The Fresh Air Life

This year, so many of us have turned to the outdoors. From porches to backcountry wilderness experiences, being in nature has offered a safe respite during these uncertain times. As the weather turns colder and snow starts to fall, many may think their time outside is over until spring. However, with a shift in mindset and gear, you may be on the brink of discovering your favorite season outside.    

While enjoying outdoor winter activities will be a first for some Adirondackers, Scandanavians have been embracing the outdoors year round, including during their long dark winter, for a long time. This embrace of nature no matter the season comes from the embodiment of the term Friluftsliv, which translates to “The Fresh Air Life.” And Scandanavians are definitely onto something with the Friluftsliv way of life given they consistently rank among the happiest countries in the world.  

A key component to Friluftsliv is the saying “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes” – which is both a matter of comfort and safety. Thankfully, with just a few changes to your gear and preparation, you can have an amazing time in winter.  

Here are some of our top tips for having a great and safe outdoor winter adventure:
  • Layer up – the adage “cotton kills” is no joke. Opt for moisture-wicking baselayers to keep you nice and toasty.
  • Wear bright colors during hunting season.
  • Don’t forget your map and compass – phones are generally unreliable in the backcountry, especially in winter when the cold quickly drains their batteries.
  • Keep an eye on the weather and be prepared to change your plans.
  • Be mindful of shortened daylight hours and pack a headlamp with extra batteries in case your adventure goes longer than planned.
  • Wear appropriate footwear (microspikes, snowshoes, skis).
  • Pack plenty of snacks and water.
 So go on, layer up, lace up your snowboots, and embrace the Friluftsliv!