Tuesday, January 15, 2008

It's Winter, Go Outside!

Back when there was "real" snowfall, We used to consider snowshoes as tools rather than recreational devices. You needed them just to travel in the woods on other than untracked surfaces. The outdoor industry has done a great job of boosting the image of snowshoes to the point that folks use them even when the snow is not really deep enough. As the technology and design has improved, it's now like skiing. That's a good thing as it get more people out in the woods.

During those big snow years, we also would look for the really big snowdrifts, places where snow would blow into a small draw and really pile up, so we could start digging snow caves. I remember one we dug, maybe in 1979, up in NH, that was big enough to park a volkswagon in. An then there's the annual snow cave dig at Gray Knob on Washington's Birthday, but that's another story.

The cave at Gray Knob.

What's this mean? With climate change and lessening snow amounts, the frequency of really good snowpacks is not what it was. But before we even get kids digging snow caves, they have to be willing to go outside when it's cold. The frequency of that is not what it was either. Here are some tips.