A recent surge in people’s reconnecting with nature has resulted in numerous reference books for outdoor program leaders, but—until now—there has been a dearth of books aimed at wintertime pursuits.
The Get-Outside Guide to Winter Activities unlocks the door to a wealth of fun and adventure in the snow. Activities have been compiled by keepers of the trail, experienced winter trekker leaders who know how to lead people in outdoor winter activities that are safe and fun and help people experience the joy of being active outdoors during the cold months of the year.
This guide offers activities and games that have the following features:
• Appropriate for multiple age groups
• Easily modifiable to adapt to varying skillsets
• Designed for a variety of locales, such as schoolyards, community trails, urban and remote parks, and wilderness settings
The guide offers activities that are suitable for groups of varying skill levels and experience. Most activities are simple and quick and require little preparation and few props. Those interested in doing more can explore snowshoeing or Nordic skiing activities and even exploratory outings and winter day trips from a base camp to overnight or extended camping excursions. The book includes tactical snow games and activities and even has icebreakers for games.
In addition, solo winter trekkers can use the activities and lessons as a launching point to prepare them in leading groups in winter outings. Leaders are shown how to build in activities that call on typical age-level skills of participants. The essential-skills progression built into the activities helps leaders offer instructional strategies that allow all participants to take part within their ability, and leaders are provided with ideas to modify all approaches and activities to ensure inclusion for all in their group.
In addition to the game and activity modifications, the book offers winter facts that enhance participants’ knowledge about the science of snow and winter as well as charts and graphs that focus on safety in winter.
The Get-Outside Guide to Winter Activities offers a planning framework that balances winter fun with skills and safety and prepares leaders to guide others in enjoying activities in the snow. You will learn about activities that require little or no props, adaptive snow games, tips based on actual winter excursions, gear requirements, and leadership suggestions shared by winter experts:
• How to stay warm and dry while winter camping
• What and how to eat, drink, and cook in the winter
• What gear you need for a snow expedition
• What games and activities are great for campsites
• How to teach basic snowshoeing and Nordic skiing skills
• The keys to managing groups outside in winter
You’ll also learn how to make the most of winter opportunities through tried-and-true ideas, skill progressions and games, and activities that open up an entire season’s worth of enjoyment, learning, and adventure.
“People shy away from outdoor winter activities for three reasons,” says Andrew Foran, one of the book’s authors. “There’s an overemphasis on the skills that are thought to be required for participation. Granted, in some cases skills are essential, but it’s how you approach the teaching and practicing of those skills that makes the difference.
“Then there’s a belief that the wintertime outdoors is to be feared rather than embraced. And finally, people are lacking a bank of ideas, of things to do, to keep them engaged and having fun outdoors in the winter.”
The Get-Outside Guide to Winter Activities addresses all three misconceptions—and in the process shows you, as a leader, how to help your participants have fun in the snow, build skills, and create lasting memories that will keep them looking forward to the next big snowfall.
Part I Preparing for Winter Fun and Adventure
Chapter 1: Getting Ready to GO
Planning and Preparation
Managing Groups Outside in Winter
Chapter 2: Safety and Risk Management
Assessing Environmental Conditions
Dehydration and Hypothermia
Phase 1: Before the Activity
Phase 2: During the Activity
Phase 3: Debriefing
Chapter 3: Winter Gear and Clothing
Wintertime Essentials for the Leader Pack
Winter Travel Gear
Part II: Fun in the Snow: Games and Activities
Chapter 4: Icebreakers
Five Gs of Activity Planning
Chapter 5: Play-Based and First Nations Activities
Native (Inuit) and Northern Games
Part III: Trekking
Chapter 6: Snowshoeing
Day Packs and Leader Packs
Basic Snowshoeing Games and Activities
Skills for Hills
Advanced Snowshoeing Games and Activities
Running in Snowshoes
Chapter 7: Nordic Skiing
Evolution of Nordic Skiing Technique and Equipment
Dressing for Skiing
Day Packs and Leader Packs
Nordic Skiing Skills
Nordic Skiing Games and Activities
Part IV: Extending the Trekking Experience
Chapter 8: Winter Camping
Staying Warm and Dry
Eating, Drinking, and Cooking Building a Shelter
Sleeping Warm and Dry
Chapter 9: Winter Trekking: The Snow Expedition
Winter Trekking Equipment
Packing a Toboggan
Thermoregulation: Dressing for Winter Hauling
Setting Up Camp
Games and Activities to Do in Camp
The Next Day