Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Forecast is Outdoor Fun

The forecast for this weekend looks a bit chilly, but with the right gear, we should be able to play in the snow comfortably.

Earlier this week, it was snowing lightly at home, but nothing that would keep us indoors, so I took Timothy in the Chariot for a cross-country ski. When we arrived at the Bretton Woods Nordic Center, I was amazed at how windy and snowy it was. With Mount Washington looking over our shoulders, Bretton Woods seems to have its own private weather system. In the open areas of golf course that surround the Nordic Center, the wind can definitely pick up speed. But I knew that once we got into the woods, we’d be sheltered.

Preparing for a cold day cross-country skiing with the kids takes a little preparation: for me, I need to wear breathable layers, knowing that it may be cold at the start, but that I’ll warm up once I start moving. I often wear my down coat over whatever I will wear skiing, and take it off just before I head down the trail. It’s also easy to stash an extra layer or spare gloves in the Chariot.

For the baby that stays in the Chariot, my husband and I found some tricks to keep the kids warm. Since the Chariot is enclosed, it is pretty sheltered from the elements, but baby’s not working up a sweat like Mommy, so I take a few extra measures. Before leaving the house, I fill a Nalgene bottle with hot water and put a big wool or fleece sock around it for insulation. Into the Chariot it goes by baby’s feet for an extra heat source. Then I wrap up the baby in a down jacket or sleeping bag. LL Bean and Chariot also make buntings specifically designed for wrapping around baby when it’s cold, but we found the down jacket or sleeping bag work just fine.

When the kids are a little older, they may need some snacks and water in the Chariot with them. Parents know that food can be a great thing to occupy the kids, but I always struggle with trying to get Bridget to keep her mittens on. If mittens do come off for a snack, be sure to check on your little one’s hands from time to time to make sure they are warm enough. Bridget also went through a phase where she always wanted to take her boots off, and we had some very cold toes one day!

The headwind and blowing snow was a bit daunting a few days ago – as I started to pull Timothy across the bridge near the Nordic Center, I wondered for a moment if this really was a good idea. But once I got over the golf course and onto Turnpike, it was a different world. The evergreens were covered in fluffy snow, a safe harbor from the tempest. I could barely see Timothy’s face with the down coat up around him and snow on top of the Chariot cover, but he rode quietly and at some point drifted off to sleep.

If you can get out for a night without the kids, this Saturday you might want to try the Moonlight Ski and Snowshoe tour followed by hot chocolate by the fire!

1 comment:

  1. Moonlight ski & snowshoe -- would love to make that a date night! Used to do that all the time when we were living in the Adks.