It has finally happened. The winter weather was just waiting for its official start, the winter solstice. If you haven’t been following the ‘The Sun Stands Still’ posts, we have been tracking celestial events, contemplating darkness and revving the motivation engines to get outside and use these dark Nebraska winters to our advantage. Check out the other posts here and here. The last post we went over a basic layer technique to keep our adventures safe, comfortable and most importantly fun. I’d like to offer a few other techniques my mom skills have afforded me over the years.
- Get out of the wind.
- Nothing ruins an outdoor adventure more than wind. Track down places out of the wind for your dark day adventures. The south side of your house or the protected side of shelter belt. There is no better sense of accomplishment and adventure as marching into a gale while having to mime what direction you want to go because the wind is so loud and finally reaching that protected area. All of the sudden it’s a calm different outdoor experience. It builds resiliency in those kiddos. Trust me its worth.
- Fingers, ears and toes, ear and toes.
- Wind has no place in your ears and hats sometimes just don’t cut it. I prefer to wear a head band to keep out the wind as well as a hat. I then have the option of ditching my hat if I get to warm but my ears are still protected.
- A good pair of insulated boots are amazing for those little toes. Make sure you leave enough space for warm air to move around in there. Three extra pairs of socks and tight boots are not going to do what you think they will do.
- In my experience, my fingers just always get cold. I have yet to find a pair of gloves or mittens that work for me. When my fingers inevitably get cold, I stick’em in my arm pits. I recommend teaching any children this technique. I especially recommend this when you have a kiddo crying inconsolably with bright red fingers. But have them stick their fingers in YOUR arm pits. It will not only warm up those tiny little digits, it will distract them from the pain they are in. “You want me to put my fingers where?”
- Last but not least… If I know I’m going to be out for a while or I just plain ole want to be out for a while, I will use some sort of Hot Hands. Those little miracles have saved an outdoor adventure a time or two.