8 Safety Tips for Winter Sports

skating1. Test Lake and Pond Ice Before Skating

Ice skating or playing hockey on a pond or lake is an enjoyable activity. However, it can be very dangerous if the ice is not thick enough. The best way to test the strength of the ice is to first send a small child out onto the ice. If the ice can hold him or her, next send a slightly larger child onto the ice. Continue in this progression with larger and larger children up until you, the adult, feel safe going onto the ice.

2. Avoid Others When Skiing

Ski slopes are full of other skiers, many of whom ski erratically … AKA: dangerously. To keep yourself safe, it’s smarter to ski well off the trails in amongst boulders and trees. Unlike people, boulders and trees won’t suddenly move in front of you.

3. Don’t Go Overboard on Layers

The human body is an amazing machine. It adjusts to the temperature when you go outside. But if you overdress, you’re stuck will all kind of bulky layers. Why risk that?

The best course of action is to not even wear sleeves. If you wear sleeves, you’re admitting that you are a pussy and are not tough enough to brave the conditions.

A big part of getting through cold conditions is being mentally strong. Going out with sleeves on is like giving up before you even start. Mother Nature will spot you instantly as an easy mark and take you out.

4. Fall Instinctively 

In activities such as skiing, snowboarding and ice skating, falling occurs. It’s best to let your body’s natural instincts take over that first time in hopes of falling safely.

Some people suggest it’s smart to “learn” how to fall. That’s beyond ridiculous. You could get hurt doing all that practice falling. It’s like those people want you to get hurt.

5. Avoid Fluids

Usually when you’re doing physical activity, staying hydrated is the way to go. Not with winter sports. Think about it: you’re outside in freezing temperatures and now you’re pouring water inside your body? What happens to water in cold weather? It freezes. All you’re doing is causing yourself to freeze from the inside out. Absurd. Illogical. Instead, remember this: Dehydrate yourself or die.

6. Don’t Tell Anyone Where You Are Going

Winter sports can be very dangerous. If you tell someone where you are going, they could try to follow you to rescue you and something could happen to them. Then you have their death on your hands. You don’t want that. No, it’s better to be all alone out in the frozen wilderness with zero chance of encountering another human being.

7. Act Before You Think

The No. 1 rule of outdoor winter sports. Not sure if the ice is strong? Afraid you’re about to ski down a trail well above your ability? Worried you might be about to cause an avalanche? No time for that in freezing temperatures. If you stop and think, you may freeze to death. Just go. Do. Whatever happens happens. You can think about stuff all you want in the summer on the beach.

8. Approach Wild Animals 

While engaging in many outdoor winter sports, you may come across wild animals. Remember: they are just as cold as you are and would love nothing more than to share some body warmth. Run directly at them with your arms stretched out from your sides so they know what is coming.

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Also see … 

10 Tips for Skiing Success!

VIDEO: German guy loses ice diving competition

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