The winter holiday is a string of ticks on the latter part of the calendar so often resented. The holiday season, surely, is something domestic. Why can’t I stay at home, be fed mince pies by my mother and regress into childhood, we hear you cry. But no, not all winter breaks need be about skiing, snowboarding and sledding down snowy slopes. Indeed, there’s a whole world of other winter activities out there offering the perfect alternative to the automated, annual ski trip. From mushing through magical, Christmas card scenery on a husky-drawn sleigh, to building your own igloo and sleeping in it, if you’re bored of the same old freezing season routine, here are 5 alternative activities for your IDEAL winter holiday.
If you love dogs, the great outdoors, and a sense of the new, then husky sledding is the ideal winter activity for you. Whooshing through the snowy terrain to the paw-pounding rhythm of the dogs is a unique and unforgettable adventure and an exhilarating experience you can only do in wintery wilderness. Moreover, it’s a low-impact way to enjoy the snowy outdoors and enjoy an adrenaline rush, saving you from getting sweaty underneath your thermal layers. Most prevalently, it leaves no carbon footprint – only those of the huskies – magic.
Most companies that host this activity offer a broad spectrum of choice; anything from an hour, a half day or even a full day with a stop off for a spot of lunch. Should you wish, you can even go on a longer excursion; a great opportunity to get up and personal with the dogs – helping to prepare them, feed them, pet them and clean up their poo (part of the ride, we’re afraid). It will be the closest you ever come to living in a wolf pack. Fantastic!
Booked a winter holiday in advance and just found out there’s not going to be enough snowfall for skiing? Still craving that adrenaline rush and want to channel some of that energy? Instead of letting your temper snowball out of control, why not go fat biking on your holiday instead. In places where snow covers the ground for several months a year, fat biking has become as popular as cross country skiing and what’s more, you don’t have to rely on snowfall to enjoy it. Indeed, fat bikes are weatherproof, meaning they can be used whatever the wintry weather decides to do. Of course, when the white stuff is plentiful, it’s best; the super thick tyres allow you to ride across the snowy traverse with ease. One could say it’s as easy as riding a bike.
No we don’t mean filling your shoes with snow and having a competition to see who can handle the numbing cold the longest – that is something we actually advise against doing lest you lose a toe or two to frostbite. Snowshoeing is simply walking over snow in snowshoes, and is one of the oldest forms of transportation. It works by distributing your weight over a larger area so your foot doesn’t sink into the snow; allowing for smooth, easy transition in otherwise uncompromising conditions.
One of the best things about snowshoeing is that it can be done completely independently – no need for an instructor. Simply strap on some snowshoes and follow that trail or hike that mountain. Moreover, snowshoeing allows you to explore snowy terrain you’d otherwise not be able to reach and trek softly through off-piste, knee-deep snow. Yes, it does look like hard work, but it’s basically hiking with a big shoe or two. Plus, they’re much easier to pack then some skies. Result!
BUILD AND IGLOO (AND SLEEP IN IT)
Ever wanted to go off into the wilderness, build an igloo and sleep in it for the night, where every snore sends puffs of vapor into the frigid air and every visit to the loo in the middle of the night puts you at risk of frost bite? Haven’t we all? Sadly – or thankfully – you need a professional to help you build it, or risk being snowed in and under. Quite literally. Think you’ll get cold? Worry not, as surprisingly, snow makes good insulation. Just remember to take your thermals or Jack Frost won’t be far away.
News just in, paragliding is not just a summer activity. Many places offer tandem flights in winter, where you can enjoy the snowy scenes from up high. On a sunny day, seeing the snow-capped peaks and landscape glistening below you as you glide above is something that needs to be seen to be believed. Of course, this is an activity which is weather dependent; as the old saying goes, if flakes are falling you can’t go flying. And since you’ll be paragliding at lofty heights in the winter air thermals are needed.