The Ultimate Guide to Your Favourite Winter Activities

Text by: Kelsey Begg

Anon, Arc’teryx, atlas, Black Diamond, Castelli, Craft, CW-X Conditioning Wear, fat biking, Garneau, Gore Bike Wear, Gregory, ice climbing, Jetboil, Merrell, Mountain Hardwear, Norrona, Oakley, Patagonia, Running, Saucony, Ski & Snowboard, Smartwool, snowshoes, SUGOi, winter camping, winter running. The Ultimate Guide to Your Favourite Winter Activities

For some winter is a dreaded season filled with frigid temperatures, grey skies and lack of colour but for others, this is a season of fun and excitement! If you are a winter lover, you already know what greatness the season has to offer and most likely spend your days enjoying all of the following winter sports. If you are new to the winter bandwagon and are slowly learning to love the chilly season, we’ve got the ultimate guide to all your favourite winter activities to ensure you get the best winter experience and continue to love the season. The key factor to enjoying winter activities is knowing how to layer for outdoor activities. When you’re comfortable and warm, every experience is a little bit more enjoyable.

Snowshoeing

For those who are just beginning to love winter, snowshoeing is a great way to start especially if you are an avid hiker in the spring and summer months. The joy of snowshoeing? You can enjoy your favourite trails and mountain views all year long! After finding out which snowshoes are the right fit for your needs you can buckle up and hit the snow. 

patagonia down sweater vest

Patagonia

Down Sweater Vest

Shop

arcteryx unisex rho ltw neck gaitor

Arc’teryx

Rho LTW Neck Gaiter

Shop

merrell mens norsehound omega mid waterproof boots

Merrell

Norsehound Omega Boots (-25°F/-32°C)

Shop

atlas unisex spindrift 25 snowshoesAtlas

Sprindrift 25

Shop

Snowshoeing is easily enjoyed by anyone of all ages because you can simply choose your terrain to meet you desires. If you are interested in mellow, undulating or flat paths, there are snowshoes designed just for that. And if you are looking for something a little more robust so you can take to the mountains even while they are donning their snowy winter coat, you can tackle steep and technical trails without a problem with the right kind of snowshoe.

For the runners, if the snow is too much for your winter running shoes, adding a pair of technical race or run snowshoes to your regime is the perfect fit. Float on the snow without a problem and still manage to get in your training even when the route is everything but bare.

Shop Snowshoes

Winter Running

If you’re a dedicated runner, you know that your training doesn’t end when the snow flies, it only gets more fun (and cold)! In order to enjoy your usual running regime even in the cold, winter months, it is important to dress appropriately and think layers! Knowing how to dress properly from your layers to your shoes, crampons (if needed) and accessories is the key.

saucony womens razor ice+ running shoes

Saucony

Razor Ice+ Running Shoes

Shop

cw-x conditioning wear womens insulator endurance pro tights

CW-X Conditioning Wear

Insulator Endurance Pro Tights

Shop

smartwool PhD® Wind Training glove

Smartwool

PhD® HyFi Wind Training Glove

Shop

craft mind warm vest

Craft

Mind Warm Vest

Shop

Because running is so easily accessible, it is a very common sport or hobby for many people of all ages. Whether you like to head to the trails or you stick to your usual route around the neighbourhood, running can be easily enjoyed year round. This can also be good training for those who are looking to improve their stamina for days of skiing and snowboarding. If you’ve got hills or sets of stairs nearby your usual running route, you can get in a few kilometers and work until you feel the burn.

Shop Winter Running

Skiing & Snowboarding

The original winter affair. Skiing and snowboarding has been a favourite winter activity for years and continues to be the hype during the frigid season. Whether you’re into exploring in the backcountry, earning your turns, lapping the lifts or enjoy the workout from a good session of cross-country skiing, it’s hard not to enjoy a day spent in the crisp fresh air on your single or double plant set up. 

norrona womens lofoten goretex active jacket

Norrøna

Lofoten Active Gore-Tex Active Jacket

Shop

anon womens griffon helmet

Anon

Griffon Helmet

Shop

oakley flight deck goggles

Oakley

Flight Deck

Shop

gregory unisex targhee 32l backpack

Gregory

Targhee 32L Backpack

Shop

For those new to the sports, skiing is generally easier to learn compared to snowboarding although harder to master and vice versa. If you plan to do it only once a few times a year, skiing may be your best option. If you’re keen to get out there and embrace winter every time it rolls around, snowboarding is a great challenge that will surely keep you yearning for more at the end of each season. Everyone is wired a little differently so if skiing doesn’t work for you, give snowboarding a go before you fully give up the activity and devote your love to the warm, summery months.

For the adrenaline junkies, backcountry exploration is becoming more and more popular each year although the number one piece of equipment to take on these winter adventures is avalanche knowledge and safety. No matter how smart you think you are, Mother Nature will always win so take an avalanche safety course and be prepared for the backcountry or a day of ski touring. You can access the backcountry by sled or on foot with the right touring setup (skins and touring bindings for skiers, splitboard, skins and bindings for snowboarders – snowboarders will also want a set of poles fo ascents). If you are accessing the backcountry via chairlift, it is still important to have the right gear and equipment so be smart and follow a plan.

If you like a good workout and cold weather can’t keep you indoors, cross-country skiing may be your style. It is a highly aerobic activity so dress appropriately and remember that breathable and moisture wicking materials are your friend! Also, it is important to stay hydrated. Even if you don’t feel it’s very warm, you can get just as dehydrated in the cold winter months or worse compared to the hot summer months. Also, for cross-country skiing, ski goggles may be a bit overkill, but don’t forget the sunglasses, chapstick and always, always wear sunscreen. The snow acts as a giant reflector so any activity on the snow will leave you with a face full of colour.

Shop Skiing & Snowboarding

Fat Biking

If you’re an avid mountain biker, you already know how much fun fat biking is. For starters, this allows you to continue mountain biking throughout the year and secondly, it’s a regular great time! Who doesn’t love ripping down snow-covered trails? Test your skills, push your limits and practice your cornering with some snow drifts. 

For those new to fat biking, don’t worry, you can give the sport a try on more mellow terrain with flat corners and minimal undulations in the trails. Stick to the greens and get comfortable on the two-wheeled steed before you take it to the single track. Fatbiking on fresh snow can be a bit challenging as the trails are always a little easier once the snow has been packed a little so keep that in mind if you are headed out for your first day. 

sugoi firewall 180 jacket

Sugoi

Firewall 180 Jacket

Shop

gore bike wear womens power so gloves

Gore Bike Wear

Power SO Gloves

Shop

castelli mens velocissimo 3 bibtight

Castelli

Velocissimo 3 Bibtight

Shop

garneau thermax II shoe cover

Garneau

Thermax II Shoe Cover

Shop

Dressing for a day of fat biking is very similar to how you would dress for cross-country skiing. It is also a highly aerobic activity so you want to dress in layers that are both breathable and moisture-wicking. Don’t forget your helmet and cycling gloves too!

Always keep an eye out for upcoming demo days or initiation to fat bike on Facebook as many companies will offer these days where you can rent bikes for free and see whether you like the sport or not. 

Shop Fat Biking

Ice Climbing

To the brave and adventurous among us, ice climbing is another popular winter sport. Similar to rock climbing, this sport requires a lot of safety knowledge and understanding of how each piece of equipment works. Once you’ve learned the ways of the rade per say, you are all set to get out there! 

Although it looks more deceiving than it is, ice climbing is by all means more of a leisure sport in terms of speed. Unlike skiing, snowboarding or fat biking, it is important to take your time and ensure each hold is secured safely before moving on to the next. If you’re up for it, ice climbing can bring you to some incredibly beautiful locations and allow you to discover new, breathtaking landscapes.

black diamond swift ice axe

Black Diamond

Swift Ice Axe

Shop

 

arc'teryx unisex alpha fl glove

Arc’teryx

Alpha FL Glove

Shop

scarpa mens rebel ice

Scarpa

Rebel Ice

Shop

the north face men's summit l5 fuseform gore-tex jacket

The North Face

Summit L5 FuseForm™ Gore-Tex™ Jacket

Shop

While properly working gear and equipment is exceptionally important for a safe day of ice climbing, dressing appropriately is also important. It’s evident that the conditions are going to be cold because you are climbing on ice so layering up is important but while you’re attached to the ice wall, it can be hard to shed layers. For this reason, choosing layers that utilize insulation and materials such as Poalrtec® Alpha® insulation, that regulate your body temperature is very important.

Shop Ice Climbing

Winter Camping

When you’ve got all the right gear, there’s nothing holding you back from enjoying your camp adventures all year long. The biggest factor to surviving winter camping is choosing the right gear that’s safe for the temperatures you will be camping at. Layers are going to be your best friend and so will all your favourite puffy down or synthetic jackets.

the north face inferno sleeping bag

The North Face

Inferno (-40°C/-40°F)

Shop

jetboil joule cooking sytem

Jetboil

Joule Cooking System

Shop

black diamond mens coefficient hoody

Black Diamond

Coefficient Hoody

Shop

mountain hardwear mens absolute zero parka

Mountain Hardwear

Absolute Zero Parka

Shop

For those who’ve never even thought about winter camping and think, the idea is asinine, to you maybe, but for outdoor enthusiasts looking for their next big adventures or yearning for fresh tracks, camping in the winter is just as enjoyable as camping is in the summer. 

Winter camping is very common among backcountry skiers and snowboarders as it is generally much cheaper than staying in a backcountry refuge or cabin. Obviously, it is going to be chilly so it is important to watch the weather very carefully and ensure you are prepared for anything.

Shop Winter Camping

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *