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We’re in late Fall here, the last few weeks before the start of Winter and I thought it was a great time to share a little secret with you. To be honest, it’s a secret that I’m sharing with some reluctance but, because it’s you, I’ll let you in on it. Just don’t tell anyone else. Okay?
Right, so here it is: Fall, Winter and Spring are some of the best times of the year to get out into the great outdoors. Doesn’t seem like a big secret, does it? Here’s the thing though. I love cycling, hiking and generally being outside in the summertime but, for me, the best time to get out is in the chillier months of the year. Why? Well, partly it’s to do with the changes in the colors and the landscapes as you head through these months. The rich reds, golds, and oranges of Fall, to the crisp white of Winter and on to the vibrant greens of the first new leaves in Spring. Summer colors are lovely too but I don’t think they compare to the daily changes you see in the palette of Winter.
Doesn’t seem like a big secret, does it?
More than the colors though, it’s about the peace and tranquility that you get when the mercury starts to drop lower. Normally, colder temperatures seem to be a signal to many people that they should hang up their bikes and their hiking boots, throw a couple extra logs on the fire and hunker down on the couch to binge on Netflix until the following summer. Which is a shame I think because, when there are fewer people outside, the trails are quieter, less crowded, and altogether more fun. Whilst this might not all sound like much of a secret, the trouble is that, the more people I tell about it, the more people that will go outside in Winter and make those trails busier. Sigh…
Showers Pass obviously feel the same way as I do because they’ve just launched their new ‘Enjoy All Elements’ campaign. For more than twenty years, Showers Pass have been on a mission to get more people outside more often, with gear that keeps them warm, dry and smiling. They’ve now taken this to the next level: partnering with the Outdoors Empowered Network (OEN) and with a Big Hairy Audacious Goal: they want you to get outside, log your hours outdoors, and help contribute towards their target of 175 million hours outside by 2031. In return for each hour logged, Showers Pass will increase its contribution to OEN and help to deliver a national network of youth outdoor education groups through gear libraries and outdoor leadership training. To get started logging your hours (and helping the OEN youth groups) just head over to the challenge hub in the link above.
And, if you’re unsure about exploring outdoors in the Winter, don’t worry! The truth is that you don’t need much to get outside – a good quality rain jacket, thermals and hiking pants are your core essentials (ideally with a water-resistant finish to fend off the occasional shower, and pack waterproof overpants for more persistent rain/snow). Add in thicker socks, good gloves and a beanie and you’re good to go.
I was in two minds about writing this post because, for me, one of the best things about getting out in the winter is the quiet and solitude that comes from everyone else being INSIDE! But, I realized that I can’t keep all the fun to myself and anyway I’ve only got a possible 87600 hours to log till 2031, so I can’t do it all on my own. So, wrap up warm, head outside and go log some hours.