Winter Night Hike

Andrew Krutz Wednesday, 19 February 2020

5.0/5 rating 1 vote

Too often winter is viewed as a period of dormancy when it comes to outdoor activity. Skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, and snowshoeing are all great activities to partake in when the snow is falling. However, with the exception of snowshoeing, all of these most likely require travel and/or pricey gear. There is certainly a place for such hobbies, but sometimes a short hike is all you are looking for.

I love the cold. I find it invigorating. Your warmth must come from within, not to mention it will make you appreciate being inside with a hot beverage even more. So on perhaps the coldest night of the year last winter I took the opportunity to put on a bunch of layers, some warm boots and headed into our woodlot. The air temperature was about -5 ̊ F with winds of 15-20 mph, making a -25-30 wind chill. Not extremely cold, but it would have to do.

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Wind Chill Chart from weather.gov/oun/safety-winter-windchill

As is typical on cold nights it was very clear. The nearly full moon and fresh snow made it very bright. Nearly bright enough to read by.

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Bright moon light

Everything always seems so quiet on these cold nights. Maybe the wildlife is hunkered down somewhere? Sometimes I enjoy just laying down in the snow, looking up at the incredibly clear sky, and listening to the silence.

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Bright, cold winter night

Rather than trying to avoid winter, being gloomy, and waiting for summer I encourage you to find different ways to embrace it. Go for a night hike, have a winter bonfire, go sledding, or think of some other creative winter activity to enjoy the cold/snow. Many don’t get to consistently experience what northern winters have to offer. Sure the short days can be rough and snow removal tiresome, but there are plenty of other unique opportunities for fun that aren’t usually available.

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