Come along with my family and I as we have some winter fun in Alberta! Here is a guide to having a campfire in the winter in Alberta’s Ghost PLUZ ( that stands for public land use zone).
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Our family loves to be outside. The winters here in Alberta are long and a bit on the cold side. If you want to spend time outdoors, you really have to prepare properly. Bringing the whole family for an outing in the winter requires a little planning, but it is definitely worth the effort!
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What you need to bring along on a winter outing with your family.
- Wood. Although it is legal to use dead wood in a PLUZ, we bring a little wood with us to get the fire started, then look for dead branches and trees to cut. We bring some feather sticks, kindling and some logs. This ensures that the kids are warm and comfortable. Comfortable and warm are the things you want when bringing kids to the bush!
- Packs. My husband has made sure that each child has a decent pack to put extra clothes in and all their bits and bobs that they like to bring along for the day. He really likes Savotta brand packs.
- Water. We all have a stainless steel water bottle, and when we leave the house, they are all full! Even though it’s winter, we still get pretty thirsty.
- Something to sit on. Either a blanket, stump (that we find in the bush), or for me personally, I enjoy a camp chair😉
- Food! We like to save treat food for when we take off in the bush and have a fire. Chips and treats like that taste especially good in the bush. We’ve brought sausages to cook over the fire before, too.
How to go about having a winter family fun day in Alberta!
- Try and leave early enough in the morning. After a few hours around a fire in winter, everyone starts to get a bit tired, and you don’t want to arrive home too late in the day. We don’t like to extend everyone’s energy level too far.
- Pack everything, such as food and wood, in as compact carriers as possible. Remember that you have to haul everything into the bush, and haul it all out again,too. Phewf!
- Most of all, make sure that everyone is overdressed. Yes, I said overdressed. Dress in layers, so when you get too warm, you can peel layers of clothing off. Nobody will be happy if they’re cold. Believe me.
- Bring extra food. If you are having fun, and not getting too tired, you’ll want to stay longer, and especially in the cold winter months, you will need an extra few calories.
- Don’t go too far into the bush. If your kids are older, then, by all means, go as far as you want. If you have smaller kids, then it’s okay to stay a little closer to your vehicle.
Most of all, have fun and enjoy each other.
Let your kids explore a little. They really can’t and won’t go too far in the bush. After all, it’s cold, and they’ll want to stay near the fire most of the time. My kids love to build a fort in the trees. They bring their bird book, and identify birds. They tromp off, pretending to be explorers, and just basically run around!
I did forget to mention that you really need a camping pot, extra water, tea bags and mugs. At the end of the day out, the adults especially need a little caffeine!
Hopefully this little post encourages you to pack up your family and head to the bush! Don’t be afraid of the winter. It’s actually one of the best times of the year to spend outside. Get rosy cheeks, and come home smiling!