10 Tips to Help You Get Outdoors More This Winter

10 Tips to Help You Get Outdoors More This Winter

By Ashley Bredemus

Recently, I've had a lot of people asking me how they can get outdoors more this winter, which makes me smile! I'm so happy you're wanting to brave the chill of winter.

To help you do that, I've spent some time thinking about how I get my booty outside even in chilly weather. I've distilled those thoughts into ten tips for you to use! Enjoy!

When it comes to getting outdoors more in the winter, the name of the game is "positive experiences"! The tips below will do everything to contribute to a positive outdoor experience for you because that is what will keep you coming back for more.

#1 Clothing is KEY!

This one tip alone has me working on a blog post dedicated solely to winter clothing! (Coming Soon)

Clothing is the one factor that will make or break your interest in getting outdoors more this winter. But it doesn't have to be an issue.

Do some research and put some thought into winter gear. If you know you've got a guaranteed warm outfit ready to go, you're more likely to go outside.

I'll cover this in-depth in my "winter weather clothing" post but I want to suggest one piece of clothing for you right now - a pair of insulated Carhartt bibs!

These will change your life. It's like an indestructible winter snuggie. It's easy to throw on, incredibly comfortable to wear, and oh-so warm. Disclaimer, a pair of these bibs will most likely not be flattering...mine isn't but who cares about form-fitting at -10F!

#2 Prioritize comfort

There seems to be an ego around outdoor enthusiasts in terms of who is the toughest.

Write that off as bologna! You have my support!

Yes, you have to be prepared to deal with a certain amount of discomfort outside in the winter but that doesn't mean you can't take extra steps to be comfortable, especially if you're just trying to get outside more.

Personally, I stock up on those little hand warmers because my fingers get cold easily, no matter the mittens. I wear my bibs even when it's probably warm enough not to simply because it's comfy.

My point is, don't worry about other people's outdoor gear. Prioritize what will make YOU comfortable.

#3 Pick days without wind

If you want to spend some time outside during the weekend, look at the weather forecast and pick the day with the lowest wind!

Nothing says, "I want to have a miserable hike" more than a 20 mph wind in your face.

#4 Ask yourself how you normally get outside in the summer

Inevitably, some of your answers to this question won't be applicable. I don't want you putting on your bathing suit and jumping in the lake.

Well, actually maybe I do want you to do that! It's called a polar dip and would be fun to do with friends.

But that's my point! Think of the things you do in the summer and tweak them for winter. Boom, you've got a list of activities.

Do you have a morning walking routine during the summer months? That doesn't have to stop because of snow. You just have to change your mindset and attire.

#5 Think about the reward of going indoors 

Being outdoors in a wintery wonderland can be a reward of its own but you also get the bonus of going home to a warm space, perhaps with a warm beverage and cozy blankets.

Getting outdoors in the winter makes the warmth of the indoors even more indulgent!

#6 Get out of the city

I completely understand why folks in cities hate winter. It can be chaotic, slushy, and not conducive to outdoor activities.

Which is why it's important to get out of dodge if possible! Look for places with trails as opposed to roads, natural sounds as opposed to artificial ones, and white snow versus brown snow.

#7 Promise yourself you'll spend some time outdoors whenever it's sunny

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects nearly 3 million of us every year, meaning a whole bunch of us feel bluer than usual during the winter months.

One of the best treatments for SAD is vitamin D! So make a pact with yourself to go for a stroll outside if the sun is out. Sometimes, when I see the sun, I open my cabin door and just stand there, eyes closed, face towards the sun, basking like a lizard. Try it!

#8 Make getting outdoors a community activity

Invite your friends! Spending time outdoors is always a low-key activity to share with loved ones, friends, kiddos, pets, even new friends.

Last year, a couple of friends invited me to go snowshoeing. We set a day and when it rolled around the temperature was -20! We went anyway and had a blast simply because we were together. Don't let the cold stop you.

#9 Ask yourself why you value going outdoors

Does it focus your mind? Connect you with friends? Calm your anxiety? Brighten your mood? Simplify your life? Organize your thoughts? Improve your physical health? 

Develop some awareness around why you want to be outdoors more, and I promise it will make your experience richer.

#10 Steal a few activities from my favorites list

My favorites list:

  • downhill skiing (cross-country is great too...just not my cuppa tea.)

  • snowshoeing

  • hiking

  • an easy walk

  • ice skating

  • snowmobiling

  • exercising my dog

  • gathering firewood

Bonus Tip

Pick up a hobby that you can take outdoors. The majority of the time I spend outdoors is with a camera in my hand. I'm in love with outdoor photography and that has gotten my butt outdoors more this winter than any other before!

Let me know if you find these tips useful or if you have any to share with the class!

Happy Trails, 



Ashley is a writer, photographer, and summer camp owner, Birchwood Wilderness Camp, at the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in northern Minnesota. She lives there year-round in a primitive cabin with her dog, Arlo, and dad, Dan. Her blog, An Outdoor Experience, is all about the fullness of a life lived outdoors!

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