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Get-Outside Guide to Winter Activities, The

Get-Outside Guide to Winter Activities, The

$25.00 USD

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    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.


    A reference for in-service teachers who teach physical education and outdoor education courses.

    Table of Contents

    Part I Preparing for Winter Fun and Adventure
    Chapter 1: Getting Ready to GO
    Five Gs
    Planning and Preparation
    Managing Groups Outside in Winter
    Chapter 2: Safety and Risk Management
    Assessing Environmental Conditions
    Wind Chill
    Dehydration and Hypothermia
    Risk Management
    Phase 1: Before the Activity
    Phase 2: During the Activity
    Phase 3: Debriefing
    Chapter 3: Winter Gear and Clothing
    Basic Gear
    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
    Play-Based Activities
    Native (Inuit) and Northern Games
    Part III: Trekking
    Chapter 6: Snowshoeing
    Getting Started
    Snowshoeing Equipment
    Day Packs and Leader Packs
    Snowshoeing Skills
    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
    Getting Started
    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
    Group Gear
    Leader Gear
    Personal Gear
    Packing a Toboggan
    Thermoregulation: Dressing for Winter Hauling
    Leader Tips
    Setting Up Camp
    Games and Activities to Do in Camp
    The Next Day
    About the Authors

    About the Author

    Andrew Foran, PhD, began his teaching career as a geography teacher and outdoor educator with the Halifax Regional School Board in Nova Scotia. He is an associate professor at St. Francis Xavier University, Faculty of Education, Antigonish, Nova Scotia. The focus of his teacher education practice is service learning, experiential applications in public school programs, and curriculum development in outdoor education at the secondary level. Andrew’s research examines teachers and students engaged in experiential courses and instruction outside of school settings. Andrew has developed numerous teacher education programs, workshops, and courses and has published nationally and internationally. He is leading a certificate program in outdoor education for physical education teachers and a master’s in education with a specialization in outdoor education through St. Francis Xavier University. Andrew’s collaboration includes teachers in P-12 education, the Nova Scotia Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, provincial school boards, the Student Insurance Program of Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Teachers’ Union, Department of Health and Wellness, and Sport Nova Scotia. In his leisure time, Foran enjoys canoe tripping and paddling, geocaching and navigation, and leading backpacking expeditions.

    Kevin Redmond, PhD, has worked as a lecturer in the School of Human Kinetics and Recreation at Memorial University of Newfoundland at Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, after an extended tenure teaching physical education in the public school system. Kevin has an extensive background in provincial curriculum development and implementation in addition to chairing various national paddling committees that established standards and resources for paddling in Canada. He has written a variety of canoe and kayak guidebooks, pictorial books such as Iceberg Alley: A Journal of Nature's Most Awesome Migration, and educational books including Quality Lesson Plans for Outdoor Education, published by Human Kinetics in 2010. As a freelance writer and award-winning photographer, Kevin has published close to 100 articles, more than 1,000 images, and 75 magazine or book covers. In his spare time, Kevin enjoys salmon fishing, skiing, paddling, hiking, and playing golf. Kevin is currently working and exploring north of the 72nd parallel.

    TA Loeffler, PhD, professor of outdoor recreation and chair of teaching and learning in the School of Human Kinetics and Recreation at Memorial University of Newfoundland, is also an adventurer, nature advocate, and professional keynote speaker. She has 25 years of expertise leading people through life-changing experiences. TA is the author of More Than a Mountain: One Woman’s Everest and was one of three coeditors of Theory and Practice of Experiential Education, Third Edition. TA’s work and adventures have taken her to 42 countries and all seven continents, and she has ascended the highest peak on each of the seven continents. In 2015, TA was named to the Canada’s Greatest Explorers 100 Modern-Day Trailblazers list by Canadian Geographic. She has shared her message of “Big dreams, big goals” with more than 90,000 youth in the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador. TA enjoys paddling, rock climbing, mountaineering, skiing, and hiking.