t realize they are exerting themselves and losing water. Along with hydration don’t forget to use lip balm with an SPF and sunscreen. Yes, the same products you use in the summer can come back for use in the winter!

If you think, “it’s so cold, I can’t go out there,” or “the winter is ‘not for me’”. Then yes, you will be cold and miserable the entire time. However, if you prepare properly, and think “I can do this!” Then you will have a great time!

If you have any other winter past-times or favorite spots for winter activities please, post them in the comments!

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