Filed under: Entertaining Kids at Camp, Outdoor Recreation & Hiking, Uncategorized
Waiting for Winter…
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!
Though 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!)
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!
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.
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.