The winter holidays conjure up classic images: twinkling outdoor lights, hot cocoa, roaring fireplaces, and of course, snow. No one wants to miss out on the wonder that snow brings to the season - the beauty in the air, catching snowflakes on your tongue, and the hands down favorite winter pastime: snow sledding & tubing.
If you are new to sledding, we welcome you to your new favorite outdoor activity! This childhood tradition is not limited to kids anymore, so get your snow pants on because we are going to educate you on the wondrous sport.
First things first, you must have a vehicle on which to ride down a snow-covered hill. Fortunately, there are several different snow sleds they all have different features & benefits.
A traditional toboggan is probably what first comes to mind when you think of sledding. Made of lightweight wood with a curved front end and a rope handle, toboggans are long enough to handle more than one person. This makes for a great group activity - pile on and away you go! However, you might want to consider a variation of the classic as the traditional wood is easy to break and cannot handle many adults. A sturdy plastic toboggan can handle the wear and tear of 1-2 adults reliving their childhood, and without breaking the bank!
You might also think of a sled when you think of sledding, as the name implies. Sleds are usually meant for one person at a time, though it is pretty typical for kids to squish together onto one as a heavier sled will go faster. There are so many different kinds of sleds, we can nearly guarantee you will find one that works for you. With smooth bottoms there is very little friction so it is quite easy to gain speed on well packed down snow.
If comfort is the name of your game, then consider inflatable snow tubes. Originally made of the inners of tractor tires, inflatable snow tubes are now large, round tubes (that are obviously inflated with air). This makes for some wonderful suspension as you slide down the hill, which is great if your hill has a lot of bumps. You can go down by sitting in the middle and holding onto the sides, or if you are a daredevil, try going down on your belly and feel the powder fluff into your face as you bounce.
Sledding is a chilly activity, and there are loads of accessories that can up your sledding game. Make sure you wear several layers instead of just one fluffy coat. Wear a long sleeved shirt, a tee shirt, a sweatshirt, and then your jacket. You can never go wrong wearing thin gloves under your mittens, and do not forget your hat! Having the right kind of footwear is essential too. Snow obviously melts, so avoiding snow in your shoes is paramount. Invest in some quality snow boots that lace up high, and make sure to put your snow pants over the top of your boots to prevent snow from sneaking in. Wool socks will keep your feet warm and dry.
Believe it or not, choosing the right hill type will affect how you enjoy your experience. A bunny hill is perfect for little kids or someone who is nervous about going too fast. Bunny hills can be found pretty easily: a backyard with some incline will do the trick, or a local park with some hiking trails can work. For those with a bit more experience, try checking out a ski resort. A ski resort will undoubtedly have groomed hills with more variation than a backyard, and you can find a steep smooth hill or a shallow bumpy hill to suit your tastes. Though it may cost a bit more, a ski resort will be a slam dunk in the sledding experience.
We welcome you to the wonderful world of snow sledding. With the correct sled, proper snow accessories, warm clothing, and preferred hill type will ensure you have a blast. Now get out there and get your snow on!