The winter season and snow is commonly associated with staying indoors with warm socks, hot drinks and Netflix and not often sports or exercise. But as well as enjoying the cosy comforts of staying inside, there’s also plenty of equally fun and exciting things you can do outside. I’ve put a list together of my top 10 sports you can do in winter that’ll keep you entertained and active.
This was one of my priority bucket list experiences in moving to America. After a couple days of falling down the face of the mountain then claiming it as skiing it began to come more naturally. An initial half hour lesson really helped to cement the basic concepts of gravity, weight and using both edges of the board to navigate. Each trip was packed with fresh snow, amazing views, adrenalin and often stacking it then unintentionally eating mass quantities of snow.
Sledding is a cheap, easy and fun way to really enjoy the winter season. All you need is a plastic sled, which cost only around $10, thicker snow coverage and a hill, this combination creating the recipe for an adrenalin rush.
If you’re looking for something slightly more physically demanding and sustained with breathtaking views, then hiking is definitely the go. If you have the right winter equipment, clothing and someone with enough knowledge and experience then doing a winter hike truly is a very different and rewarding experience. Equipment for hiking in the snow is significantly different to traditional hiking as there is different footwear based on the thickness and nature of the snow. This includes micro spikes for traction, clothing without cotton to retain heat and thermos bottles with warm water to ensure the water doesn’t become frozen.
4. Indoor Frisbee
Another sport I became involved with this semester is indoor Frisbee. It panned out to be a fun and challenging way to get a good workout and meet a great bunch of friends. Before coming to the US I didn’t know Frisbee was a competitive sport; Frisbee is a possession sport that is somewhat compared to netball but with an in zone area instead of a hoop. The skill of throwing a Frisbee with speed and accuracy is difficult at first but once you get the hang of it then the flow of the game improves fast.
If you like riding and machines, then snowmobiling is awesome. Pretty much the equivalent of a jet ski but for land, snowmobiles are a great way of getting around and to get an adrenaline rush.
6. Ice skating
Ice skaters make ice skating seem easy and elegant but it’s much more like the hilarious YouTube videos of people slipping, sliding and inevitably absolutely wiping out – but don’t let this deter you. Ice skating was my initial ‘ice breaker’ with my roommate and exchange students, at times looking like a flailing flamingo it still was a fun experience.
7. Ice climbing
I didn’t get the chance to try this myself but it was definitely one of the most popular aspects of the outdoors club at my university. Similar to traditional rock climbing, however the mountainside is completely blanketed with ice. It involved slightly different equipment such a picks and spikes to be able to create traction or stability to make it up to the top. Ice climbing is an amazing opportunity to check out the surroundings, to admire the breath taking sights winter has to offer and to challenge yourself. This activity has definitely been added to my bucket list as some of the photos of the icicles and the mountainside have brought forward some of the most picturesque images I’ve had the privilege to see.
8. Snow ball wars
Best free entertainment for a group, in the excitement you’ll be sure to work up a sweat as well! Sadly living on the Gold Coast, this is a childhood experience many didn’t get but no reason you can’t make up for it as a child at heart traveller. The concept is pretty simple make some snow balls, pick your target, dodge incoming snow balls and every man for themselves.
9. Build a snowman!
Plain and simple, you can’t have a cinematic, stereotypical winter wonderland experience without building a snowman. They are surprisingly hard to make but totally worth in the end. A good tip for making a snowman is starting at the top of a hill will a small ball of snow and rolling it down and picking up the snow and making it round as you go. A good way to make the most of the hard work is to dress up your snowman and get a bunch of pictures!
10. Snow angel
You’ve all seen it in the movies so just do it. Jump in the snow and do it.