What to take along and how to behave in nature in winter

RMK offers several wonderful forest houses and huts, campfire sites and rest stops to enjoy winter in scenic places. What to keep in mind and what to take along when you decide to take a trip into the forest on a cold winter weekend?

  • When you go into nature areas, you should take along more warm clothes than you first think you need. This is especially important if you are not an experienced nature tourist. What seems perfectly enough in the city may prove insufficient in nature. When you take some more sweaters and warm socks, you will be fine even when it unexpectedly gets cold outside. If possible, also take a windproof coat – it is not low temperature that is the most dangerous, but the bitterly cold wind blowing through the clothes.
  • Take also some more food than you think you will need. In cold weather, people need more energy and, therefore, more food. And if the day in the forest takes an unexpected turn and you must wait half a day or longer for car assistance service etc. to arrive, you will have something to relieve hunger.
  • Have at least one torch or headlamp with spare batteries with you. The latter is important because batteries will empty much quicker in the cold. Keep spare batteries as close to your body as possible – for example, in your chest pocket, as it is the warmest there. Then you can be sure that if you need the spare batteries, they will work.
  • Also, make sure you have a fully charged mobile phone with you. As the mobile phone’s battery also tends to run out more quickly in cold weather, it is a good idea to agree with your companions that one person’s phone will be used as the “emergency phone” that is kept fully charged but switched off (close to body like spare batteries). This way you can ensure that in an emergency you have an operational phone to call for help.
  • Although RMK has equipped most forest houses, huts and some campfire sites with firewood, it is necessary to take something with you to start the fire, for example, dry newspapers, when you go to the forest in winter. Fire starter tablets or cubes are also useful for starting the fire. You can buy these in household goods stores. If possible, take a small axe with you. Although RMK has equipped its forest houses, forest huts and campfire sites with axes, there are, unfortunately, people who take the axe with them from the site.
  • Take more than one box of matches with you and see that they are divided between different people. Keep the matches in a waterproof bag. This way you can avoid all matches getting lost or wet.
  • When you go to a nature hike by car, refuel the car before departure. In cold weather and difficult conditions, cars consume more fuel than usual. In addition, some roads may not be passable, so you need to take another road, which makes the trip longer. And if your car happens to get stuck in the snow, a running engine will keep the car warm until you are waiting for help.
  • Be sure to have a tow rope in the car trunk – this is useful in case the car gets stuck in the snow. Also, take a portable jump starter for the car battery, because after a cold night the car may not start. When you go to the forest with more people and in several cars, it is enough to have just one set for the company. To ensure that you have the jump starter with you, agree beforehand who will take it along – although in winter it is useful to have it in each car.
  • Take a small shovel with you. This may prove useful when the car is stuck in the snow. Using the shovel, dig the wheels out of the snow, then place some twigs, rocks, or boards under the wheels, and you can continue your trip.
  • And naturally, have a good map so that you will get to the forest, and afterwards back home.
Hopefully, you won’t get into any emergency in the forest, but to avoid unexpected surprises, take the above-listed things with you!

We wish you wonderful nature experiences!