Winter Hiking

Over the weekend, we took our boys on the first winter hike of the New Year. While the first major snow hasn’t quite hit yet, it was still rather brisk with temps hovering just below 30. This trail is located about five minutes from our home.

One things that is cool about winter hiking is you can often see things that would otherwise be hidden by foliage at other times of the year. We saw a few trees that had been felled by beaver but they’d been unable to free up from surrounding trees. While we’d have seen the fallen trees at other times of the year, of course, we’d probably have missed the reason they’d fallen unless we’d investigated further. My eldest son and I saw a pretty good-sized owl as well.

Naturally, when we go on hikes like this, I like to try and teach my family some survival techniques along the way. On an earlier hike, my wife had found this really cool tree.

As you can see, the trunk is fairly well hollowed out. I explained how it wouldn’t take much work to hollow out a bit more, leaving plenty of space to hunker inside. Further down the trail we found a good-sized pile of large pieces of bark, which could be used in a debris hut or lean to type of shelter.

Here I am in front of the hollow tree.

Just because the mercury heads south doesn’t mean you have to forgo outdoor activities. Winter hiking is a great way to get the blood pumping and clear out the lungs. Even if you don’t have places near your home to truly go hiking, odds are good you at least have a city park you can visit. Bundle up and get outside once at week or more. Explore the world around you, rather than just hunkering down until springtime.

Published by

Jim Cobb

Jim Cobb has been a student of survivalism and emergency preparedness for almost thirty years. As a young child, he drove his parents nuts with stockpiling supplies in the basement every time he heard there was a tornado watch in his area. Of course, being a child, those supplies consisted of his teddy bear, a few blankets and pillows, and random canned goods he grabbed from the kitchen cabinets. Later, he was the first (and likely only) child in his fifth grade class to have bought his very own copy of Life After Doomsday by Bruce Clayton. Today, he is a freelance writer whose work has been published in national magazines such as Boy’s Life and Complete Survivalist Magazine. He is a voracious reader with a keen interest in all stories with post-apocalyptic settings. He maintains the Library at the End of the World blog and is also the Content Director for He currently resides in a fortified bunker in the upper Midwest, accompanied by his lovely wife and their three adolescent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Jim's first book, Prepper's Home Defense, was published late 2012 and his second book, tentatively titled The Prepper's Complete Guide to Disaster Readiness, will be out in mid-2013, both coming from Ulysses Press.

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