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Filed under: Entertaining Kids at Camp, Outdoor Recreation & Hiking, Uncategorized

Waiting for Winter…

January 18, 2012 by · 7 Comments 


As I write this we are awaiting our first “real” snowfall of the winter. It is January 12th and, as a snow lover, especially in December, January and February (not so much in March and April!), it has been a long wait. Today, however, we are predicted to receive a good six inches of the fluffy white stuff! Finally!

cabin with skisThough I love to camp in our little RV because of how close it brings one to the great outdoors, my enjoyment of nature is not limited to the summer months.  There are so many ways to play and have fun in the winter that, if we let it, it can take us right back to childhood. I am writing to give those of you who, like me, are receiving your first good snow of the year, some ideas for what to do while waiting to back the RV out of the garage and get it ready to go! (Trust me, I know who you are! I am one of you!)

Terry skiing

Terry skiing (diagonal stride)

Cross country skiing is one of the best ways to enjoy the snow. But within that concept, there are essentially two separate and completely different sports. There is the traditional Diagonal Stride that I prefer, gliding noiselessly through the quite woods, enjoying the peace and serenity of the place. However, there is also Skate Skiing. This is the preference of my husband and son, who race through the woods every weekend barely noticing their surroundings. They do this in preparation for the Great American Birkebeiner, where they will race with other “die-hards”, skiing for 52 kilometers (about 32 miles) from Hayward, WI to Cable, WI. They will complete this in the matter of about four hours! I do enjoy both of these sports, but they are indeed two completely different endeavors!

snow fort block

Snow Fort Block

Snowshoeing is another wonderful winter pastime. Again, strolling quietly through the woods gives one a sense of peace and tranquility and snowshoeing is so easy, virtually anyone can do it. Snowshoes can be purchased from virtually any sporting goods store and vary in price from about $50 to several hundred dollars for the newer, sleeker racing models. Various places even host weekend long workshops where you can weave your own traditional model snowshoes. One place to do this is Trees for Tomorrow in Eagle River, WI for anyone who is interested in a quiet woods winter weekend with the end product of a pair of your own snowshoes that you have created.

snow fort at night

Snow Fort at Night

Finally, to truly get in touch with the child within, you have to get back to the snow play you experienced as a child. Make snow angels, build a snowman, have a snowball fight. One of the inventions at our disposal now that did not exist when I was a child and building snowforts in the 1950s and 60s is the snow brick. A simple molded piece of plastic, it can help you create wonderfully stackable blocks that can build an awesome fort. We love to do this with our kids with the first good, packy snow of the year. We often stay out long after dark, perfecting the fort until it is just so. If we are especially ambitious, we build two forts directly opposing each other, so that we may occupy them and have one amazing snowball fight! It is guaranteed to bring out the kid in anyone! And it IS an awesome way to spend the time until you can start getting that camper ready for your spring and summer travels! Happy winter!

For more information about camping and outdoor activities, check out Woodall’s  camping articles.


7 Responses to “Waiting for Winter…”
  1. butterbean carpenter says:

    Howdy Dr. Berry,

    So, thatz how you get rid of your frustrations, hah???? Sounds like fun and good warriorship to me!!

    I used to couldn’t wait for the first snow… Wherever we lived, when it snowed, my brother and I went
    rabbit-hunting!! I usually lived in the country and he lived in town, but I could be assured if it snowed at least a couple of inches, he’d be knocking on the door by 8 or 9 am… Now, we both live in the country;
    I’ve got a ranch and he has 5.5 acres, but they’re 258 miles apart and we’re both so decrepit we can’t
    walk, so I guess you can say that THE RABBITS WON!!!
    We never had enuff snow to ski or snowshoe…

  2. Colleen says:

    Gosh, we are thinking of driving from Colorado to Indiana to pick up our camper that has been at the factory for repairs, concerned about the lack of RV parks open during the winter months. Has anyone had the experience?? I want to visit the factory and also the RV Hall of Fame, anyone done that, hey I need some encouragement on winter travel, RV could be ready in three weeks… helpppppp

  3. Diane Berry says:

    Hey butterbean–Good to hear from you in the New Year! Why don’t you come on up to New Mexico–we have snow there and you can try out some snowshoes! Piece of cake!
    Hi Colleen–I have no experience with RV parks open in the winter but would, personally, be very open to the idea if I could travel in the winter. I would check out the Woodalls guide and get email addresses or phone numbers of parks that were on my way and start contacting them to see who was open. There have to be some! Anyone else out there have any ideas? Places you stayed during winter months?

  4. patti faustini says:

    Hi Diane, thanks for the snow blog! I love the Lego looking brick things. My kids would have loved those back in the day, instead of the messed up snow caves! But hey…they loved those, too.

    This is for Colleen, We’re up here in the snow-fested Whitefish, Montana. People live in RV parks all year ’round here. My favorite is Whitefish,RV. Since people can live comfortably in Montana in RVs all winter, I’m figuring you’ll find lots of places to stay in your particular journey. I’m sure you’ll do your homework on RV winterization before you head out anywhere! Safe travels, and best wishes, Colleen.

    Happy tales,


  5. Diane Berry says:

    Great to hear from you Patti! Thanks for the info! Stay warm!

  6. jen says:

    Just visiting your blog for the first time! We just recently won an a Passport 2910 BH RV from the Keystone Rv Redisvover America Sweepstakes, so we are new and trying to learn as much as we can! We’re in Pennsylvania! We just started a blog at Please visit us too! Look forward to more posts from you guys! Happy Camping!

  7. Diane Berry says:

    Welcome Jen! We certainly will be checking out your blog. Happy travels!

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