Dark Days Challenge to help you get outside in the winter

Dark Days Challenge (+ FREE printable calendar)

Dark Days Challenge

It's still winter.

We knew it would be, but we're still bummed about it. We wake up in darkness and finish our work day after dark. It's a lot of darkness so we call it ... the dark days. For us, the hardest part about winter is that we don't get outside as much as the rest of the year. 

But, instead of being sad, we're challenging ourselves to go outside EVERY day for four weeks in a row. 

The goal isn't to conquer the outdoors, but to get some fresh air even when we'd rather curl up on the couch. Rain or shine (or blizzard/fog/ice/wind/yetis), we're going to do our best to enjoy nature by making time for it this winter.

Who wants to join us for our Dark Days Challenge? We've put together a rolling 4-week calendar that you can start on any day (plus a bonus week if you're extra motivated). Let's find out what four weeks of fresh air can do! You'll also find some ideas below to help make getting outside in the winter easier and a little warmer. 

Join us for the Dark Days Challenge!

Alpinecho Dark Days Challenge Download Calendar 1

Dark Days Challenge Calendar Download

Alpinecho Dark Days Challenge Download Calendar 2

Dark Days Challenge Calendar Ink-light Download

Let us know if you're joining the challenge and share your pictures with us on instagram. #DarkDaysChallenge

Get Outside Dark Days Challenge

Weekday outdoor winter activities:

  • Go for a neighborhood walk 
  • Shovel snow
  • Walk around your office building during lunch break
  • Drive to a nearby park and eat lunch there instead of at your desk
  • Grab your binoculars and go birding (check out the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's website and the Merlin Bird ID app for identification help)
  • Take a bike ride
  • Walk your dog
  • Walk your cat
  • Walk you chickens
  • Go stargazing with a friend (check out the Farmer's Almanac Moon Phase Calendar to see the darkest Dark Days best for stargazing)

Outdoor winter activities for when you have a little more time:

  • Go for a hike (hiking trails are less busy in the winter!)
  • Walk to a frozen lake to see layers in the ice
  • Rent snowshoes or cross country skis 
  • Jump into a Hallmark movie and go ice skating at your local small-town ice rink
  • Go ice fishing (or regular fishing) 
  • Bundle up and take an indoor hobby outside 

Tips for getting outside on a tight schedule:

  • Gather your cold-weather essentials in a convenient spot so they are handy when you are ready to get outside quickly!
    • Insulated coat or vest
    • Beanie
    • Gloves
    • Neck Gaiter
    • Warm pants (we like to pull a pair of loose-fitting fleece pants over our long johns)
    • Base layer
    • Wool socks
    • Warm shoes or boots
  • Put down that phone and go outside. :)

Tips for staying warm in the winter:

  • Wear layers! Bring a second set of dry clothes for activities that will leave you sweaty or wet. Change into your dry clothes before you cool down after the activity to avoid catching a chill. This has been a game-changer for Sarah during winter hikes!
  • Bring a thermos with a hot drink to warm you up mid-activity.
  • Zip a hot water bottle (yes, they are still around) into the front of your jacket (a cozymajig is still on our wishlist). Nalgenes filled with warm water also work in a pinch (great for cold camping nights as well). 
  • Hand and foot warmers. We are too cheap to buy them, but we hear they are great. Hot Sockee Neoprene Toe Warmers also have a great reputation and we intend to try them out soon.
  • When in doubt, jump about.

Dark Days Challenge

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