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6 Ways To Make The Most Out Of Winter Outdoors

Don't let the winter blues get you down.

By: Whitney Scasny + Save to a List

It’s easy to stay cooped up inside all winter when it’s 20 degrees, you’ve fallen in love with a new Netflix series and you have a cozy bed to lounge in all day. Although it’s nice to enjoy the warmth of your home indoors, cabin fever is almost inevitable at some point in the winter season. Even though it’s cold, winter is a beautiful season and there are many activities to take advantage of in order to stay active (and sane). Here are some ideas to make the most of winter outdoors:

Ski and Snowboard Whitefish Mountain Resort | Photo: Noah Couser

1. Hit the slopes

Even if you’ve never experienced skiing or snowboarding, these snow sports are a fun way to try something new and get some exercise during the winter. You can take your friends or family and make a day trip out of it, or maybe even rent a cabin for the weekend and shred as much as your heart desires. Some ski and snowboard sites also offer activities like snow tubing and sledding, which is great if you have young children or skiing and snowboarding isn’t really your strong suit. Either way, you’re enjoying the great outdoors and having a blast. You can’t go wrong with a good day in the mountains any time of year.

2. Photography

There are so many photo opportunities almost anywhere you go in the winter. The snow has a way of complementing every form of nature and making everything sparkle. Drive (or snowshoe) to one of your favorite outdoor spots and take everything in around you. Capture a bird keeping warm on a tree branch, a row of melting icicles, the trees covered in snow...you get the point! Grabbing your camera and snapping some shots in the winter gives you the chance to get out of the house and collect some amazing pictures.

Snowshoe or Ski Rabbit Ears Pass | Photo: Jason Hatfield

3. Snowshoe

Although you can go hiking pretty much any time of year, many don’t think to go during the winter. With proper gear and a pair of snowshoes, you can still enjoy the perks of hiking on a trail that remains accessible year-round or by going off the beaten path. Many people who have snowshoed say “if you can walk, you can snowshoe.” It’s an activity that doesn’t require much technique and allows you to venture off into any winter wonderland you seek. Just be sure to bundle up!

4. Ice skating

Similar to snowboarding and skiing, ice skating is something that may not be for everyone. However, you’ll never know if you don’t try. Outdoor ice skating gives you fresh air and some sunshine, and there are several health benefits to gliding around the ice! The exercise your body receives during ice skating includes cardio, balance, joint improvement, and even stress relief. It beats the exercise you get from taking a break from binge watching Netflix to walk to the fridge, right?

Ice Fishing on Jackson Lake | Photo: Savannah Cummins

5. Ice fishing

Fishing is a year-round sport, but a lot of people are hesitant to fish on the ice. Ice fishing is a great way to get in tune with nature and find some peace. As long as you’re knowledgeable of the proper safety regulations involved in ice fishing, it’s a relaxing way to get out of the house and embrace the season. Plus, you won’t have to wait until spring to enjoy some fresh pan-fish.

6. Have a bonfire

Although winter is not exactly bonfire season, you’d be pleasantly surprised at the serenity of having a fire outdoors. Give your fireplace a break, bundle up and gather your friends or family to have an outside fire along with some hot cocoa and s’mores. You’ll be able to keep warm while being surrounded by the snow-kissed scenery, even if it’s in the comfort of your backyard.

Winter Camping at Coulson Gulch | Photo: Ryan Mckinney

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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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