Winter is here; however, it may look a lot different than what we’re used to. As we prepare to strap up for the next hiking, skiing, or snowboarding trip, the new year comes with new challenges and safety regulations that needs to be taken account of to enjoy this winter wonderland. Winter is known to be an unpredictable season and weather can swing drastically making safety an even bigger concern. With hospitals overwhelmed with patients, it is strongly recommended that you practice safety and recreate responsibly.
Many coalitions, non-profits, and recreation businesses have developed a guideline on how to Recreate Responsibly this winter. These guidelines are meant to be a baseline for all outdoor activities to inform people to stay healthy and keep the outdoors open.
- Know Before You Go – Some areas can become dangerous with winter conditions. Research your destination, as roads and facilities may be closed in winter.
- Practice Physical Distancing – Be prepared to cover your nose and mouth. When possible, opt to eat and rest outside. If you feel sick, stay home.
- Plan Ahead – Check local conditions and prepare for the elements, packing extra layers, waterproof clothing, and avalanche safety gear for the backcountry.
- Play It Safe – Know your limits and your gear. Slow down and choose lower-risk activities to reduce your risk of injury.
- Explore Locally – Consider exploring locally, as driving and parking may be more challenging in winter. If you travel, be mindful of your impact on Native and local communities.
- Leave No Trace – Did you know that the snow is our water supply? Keep our winter playgrounds clean. Pack out any human or pet waste. Be respectful of the land.
- Build an Inclusive Outdoors – Everyone deserves to experience a winter wonderland. Be an active part of making the outdoors safe, accessible, and welcoming for all identities and abilities.