Winter is nearly upon us, but are there fun winter outdoor activities for teenagers and young people? Where can you go in winter for fun and excitement? There is a huge range of things to do outdoors in winter, but you may have to travel for them. If it snows, then the outdoor activities get even better.
If you are lucky enough to get snow, then take the opportunity to have fun outdoors. Some countries have significant amounts of snow throughout the year, and there isn't the urgency to make a snowman before it all melts. It also depends upon your view on being outdoors in the snow. Some view it as too cold and wet. I view it as great fun!
There are many activities that can be done outdoors in winter. We'll start with the easiest and most obvious and then move onto fun winter activities for teens that need a bit more organisation.
- Snowball fights -
Video of awesome snowball fight
I'm sure that if you have experienced snow then you will have taken part in a snowball fight. Powdery snow is a bit difficult to mould into a decent snowball. Snowballs hold together better if you compact them. Be considerate to who you are throwing your snowball at, as not everyone likes being hit by a high velocity lump of cold snow. Have you tried using a water bomb launcher for firing your snowballs long distances? Seriously cool! Also, only throw snowballs at people you know. Lastly, avoid using yellow snow!
If you want to increase your throwing range, get yourself a Wildsling water bomb launcher. This is a large length of elastic with a holder in the middle. two friends hold each end while you pull back the holder with a snowball in it and let rip. You can also get the Wildsling Solo from Amazon which you can use by yourself.
This involves finding a nice patch of snow outdoors that no one has walked in yet. Lie down on your back and wave your arms up and down in the snow. When you stand up, you leave an impression in the snow that looks like an angel. It is one of those pointless activities that is just fun to do because you can.
- Build a Snowman -
There is a technique for making a huge snowball that not everyone knows about. I used to think everyone did, but I have come across several people who just haven't spent enough time outdoors in the snow making snowmen.
The trick is to make a big snowball with you hands, and then just start rolling it about in the snow. As you roll the snowball about, it picks up the snow and gets bigger. Make sure that you roll the snowball about in different directions, otherwise you will end up with a big disc shape like a wheel.
Building snowmen can release that creative streak in you. How cool can you make your snowman look? Dress it up. Make yours the biggest snowman ever and astound your friends.
- Sledging and toboggans -
Now we're onto the exciting action outdoor winter activities. The thrill of speeding down a hill with the wind in your face is great. You need a slope of at least 30 degrees to be able to go sledding properly. I spent a significant amount of my youth whizzing down a 45 degree slope on a wooden sledge without a hope of stopping until the hill ran out. What a buzz! Alas, there hasn't been much snow in the UK over the last decade, but I still hold out hope for a decent winter snow fall.
If you don't have a sledge to enjoy the snow this winter, then a tin tray will do the trick. You can also use a sheet of plastic. Survival bags from any outdoor shop will also work, but they are more comfortable with a cushion in them. I have discovered that wooden skim boards used for surfing at the edge of the sea work really well on snow if you sit on them. Body boards are a bit crap though.
If you don't have a slope near you, you can make one. Build your own Cresta Run and slide down it on a tin tray or one of those plastic bumbles (round plastic tray with a hoop handle).
The trick to going fast on a sledge is to find a decent slope, then on the first few runs take care to compact the snow. you will then find that you can gain some high speeds. Use your feet to steer.
You are going to have some serious fun and go home with a massive grin.
The in thing this year is snow tubing. This involves sitting in a large inflated inner tube and launching yourself down hill. You can buy a snow tube, or use something similar. Tractor or truck inner tubes provide the same thrilling experience, but you may want to cover the hole in the middle with a sheet of polythene to keep yourself dry.
An inflatable dinghy will also give you a great downhill ride. The added bonus is that the bed of the boat will be inflated and cushion you from the bumps.
IMPORTANT! Lastly, wherever you go sledging or tubing, check where you will end up, and look out for obstacles such as trees, fences and posts. Make sure you can stop well in advance by using your feet. If all else fails, bail out early by rolling off the back of the sledge or snow tube.
- Ice skating -
In the UK, you are unlikely to be able to go ice skating outdoors in the winter. We don't get cold enough temperatures any more to freeze ponds over with ice thick enough to be safe. Now, if you live in Canada, then you are bound to know somewhere where you can skate outdoors. Around Christmas time, several places set up outdoor skating rinks. These are great. Otherwise you may seek out the variety of indoor ice skating rinks at all times of the year, not just in the winter.
- Dog Sledding -
Did you know that you can go dog sledding in the UK? There are places all over the world where you can speed along in the great outdoors behind a team of dogs. Perhaps you could train your own dog to pull you on your toboggan. For further info, read Dog Sledding
- Skiing -
The winter months send a lot of people of on skiing holidays. You have a large choice of winter destinations all over the world. Skiing holidays in Colorado, France, Canada , Austria or Italy will give you an experience you won't forget. There are ski chalets, family ski holidays, group ski holidays & luxury chalets.
Before you go skiing on snow, you can learn or practice outdoors on a dry ski slope. A dry ski slope is made of nylon brush matting. It is kept slightly wet to make it more slippery. Once you can do linked plough turns, you will be allowed onto the slope on your own without a skiing instructor.
Snowboarding has a much more stylish air about it. The snow based version of skateboarding, snowboarding is now a recognised Olympic sport. For all you need to know about snowboarding, read our Snowboarding Guide. Go try it. Be cool outdoors.