Guest Post

How to Pack Properly for a Wintertime Adventure

While we’re in the full swing of winter, we can start to realize that staying indoors leads to restlessness and a little sadness sprinkled in there. The solution, as it always is whatever the season, is to get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air, sun, and even the bite of the winter weather.

Wintertime might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it certainly is a season that has no shortage of adventures. Whether you like skiing, snowboarding, skating, snowshoeing, or even camping, there’s plenty of action and adventure to be had.

The best way to ensure that these adventures are worth the time spent enjoying them is to make sure you pack properly. Being properly prepared with a packed pouch will help you get the most out of your adventures, stay safe, and always be ready for the challenges that the snow, ice, or sleet can throw at you. Here are some packing essentials to help you out.

1. Food and hydration

You never want to go out on an adventure without a little sustenance. Even if you think you’re going out for a short 1-hour hike, it’s a great idea to pack some food just in case you end up out there longer than you thought, or God forbid, you end up lost along the way. If you look at the food options at www.pickybars.com, you can see that adventure sustenance should be lightweight, easy to pack, but high in calorie density and nutrition, so that you can get all the energy you need without needing to cook it or haul a lot of it. Granola and oats are always a good choice, as are protein-based snacks. Don’t forget to bring the hydration with water packs and water bottles as well.

2. First aid/safety kit

You can plan all you want to have a fun adventure and be safe, but it’s really hard to guarantee this when you’re actually outdoors. The wintertime is a great time for outdoor activities, but it can be dangerous. Slips and falls are common, and cuts can still happen, too, depending on what you’re doing and what equipment you’re using. It’s always a good idea to bring a first aid/safety kit that contains bandage, hot packs, scissors, gauze, wraps, splints, polysporin, disinfectant, and medicine to ensure that even a little slip and fall or cut won’t slow you down. Being safe is always a priority, no matter how much you think your activity will be safe.

3. Extra clothing

In the cold, there’s one thing that many people forget – you can’t add extra layers when you’re already out. Wintertime can be silently deadly because of this. We seem to forget that in the summer you can easily remove layers to get cooler, but it’s a lot harder to stay warm outdoors in the winter. Bringing extra clothing in the form of insulated socks, gloves, undershirts, long johns, snow pants, sweatpants, hats, and sweaters is a great way to make sure you’re never going to lose body heat. Losing body heat is one of the surefire ways to end a good day’s worth of outdoor fun, so this is one that’s strongly advised. Not only will it allow you to stay out longer to enjoy the fun and sun, but it’s a good way to make sure you’re safe when out. Hypothermia and pneumonia aren’t uncommon for the unprepared, so get your bags packed with plenty of appropriate clothing.

4. Communication device(s)

If you’re on the ice skating or going for a quick stroll, you might not need some kind of communication device aside from your trusted cellular device. But if you’re going on a long trek into the woods, going camping, or skiing in unfamiliar territory, or plan on spending extended time outdoors in the winter, it pays to have some kind of communication device. This could mean using a satellite phone, a long-range capable cell phone, or even something like a flare gun. You need something that can help make your location known to anyone who needs to find you.

5. Multi-tool/protection

Being out in the wilderness means being prepared for anything. This also means having something to help you with small tasks like cutting or building, as well as protecting yourself just in the off-chance. It could be small like a Swiss army knife, or you could bring a hatchet and knife set, but you always want to have the right tools by your side just in case. This is really important for the people out there camping in the cold who will inevitably want to find firewood to keep themselves warm or help out when setting up things like tents or other equipment. Having this kind of gear on you is going to help you stay safe and be more productive.

6. Camera/recording equipment

This last one isn’t necessary for your fun, but it sure helps to have it around. Bringing some kind of recording equipment or camera with you can help you document your fun in good ways to create some lasting memories that will help you healthily enjoy your time. You can even use your phone to take photos, but sometimes you want some really high-quality pictures. Action cameras are also awesome choices for those into sports like skiing or snowboarding because you have hands-free ability to capture your runs on the slopes without worrying about the equipment. It never hurts to snap some good photos for Instagram to impress your friends with your outdoor savvy-ness.

Enjoying the great outdoors takes no days off, and even the winter is a time for some excellent fun to be had in the cold. While it might not be as hospitable as the summer, spring, or fall, winter is a lot more enjoyable when you have the right gear. Hopefully, this list gives you what you need for fun times.

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