13 Winter Survival Methods To Keep You Warm

13 Winter Survival Methods To Keep You Warm

Knowing a few winter survival secrets never hurt anyone. That’s why, we’ve outlined 13 in this article to help you when a winter storm brings in snowstorms, freezing rain, snow pellets, graupel, and rime. They can also minimize your winter problems like having to keep the heat in check at home, blackouts, and frozen water pipes.

Winter Survival Methods: Keeping The Heat In Check


1. Preparing for the Cold Months

Preparing for the Cold Months | Winter Survival Methods To Keep You Warm

It is vital that people prepare for the different seasons of the year, most especially for winter. This article will show you what you need to prepare for your winter survival kit.


2. Winter Storm Guide

Winter Storm Guide | Winter Survival Methods To Keep You Warm
Winter Storm Guide Photo by Jay’s Thought Stream

Preparing for the ordinary winter months is good. Preparing for a winter storm is even better. This guide will help you get through freezing rain, snow or sleet. Learn more about the ultimate guide winter storm.

3. 5 Steps To Prepare Your Car For The Winter

Steps To Prepare Your Car For The Winter | Winter Survival Methods To Keep You Warm
Steps To Prepare Your Car For The Winter Photo by Fair Child

We can’t stress enough that preparation is always the key to surviving extreme weather conditions. These winter weather tips will show you how to get ready for a major blizzard:

  • Put a winter supply box in your car.
  • Check your engine coolant and antifreeze level.
  • Check your tire pressure and tread depth.
  • Use winter windshield wiper fluid.
  • Switch to winter grade oil at your next oil change.


4. Learn How to Roll West Virginia Style

Are you tired of shoveling snow at home just to clear a path for you and your family? Well, this guy down south will show you how to do it in a jiffy. If the snow falling in your area is wet and sticky, you can say goodbye to those backbreaking lifting and scooping chores for good.


5. Cover The Gaps

There are several life hacks to help you make it through the cold without having to go through little winter inconveniences.

  • You can warm up your home faster by putting a frozen bag of vegetables on top of your thermostat.
  • Place an electric blanket on top of the clothes you want to use for the day before taking a shower.
  • Keep your house humid and retain the heat by not draining the hot water in your bathtub after a bath.
  • Economize on your electric and heating expenses by covering the gaps under your doors with pipe insulation. This keeps cold drafts from entering the room.
  • Give your wheels more traction during the winter by placing kitty litter.


6. Tips on Survival for your Homestead

This article will show you how to protect your livestock, chickens and outdoor pets from freezing to death. There are also other methods to protect or at least minimize the damages for your gardens, farm equipment and other parts of your property. These are winter survival tips for the homestead.


7. Staying Warm During a Power Outage

Staying Warm During a Power Outage | Winter Survival Methods To Keep You Warm

There are a lot of ways to keep warm off the grid. The most basic way is to put on additional clothing. But did you know there are specific types of clothing which can keep you warm much more effectively based on its CLO value and level of thermal insulation? The most significant factor to generate body heat is through increased physical activity. Here’s how to trap body heat to survive.


8. One Simple Technique To Keep Warm

People who lived in colder areas during the old days used this effective trick just to keep warm. It’s called a kidney wrap.


9. Keeping Warm When The Heater Goes Out

Readiness is a must to prevent the heater from going out during the winter. However, even with all the preparation, there may be a time it might still bonk out on you.

There are several methods on how to keep warm after the heater goes out:

  • Staying as close to the kitchen as you can when using the oven
  • Turning on as many incandescent lights around the house as possible
  • Using candles
  • Closing all your windows
  • Keeping the curtains closed
  • Closing off any rooms to prevent losing heat

Read more about how to protect your house and family from the freezing temperatures.


10. Warm Up a Room with Terra Cotta Pots and a Candle

You’ll be amazed at how much warmer it can be in a room with this ingenious idea. You can learn to create your own terra cotta pots with candles with just a few bucks. You can also learn to make your own color block crayon candles.


11. Avoid Common Winter Injuries

If you enjoy the outdoors during the winter there are a number of injuries you need to look out for. These common injuries are:

  • Falling on snow or ice
  • Muscle strain because of scraping ice off your car or from shoveling snow
  • Motor vehicle collisions
  • Accidents while doing activities or playing winter sports


12. Tips On Driving Safely During the Winter

Tips On Driving Safely During the Winter | Winter Survival Methods To Keep You Warm
Tips On Driving Safely During the Winter Photo by Creative Jasmin

Winter driving can be quite a challenge for a lot of people. As accidents do happen, it is important you follow these tips to get from point A to point B safely.

  • Check the battery and charging system.
  • Inspect your tires.
  • Know your car.
  • Plan ahead.
  • Keep your vehicle well stocked.
  • Know what to do in a winter emergency.

Read more to know the details on how to drive safely when driving during the winter.


13. Learn It All in One Read

The web can provide you with a ton of information on how to get through the ordeal of a major winter storm. For your convenience, we have gathered all the information so you could go through them all in just one sitting on how to survive a winter storm.


Watch this video by AdamEater where he shows the warmest winter survival shelter they built deep in bear country:

If you’ve taken the time to read and learn all the aforementioned winter survival methods, spending the cold months with your family and friends will never be quite the same after you have learned all the winter survival skills. Preparation is everything and knowledge is an essential part of survival.

13 Winter Survival Methods To Keep You Warm

Have more winter survival skills in mind? Share them in the comments section below!

Up Next: How To Stay Warm In Winter | How to Heat Your Home

Check out 13 Winter Survival Methods To Keep You Warm at https://survivallife.com/winter-survival-methods/

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on March 6, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. Please read our full disclaimer.



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What NOT To Do In Bear Country USA This Winter

What NOT To Do In Bear Country USA This Winter

Bears are active all year round. Yes, you read that correctly….ALL YEAR ROUND! You may be saying to yourself “What about hibernation in the winter?” That is the number one misconception regarding wild bears. So, let’s discuss that first.

The Biggest Misconception About Bears – Do They Truly Hibernate?

True hibernation is when animals “sleep” through the winter. During this sleep, the animals will not wake up when they hear a loud noise or even if they are moved or touched.

It is a common misconception that bears hibernate during the winter. While bears tend to slow down during the winter months, they are not true hibernators. Black and brown bears do go into a deep sleep, known as torpor, during the winter months.

During a bear’s dormant state, or torpor, their heart rate is extremely low but their body temperature is relatively high, and they won’t eat or release bodily waste. While in torpor, the animal can wake up quickly and easily. And believe me, you won’t find a friendly grizzly bear who just woke up. So you see, bear safety applies year round – even though, in the winter months, they aren’t as active.

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Next, let’s talk about how to tell black and brown bears apart. Let’s look at some black and brown bear facts. It is important to become familiar with this magnificent animal as they can look similar from a distance.


Bear Identification – Black Bears VS Brown Bears (Grizzlies)

Black bears

  • Black bears exhibit great variation in color, ranging from black to light blonde. Cinnamon colored black bears are quite common in the west. Many black bears have a light patch on the chest.
  • Black bear weight averages between 50-140 kg (110-300 lbs). Large male bears can top 180 kg (400 lbs) and may be larger than female grizzlies.
  • They are slightly smaller than brown bears at the shoulder, between 0.75 to .9 m (2.5  to 3 ft). When standing erect, they rise around 1.5 m (5 ft).
  • They lack the shoulder hump of the grizzly.
  • Black bears have a “Roman” profile, with a straight line running between the forehead and the tip of the nose. The ears of black bears are larger and more distinctly pointed.
  • Claws are much shorter than those of grizzly bears, usually around 4 cm (1.5 in). They are less visible from a distance and play a minor role in track records.

Brown Bears (Grizzlies)

  • Grizzlies vary from blonde to black in color. They are usually medium to dark brown. The long guard hairs often have a lighter tip, giving the bears their  ‘grizzled’ appearance.
  • Brown bear weight averages 225 kg (500 lbs), with females averaging around 160 kg (350 lbs). Large brown bears may tip the scales at 360 kg (800 lbs).
  • They stand around 1 m (3.28 ft) at the shoulder and may stand 2 m (6.5 ft).
  • In profile, the grizzly bear has a distinct shoulder hump. This is due to the large muscles necessary for digging roots, tubers, and ground squirrels.
  • They have a dished-in profile, with a clear depression between the eyes and the end of the nose. Grizzlies also have short rounded ears.
  • The claws of a grizzly have a formidable reputation. Very long, between 5-10 cm (2-4 in), they are often clearly visible in the tracks. They may also be visible from a distance.

Similarities and Differences

What the brown and black bear have most in common is their sense of smell. Their sense of smell is so acute that they can detect animal carcasses upwind and from a distance of 20 miles away. This is why grizzly bear prey find very few places to hide in because of this incredible sense of smell.

Now that you know what the main physical differences are, let’s talk about safety – what you can do, or in this case what you should NOT do if you are in bear country.

But….before we go any further, I want to start off with one very important piece of advice. If you know you are going into bear country, if at all possible, do not go alone. There is something to be said about the saying, “There is always strength in numbers”. If you are in a group and encounter a bear, that alone could intimidate the bear enough for it to keep its distance. In most cases, the bear doesn’t want any trouble any more than you do.

Please read my previous article, Bear Encounters, on what to do if you encounter a bear in the wild.


I would like to start by stating that bear attacks are rare, especially in the winter months – but, they can occur.

For this scenario, I will reference camping, but these safety measures also hold true for day hiking or just passing through their territory. With these safety tips, you can be more confident while visiting bear country.

Do Not Cook Where You Sleep

Do Not Cook Where You Sleep | What NOT To Do In Bear Country USA This Winter

If you are camping in bear country, there is one major concern…and rightfully so! The number one thing that attracts bears is food odor. Brown and black bear diet includes whatever you’re eating as well. I always advise people that having a camp for sleep and a separate camp for cooking is probably the safest thing you can do while camping in bear country.

In my article, Outdoor Cooking Safety Tips, I go into great detail on having a separate camp just for cooking and other safety measures regarding proper food storage. Wolves and cougars are also of great concern when cooking outdoors – which I cover in the article as well.

Do Not Leave Any Traces of Trash

Bears follow their noses to their next meal, so naturally, any trash (especially trash that contains any traces of food odor) is an invite. I recommend using airtight containers to store your trash…again, at a separate camp. Also, the clothes you wore while cooking should stay at the separate (cooking) camp as well. You wouldn’t want to go to sleep smelling like yummy black bear prey.

Try Not To Fish In Their Territory

Most likely, you won’t do much (or any) fishing in December. This advice is good to have for later. Bears are mostly territorial when they have cubs with them in the spring and summer. Other times that they can be defensive is if they feel their food source is at risk from humans – humans within their sight and smell that is. Once they see you in their “dinner spot” it is a good idea to move to another location.

If you are in bear country and you want to fish, I suggest taking a good look around for bear activity and/or presence. This includes scat (bear poop), large flattened indentions in the ground (this would be their den), fish carcasses, and it wouldn’t hurt to look up in the trees as black bears are excellent climbers.

Do Not Play Music

It is okay to talk (not yell) while you’re in bear country – in fact, it is important that they are aware of you. If they hear you, they (most times) will keep their distance. It is important to know that they aren’t out there to hunt humans and actually make obvious attempts to respect humans ONLY IF they are respected first. Remember, you are in THEIR territory. Not the other way around.

Part of that respect is not making excessive, loud noises like playing music. Music on a camping trip makes for a great time but, in bear country, not so much. It will agitate not just bears but, can agitate and attract other predators as well.

Do Not Urinate Near Your Campsite

As I mentioned earlier, a bear’s sense of smell is so acute that they can smell certain things from a great distance. This includes urine. The scent of certain beverages and foods can transfer through our urine. Even if we can’t smell it, bears can, which will be enough to intrigue the bear to investigate.

Long Long Honeymoon presents a great video on bear safety:

The winter is an excellent season to camp, but not if you’re irresponsible. There are no friendly grizzly bears in the wild, and these wild bear facts should be enough to convince you of such. Therefore, you should take all the necessary precautions to avoid crossing paths with these beasts to keep both you and them safe.

If you have had an encounter with a bear or have a safety tip of your own you would like to share, please tell us in the comment section below.

Bears | What NOT To Do In Bear Country USA This Winter

Up Next: 7 Odd Ways People Have Died In The Wild


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Winter Survival | What To Do When The Heat Goes Out

Winter Survival | What To Do When The Heat Goes Out

As the winter months approach, it is a must to get your heater checked to ensure it is working properly along with other winter survival basics. A malfunctioning system can have disastrous effects when temperatures plummet. Be prepared for the seasons’ changes to prevent this from happening. If it does, here are some of the easiest things to do to stay safe, and keep your home safe as well. Scroll down and check out this winter survival tips. Be informed to stay alive!

Winter Survival: How to Stay Warm When Your Heating System Breaks Down

Winter is getting colder and colder every year. The relentless consequences of global warming are unmistakable. And what is more adverse is when you have to live without heat in the middle of a winter storm. Without heat, surviving through winter season is unquestionably challenging, but you can still survive despite the cold predicament you’re in.

Preparedness is the answer. The key and your ticket way out of harm’s way especially when SHTF. Being said, having winter survival skills is an impeccable advantage. Also, your winter survival list must contain all the necessaries to ensure your survival.

No mortal man can stop the winter season from occurring but we can do something to prevent the harshness it may bring to us. Below is a list of tips you can simply do before and during the winter. Follow each one of them to stay warm even when the heat goes out.

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Before | Winter Survival | What To Do When The Heat Goes Out

Before the worst of winter hits, get your home prepared for anything which could happen. There are a few things which should be done beforehand in case the bad gets worse and you are left without a heater.

Have Your Chimney Inspected

Have Your Chimney Inspected | Winter Survival | What To Do When The Heat Goes Out

If you are planning on using your fireplace this is essential to prevent disastrous situations from occurring. In a situation like this, you need a winter survival fire to live through a cold winter. Burning wood releases gasses which will cool and stick to the inside of the chimney, forming a flammable hazard. Take care of this before it becomes a threat.

Flip the Switch on Your Ceiling Fan

Flip the Switch on Your Ceiling Fan | Winter Survival | What To Do When The Heat Goes Out

Although many people use their ceiling fan in the summer, most don’t realize the advantages of using it in the winter. Each fan should have a small switch on the side, moving the blades to turn in the opposite direction. This forces the warm air down, keeping the heat from escaping.

Check for Cracks in Your Windows or Doors

Check for Cracks in Your Windows or Doors | Winter Survival | What To Do When The Heat Goes Out

These small cracks in the caulking or even in the window itself can cause you to lose warmth. Rather than allowing this to happen, check the windows before the worst of the cold hits. Repair the problem as soon as possible.

Have Your Furnace Inspected

Have Your Furnace Inspected | Winter Survival | What To Do When The Heat Goes Out

There’s nothing worse than having your furnace go out in the dead of winter. Most repair companies are swamped with hundreds of others who are calling for the same issues. Rather than deal with it later, have it checked before the worst of winter hits!

Protect Your Pipes

Protect Your Pipes | Winter Survival | What To Do When The Heat Goes Out

You need to inspect and protect your pipes. Although keeping your sink dripping may seem expensive, this will save you from bursting pipes because it allows the water to escape before pressure builds up. To prevent your pipes from freezing you need to insulate them, especially those exposed to the outside elements.

Even with all this, there are still chances your heater will go out. Be prepared to keep your home as safe from the elements during this time as possible.


If your heater goes out in the middle of winter, call for professional help immediately. You don’t need to consider how to survive winter in a tent. Set up an appointment as soon as they can. You can also protect your house before they get there by:

Close What You Need To Close

Close What You Need To Close | Winter Survival | What To Do When The Heat Goes Out

  • Closing all your windows, including storm doors. Only open them during the day if the outside temperature is higher than the inside.
  • Keep the curtains closed, only opening them when the sun is shining directly in the window.
  • Close off any rooms you aren’t using to stop the air from circulating, losing heat.

Use Rugs

If you have hardwood floors, put down a rug to keep heat. Rugs are efficient for blocking out cold. Wool rugs make awesome insulation but they are difficult to clean and they can be very expensive. Cotton and nylon rugs are the perfect alternatives and they are more affordable. Rugs can make your winter shelter (i.e., your home) cozier.

Use Candles

Not only they can give light but they can also produce more heat than you realize. Candles are part of your winter survival basics, so make sure you always have them handy. Just make sure they are safely placed and are blown out when somebody leaves the house.

Incandescent Lights

Incandescent lights give off more heat than light. Turn on as many of these around where you want to keep warm as possible. It may not be cost-efficient but it will surely make the temperature rise.


Use the oven, bake cookies or anything else which need to be cooked. This will not only keep you warm but gives you more winter survival food you can sustain yourself with during the snow day. Use the excess heat from the oven by leaving the door open after using it. Stay as close to the kitchen as you can.


Looking for more cold weather survival tips? Check out this video from Homesteading Ways and learn different ways how to stay warm in case of a power outage during winter months!

Surviving when the heat goes out can be difficult, make sure to protect your house, as well as your family from the plummeting temperatures. By taking a few steps beforehand, your home will be better equipped to handle whatever storms come its way. If you know nothing about heating equipment rather than waiting to fix the problem, call a professional as soon as possible to mend the situation. It would always be an advantage to act upon it before it gets out of hand.

Penny for your thoughts? Tell us what you think about these winter survival tips in the comments section below!

Up Next: Total Whiteout | A Compilation Of Winter Storm Survival Tips

Winter Survival | What To Do When The Heat Goes Out


Check out Winter Survival | What To Do When The Heat Goes Out at https://survivallife.com/winter-survival-heat-goes-out/

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**Disclaimer: All content on this site is for informational purposes only. Please read our full disclaimer here**


Editor’s Note – This post was originally published on December 30, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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13 Winter Camping Tips For Every Survivalist

13 Winter Camping Tips For Every Survivalist

Winter camping means having to deal with harsh elements and cold weather. The latter is perhaps the most outstanding feature of the winter camping experience. Cold weather can be a source of great discomfort to many, but for some survivalists, camping in the snow poses an exciting challenge. It is a way to put their skills to the test, especially if you are camping in a blizzard. If you’re well prepared and know what you’re doing, winter camping can help you better understand your capabilities as well as your limits.

Tips For Winter Camping Every Survivalist Must Remember

Even though pitching a tent during winter months is not everyone’s idea of fun, it can still be made enjoyable and comfortable. The important thing is to be prepared as you will be needing more gear than you would while camping in the summer.

There are lots of benefits to be gained from winter camping. Unlike summer camping, there are fewer campers, more space, and cheaper fees. You won’t be bothered by bugs. If you are properly equipped, you will enjoy a restful sleep. The campfire also becomes more enjoyable in the snow. To make the most of your winter camping experience, you need the right gear, the right attitude and these tips that we have collected.


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1. Prepare for winter camping

Winter camping requires a lot of preparation for everyone who is planning to embark on this “cool” adventure. Having the right or appropriate gear and clothing alongside mental and physical preparedness can lessen any hassle that winter camping may bring. In the event of a survival situation or when SHTF, how prepared and equipped we are will be one of the deciding factors of our fate. For more details on what to be included in your pack, check here.

2. Go to bed warm

Even if we can get some good insulation from a sleeping bag, sleeping pad or winter camping clothing, it is useless bedding down if you’re already freezing. Winter campers need to do a little bit of jumpin’ jacks before hitting the sack or perform sit-ups or press-ups while you’re in your sleeping bag. Find out more tips to stay warm when winter camping by clicking here.

3. Eat for warmth and energy

If you want to have warmer nights, then your food should adapt to it. Physiologically, our body burns sugar to produce heat for itself and eating warm food can increase its sensation. As we devour hot porridge or a steaming bowl of chicken soup, we become warm thus making us more comfortable. Remember, we need to maintain a certain level of body heat and energy to survive the cold weather. Find out more winter camping recipes here.

4. Pack the snow

Pack down your campsite before you set up your tent. Your body heat can melt the loose snow thus leaving you with uneven flooring to lay or sleep upon. You should also position your tent away from the danger of an avalanche or falling trees. Learn more ways how to set your winter tent here.

5. Stay dry

Whenever you’re winter camping, you need to stay dry at all cost. You will feel the biting cold especially when your layers get wet. Bringing extra clothing is always helpful and will protect you from the harshness of the cold. Staying dry also extends to your gears. Protect your winter camping kit with a waterproof layer or place it inside your tent or shelter.

6. Start fall and winter trips early in the morning

You must always remember that the sun goes down early during the winter season. So starting your trip early in the morning is always better than starting it in later in the day. It will be best to set up your winter tent or find the perfect site before it gets dark.

7. Snow is a variable matter and only rarely is one situation like the next

Before you set your winter tent, you need to pick a flat spot with a lot of trees around it. This will act as a natural windbreaker. Since snow is a variable matter, you need to be aware where you are setting up your tent. Anchor your tent safely and securely.

8. Keep your matches in a metal, not plastic, container

We all know the importance of fire in our daily lives. It helps us cook food and stay warm. If you’re one of those people who loves camping during winter months, it is advisable for winter campers to keep their matches in a metal container instead of a plastic one because it easily breaks when it gets frozen.

9. Put boiling water in your water bottle and sleep with it at your feet

If you want to have a non-frozen water that you can easily drink in the morning then you have to fill your water container with boiling water. Put it in a sock, place it at your feet or keep it inside your sleeping bag to provide extra warmth.

10. Don’t go alone

I know that there are times that you want to go camping alone and away from any distractions. But it is always best and safe if you have someone to accompany you. So in the event of an emergency, help is just around. And always leave a message or a detailed trip plan at home so your loved ones will be informed of your whereabouts.

11. Improve zipper pulls

Zippers are important to winter clothes. They let you put on clothing quickly which is essential especially to those people who are exposed to extreme conditions. Most zippers that are included in jackets are not made for thick mittens or gloves. So you have to use a little ingenuity and improvise by adding a 3-inch lanyard. For more improvisation on a zipper pull, click here.

12. Regulate your temperature on your hike

Regulating your temperature is necessary for a winter hike. You don’t have to get sweaty or chilled, instead, you need to be aware or anticipate the weather coming your way. You have to act upon it before you even experience it. For example, it is better to put on additional layers before reaching the summit or a spot where the temperature is much lower.

13. Don’t cook in the tent

Cooking inside the tent is a recipe for destruction. Not only it can burn your tent but it can also lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. You can always choose a spot outside your tent where you can set up a waterproof tarp. If the weather is intolerable, at the very least you can cook inside the vestibule but with sufficient ventilation. Find out more about cooking inside the tent vestibule here.


If you want to see more winter camping tips and tricks, then you need to watch this video below! 

The unprepared will have to deal with the cold realities that winter camping might bring. To greatly enjoy the beauty and peacefulness of winter camping, you have to be prepared – and the preparation for this kind of trip needs undivided focus. Having the proper gear and arming yourselves with knowledge about camping in extreme weather conditions will make your wilderness exploration an adventure to remember.

Penny for your thoughts? Tell us what you think about these winter camping tips by dropping your two cents in the comment section below!  

Up Next: Winter Storm Survival: How to Stay Warm and Survive the Cold

Winter Camping | Outdoor Survival : 13 Winter Camping Tips For Every Survivalist


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Editor’s Note – This post was originally published in February 2015, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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7 surprising reasons

7 Surprising Reasons South America Is the Ultimate Winter Destination

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7 surprising reasons

Looking for a better way to spend your winter instead of staying inside all season long binge-watching Netflix? No offense to the binge-watchers out there—it certainly has its time and place! But after awhile, don’t you crave something a little more… adventurous?

Sure, you could travel to the beaches of the Caribbean, along with every other coworker in your office. Who wants to lay out on a cramped beach or wait in a long line for a cocktail?

Traveling just a little further south—south of the equator, in fact, takes you to a continent basking in the warm, golden rays of the sun, but also filled with many natural phenomena just waiting to be explored. This place is full of magnificent mountains, wondrous waterfalls, and amusing animals. Don’t believe it? Here are seven reasons why South America is the ultimate winter destination:


1. Escape from the bitter cold to a continent with both tropical and temperate climates.

7 Surprising Reasons South America Is the Ultimate Winter Destination

While those wallowing in winter in the Northern Hemisphere are freezing, South Americans at or below the equator are enjoying warm weather conditions.

Ecuador, while partially in the Northern Hemisphere, straddles the equator, giving the whole country a tropical climate year-round. It’s particularly pleasurable January through May, most of which are cool months for Europe and North America.

Just below Ecuador is Peru, known for its mountains, lakes, and Machu Picchu. November through April is considered the “wet season,” but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad time to visit. On the contrary, during these months the trails are much quieter—better to enjoy your scenic surroundings. Conservation work takes place on the Inca Trail during the month of February, but it is still possible to reach Machu Picchu and explore the magic of the ancient site.

Patagonia (made up of Argentina and Chile) is at the base of South America. Here the climate is more temperate during the Southern Hemisphere’s summer months, perfect for hiking Chile’s Andes Mountains or kayaking across Argentina’s many lakes and rivers. Peak traveling season for Patagonia is January-March, but if you want to avoid the crowds while still escaping the cold, consider visiting during November or December.


2. While everyone back home is skiing, snorkel off the shores of the Galapagos Islands.

7 Surprising Reasons South America Is the Ultimate Winter Destination

You’ve heard of the Galapagos Islands, right? They make up an archipelago just off the coast of Ecuador famous for century-old tortoises and Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species.

But these islands are more than just pieces of land in the Pacific Ocean—they are teeming with life, both flora and fauna. Want to know an amazing way to see all that these islands have to offer? Climb on a bike! Starting at the top of San Cristobal’s highest point, cycle your way down from the highland cloud forest that covers the top of the island to La Loberia, a beach home to a large sea lion colony and nursery.

Ready to get up close and personal with the cute and cuddly creatures as well as other marine life? Snorkel or scuba dive around Isla Lobos and watch the sea lions catch a meal. Afterwards, cruise to Kicker Rock to swim some more with turtles, tropical fish, and maybe even some sharks at the remains of an underwater volcano.

Want to see a volcano on land? Try hiking Sierra Negra Volcano, which rises nearly a mile above the ocean. As you ascend, the vegetation changes before your eyes from full flora to a barren lunar-like landscape. Its caldera is one of the largest in the world—seven miles wide! Bird enthusiasts will appreciate the opportunity to see Galapagos hawks, short-eared owls, finches, and flycatchers in this region.

These are just some highlights of the many ways to explore the Galapagos Islands. Enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime trip island-hopping, something that only a handful of people will ever have the chance to do.


3. Explore beautiful mountain ranges without all of the ice and snow.

7 Surprising Reasons South America Is the Ultimate Winter Destination

Sure, you will see some snow-capped mountains while hiking in Peru, but thankfully the snow stops at approximately 4,500 meters in mountain ranges close to the equator, allowing for exceptional exploration! Start your journey in the ancient Incan city of Cuzco (not to be confused with a certain grooving emperor) in the Andes Mountains. Make your way to Sacsayhuamán (meaning House of the Sun) fortress, an awe-inspiring archaeological site that represents a set of jaguar’s teeth. Each massive “tooth” is perfectly fitted and can weight up to 130 tons.

If the idea of exploring Sacsayhuamán is enticing, just wait until you hike to Machu Picchu. This centuries-old Incan city is mind-blowingly advanced for its age. How and why did they build the tall walls and carve the magnificent terraces and ramps? It’s a mystery we’ll probably never know the answer to, but part of the fun when exploring this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

7 Surprising Reasons South America Is the Ultimate Winter Destination

Can’t imagine going all the way to South America without seeing the Amazon rainforest? Well, forest fans—rejoice! The Amazon Jungle extends into Peru, providing perfect wildlife viewing for any adventurer. Motorized canoes glide you down the Tambopata River, one of the many headwaters of the Amazon, into the forest basin. Tropical birds like the macaw fly overhead through the canopy as howler monkeys fill the air with their call. The diverse flora includes many medicinal plants. There truly is no place like it anywhere else on earth.

Finally, it wouldn’t be a visit to Peru without kayaking on Lake Titicaca, the largest lake in South America and the highest in the world that is still navigable. The lake’s colour is a deep blue unlike any water you’ll have ever seen. Make your way across the immense body of water to Capachica Peninsula, then hug the shore line, grazed by sheep and shadowed by ancient remnant agricultural terraces. For those seeking a more thrilling vacation, consider all that Peru has to offer.


4. You don’t have to travel to Antarctica (or be freezing!) to hang with penguins.

7 Surprising Reasons South America Is the Ultimate Winter Destination

At the bottom of South America lies a completely different land than that of Ecuador or Peru. This is Patagonia, a vast area of land that starts in the plains of Argentina and moves to the mountains of Chile, finally reaching the edge of the world.

What’s a better way to start your trip than with a visit to Magdalena Island, home not to humans, but to Magellanic penguins. Hike across the island, exploring all the nooks and crannies. Cameras are essential for this hike—you don’t want to miss out on capturing the tuxedo-wearing bird and other wildlife!

Hiking continues for a special trek, the legendary four-day “W” hike! This journey inside Torres del Paine National Park takes you across granite peaks, snow-clad mountains, glacial lakes, and the thick Magellanic forest. On the first day of your hike, you’ll come across the stunning Torres del Paine (that’s ‘Towers of Blue’)—three monstrous mountain peaks rising to a height of 3,000 feet and thought to be the highest natural cliff faces in the world. These natural wonders are breathtaking.

After completing the “W” trek, give your legs a rest and let your arms do some work. Kayak across Grey Lake, known for its grand glaciers and immense icebergs.

If cycling is more your speed, you’re in luck, Argentina’s landscape provides a better terrain for bikes. Ride through the valley basin of River de las Vueltas, viewing river vistas and waterfalls along the way.


5. Even kiddos need to “get away” sometimes!

7 Surprising Reasons South America Is the Ultimate Winter Destination

These days, it’s more important than ever to get kids outdoors and spend time with their families. With all of the distractions in our lives—from technology to school work to work projects—it can be hard to find enough time to bond with our loved ones.

Want the chance to get away as a family? Embark on a family-friendly adventure to Peru! Together you’ll journey through the Amazon rainforest with some incredible wildlife viewing opportunities. You might spot a capybara, or macaws perched atop the river banks or hear the howls of troops of howler monkeys from the tropical forest canopies above. Hike to Las Salineras and learn about salt production, and explore the ancient Incan cities of Cuzco and Machu Picchu.

What could be better than a vacation that gets the kids active, and also educates them? Not to mention, it’s a ton of fun!


6. Heat things up while visiting Ecuador’s volcanoes and hot springs.

7 Surprising Reasons South America Is the Ultimate Winter Destination

Maybe you like the idea of adding some rest and relaxation into your adventurous trip? Ecuador is the place for you.

Begin your trip at a ranch on Cotopaxi, learning about Ecuadorian farm life. Try your hand at milking cows, take in the serene scenery surrounding the ranch, or just curl up with a good book that you’ve been meaning to read.

The next day, pick up the pace as you cycle down Cotopaxi, which, by the way, happens to also be a volcano. The views on your way down are unparalleled—the Valley of Volcanoes provides vistas unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

7 Surprising Reasons South America Is the Ultimate Winter Destination

Ready for a hike? After traveling into the heart of Ecuador’s rainforest, you’ll find yourself hiking through waterfalls, making your way to the Papallacta highlands and cooling yourself off at the same time. At the end of your day, soak in a steaming hot spring that is right outside your lodging for the night.

At the end of your trip, fly out of Quito, the capital city of Ecuador. But before you leave, consider enjoying some free time in this historical mountain city.


7. Biking is way more fun when you’re under the golden sun!

7 Surprising Reasons South America Is the Ultimate Winter Destination

Want the best of both Peru and Ecuador? You got it! Enjoy seeing highlights from both countries as well as island-hopping around the Galapagos Islands.

An important part of any trip abroad is to take in the culture around you. One of the best ways to get up close and personal with the locals is via bike. While in Peru, cycle through the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the once great civilization of the Andes Mountains before they were conquered by the Spanish. Speaking of the Andes, did you know they stretch all the way from Venezuela to Chile, making them the longest mountain chain on land?

7 Surprising Reasons South America Is the Ultimate Winter Destination

On your cycling excursion, ride through breathtaking scenery, dotted with local villages and surrounded by the massive, green slopes of the Andes. Finish your ride at the small town of Pisac, a typical Peruvian village. A must-see is the colorful mercado artesanal, a fresh market full of local fruits and vegetables.

Finish your time in Peru with visits to Machu Picchu and Cuzco before departing for Ecuador. The Galapagos Islands are just a plane ride away and will enthrall you with their lush vegetation, diverse marine life, and peculiar land animals.


Quiero visitar América del Sur? Want to visit South America?

Your South American winter adventure is waiting for you. Don’t have the same old winter holiday as everyone else—embark on a journey that both challenges you and feeds your soul. Get in touch today to see how easy it is to plan the winter trip of your dreams, or sign up for our free email course if you’d like to know more about adventure travel in South America.

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