Winter fun

I spent the weekend with some friends in a little cabin in the woods and our kids. We snowshoed around the property, looking at pine cones and checking out the local birds. We saw lots of deer tracks and the places where they bedded down, but none in person.

We were using rented MSR snowshoes that we picked up from University of Calgary Outdoor Cente. I’m a big fan of their gear rental service – it’s a great way to get in to the outdoors without spending a lot of money. For families without a stockpile of camping gear like I have, it’s a great opportunity to try something new and to try before you buy.20140209_101534

I also had the chance to try something new. A friend brought along a snow saw and we spent hours cutting snow blocks that the kids used to make an incredibly cool fort. The walls were at least four feet tall and the kids had fun running in and out, even making the occasional snowball to throw mout. Mostly, they perfected the fort. Next time, we will build a campfire in front to reflect heat so that I can enjoy sitting and reading while the kids played. I’m told that the best snow for cutting blocks is from drifted snow – they’re the most solid.

Nothing like a well built snow fort!

One word of caution – keep a close eye on the kids. Children have been buried over the years in snow forts, sometimes with tragic results. We never dig quinzees for them to play in. It’s just a bit too risky.

Very few things better than playing in the snow for a few days in the winter. We’re looking forward to our next time out!

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