Our tips for beating the winter blues: Get outside and embrace the weather!

Celine and a friendly chickadee (Photo by Canadian Voyageurs)

Celine and a friendly chickadee (Photo by Canadian Voyageurs)

March 5, 2015 | by Canadian Voyageurs

This year has been a record-breaker. In many parts of Canada the thermometer plummeted and seemed to just get stuck. The term “frigid” was often used to describe the bitter cold outside. Here in Northern Ontario, where winter always hits hard, old-timers talked of this being the coldest winter they can remember. The days where the mercury reached anything warmer than minus 20 Celcius (and that’s without that nasty wind chill factor) were few and far between. 

For some, that meant a long winter cooped up inside...A winter beating the blues…For others, like us, it meant adapting, extra preparation and a winter of beauty and adventure. 

There are many activities that can be enjoyed no matter how cold or how much snow there is outside. Spending time outside in the crisp fresh air is invigorating. It lifts your morale and it shakes those winter blues away. Getting outside is just plain good for you!

Snowshoeing is one of our favourite means of transportation in the winter (Photo by Canadian Voyageurs)

Snowshoeing is one of our favourite means of transportation in the winter (Photo by Canadian Voyageurs)

One of the easiest ways to enjoy the winter is to bundle up and go for a nice long walk. As long as you are properly attired, the cold won’t bother you at all. Having adequate footwear, dressing in layers with a warm toque and warm gloves or mitts is all you need to be able to go out and enjoy our Canadian climate. A warm coat will provide you with enough insulation to keep you warm and comfortable. 

The act of walking increases the circulation in your body — creating energy — and the walking itself will warm you up. It doesn’t have to be a marathon — a short brisk walk out in the fresh air will revive you and make you feel alive. You’ll have nice rosy cheeks and that night you’ll sleep like a baby. Your body will have used that pent up energy, and your mind will feel clearer.

Another fun activity that we do quite a lot of on those long winter days is snowshoeing. Snowshoeing is a great way to explore your surroundings, especially when there is lots of snow. The slow and steady pace is relaxing; it allows you to be able to take in the beautiful surroundings and connect with nature. 

Snowshoes are relatively inexpensive. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are fun for the whole family. It’s true that is it more effort to walk in snowshoes, but it’s not difficult and snowshoeing is very good exercise. It works muscles that would otherwise lay dormant, like the seeds beneath the snow…

In Canada, most of our lakes and many of our rivers freeze over completely thanks to the “frigid” temperatures — to the delight of many a fisherman! Ice fishing is a favourite Canadian winter pastime. Some of our frozen waterways are covered with enough ice to support the weight of fish huts, where fishermen return all winter to enjoy the great outdoors and catch delicious fish to eat. 

Fishing is a highly enjoyable sport: you never know what you will be surprised with at the end of the day. That trophy fish is somewhere under all that ice — just waiting to see the light of day, just waiting to be photographed! Ice huts are available for rent just about anywhere. The huts are very often heated, providing a place for you to warm up should you start feeling chilled. 

A day out on the ice is an amazing experience — the beauty that surrounds you is there for you to soak in.

The moral of this story is: don’t get caught by the winter blues! Don’t be afraid of the cold! Embrace it! Don’t be afraid of the snow! Get out and play in it! 

Canada is a winter wonderland just waiting for you. Get outside and enjoy it. Before you know it, the snow will all be gone.

Check out our video from one of our winter camping trips, below:

Celine and Gerry, Canadian Voyageurs (Photo by Job Patstone)

About the Author

Canadian Voyageurs is made up of Celine and Gerry, a couple who has been married 24 years and lives off grid in the remote wilderness of Northern Ontario.

Read more about Canadian Voyageurs.

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