5 Things To Do This Winter

Why you should get out this winter

Winter isn’t about hibernating and staying indoors – it’s about wrapping up warm, escaping into the outdoors and embracing all the season has to offer. It can be hard to find inspiration on what to do, though, so here are five ideas to get you started.


1. Practise your map reading skills

Winter landscapes are perfect places to practise your map reading skills. Head out into your local area with a map and compass and brush up on your skills – you never know when you might need them! If you don’t know how to map-read, it’s worth heading over to the Ordnance Survey Website and watching some of the great map reading videos they have to offer – you’ll be an expert in no time!


2. Cook with ice/ snow or purified water

It can get cold on a winter walk so next time you head out for one, take a few hot drink sachets and cup soups to have. But instead of lugging a 2-litre bottle of tap water round with you, use what you have around you – ice and/or snow. Melt it in a pan over a stove and boil it to rid it of bacteria and use it in your hot drinks. An alternative is to buy a bottle with a filter in its lid so that if you find a small stream, you can fill it up with the water and drink it straight from the bottle.


3. Stargaze

You can stargaze all year round, but winter is one of the best seasons to do it. The days are short and the nights are long, which means you can head out earlier to stargaze, and the winter sky is also different to the summer sky as well! Try and spot:

  • The North Star (Polaris) – find the Plough (the constellation that looks a bit like a saucepan!) and then find the two stars that make up the edge of the saucepan opposite the handle. Follow the line of those stars up and the first bright star you reach is Polaris. Sailors used to use this to navigate north.
  • The Orion Nebula – Orion is probably the most well known constellation in the night sky. Find his famous three-star belt and look down towards the bottom of his body. Coming down from his belt should be a line of what looks like three small stars. One of them looks a bit smudgy compared to the others. That is the Orion Nebula. If you have a telescope or binoculars, try and look at it through them.
  • The ISS – find out how here.


4. Track

Not many animals are out and about in winter. Never the less, the prints of the ones that are are well preserved by the frost. Head out for a ramble and try and find some. You could have a go at identifying the ones you find and possibly make a Plaster-of-Paris cast of the print to take home. Take a few nuts and seeds as well to give the foraging animals a hand!


5. Snap!

Winter is a beautiful season and a great time for developing your camera skills. Head out into the wilderness armed with a camera and warm coat and take pictures of some of the landscape. Try and have a focus on what you want to capture – eg ice, trees, frosty fields. Knowing the shots you want makes life a whole lot easier and makes your pictures more dramatic.


So there you go! Now you’ve no excuse not to get outside this winter!