Tag Archives: winter sports

When The Winter Olympics Came To A State Park

Image: hexanine.com

With the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games in full gear, people across the world are rooting for the athletes of their countries to bring home some medals. Since 1924, the Winter Olympics have been an extension of the international bonding laid down by the older summer games. In the close to 100 years that the Winter Olympics have taken place, the United States has hosted four times. Two of these times have been in Lake Placid, New York, and the other in Squaw Valley, California. Most recently the U.S. hosted in 2002 when the games took place in Salt Lake City, Utah. It is during these games when Wasatch Mountain State Park became the first U.S. state park to host Winter Olympic competitions!

More specifically, it was in the southeastern-most part of the 21,592 acre park where the Salt Lake Organizing Committee (SLOC) designed and built the Soldier Hollow venue. It was named this for the close proximity of the venue to Soldier Springs, Utah. Utah Olympic Park and Utah Olympic Oval were the two other major venues during the 2002 games.

Image: img.groundspeak.com

Wasatch Mountain State Park became a state park in 1968. Prior to this, it was mainly the site of farming, grazing, and recreational activities. One dark period was during the Utah War in 1857-1858, when U.S. troops were sent to deal with a supposed “Mormon Uprising”. This is what Soldier Springs was named for. While the SLOC had several other sites in mind in 1997, it settled on the Soldier Hollow site to host a portion of the Olympic Games due to its accommodating landscape for specific events like cross-country skiing. Major construction began in 1999 and was finished in 2001. Then, it was time for the games to begin!

Image: upload.wikimedia.org

Soldier Hollow hosted the biathlon (cross-country and shooting), cross-country skiing, and Nordic combined (cross-country and ski jumping) events during the 2002 games. Since it was about 2 1/2 hours away from downtown Salt Lake City, shuttle transportation had to be provided. Also, a special station for the historic Heber Valley Railroad Steam-Engines was created to cut down on road traffic. A whole exhibition and village area called Western Experience was created to keep people entertained in between competitions with music and entertainment, cowboy camps, American Indian displays, a wild mustang exhibit, and the always essential concession stands.

Finland and Norway would go on to have excellent showings at Soldier Hollow. A big winner was Samppa Lajunen, a Combined Nordic competitor who brought three gold medals home to Finland in 2002. Another highlight was Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjørndalen bringing home gold in all four men’s biathlete events.

Biathlon Competitors at 2002 Winter Olympics [Image: static.ddmcdn.com]

There were also many exciting gold medal victories during the 2002 games, including Australia becoming the first country in the Southern Hemisphere to ever win Winter Olympic gold medals in any competition. These competitions were men’s Speed Skating (Steven Bradbury) and women’s Aerials (Alisa Camplin). China also won its first and second gold medals ever in Winter Olympics history, both in short speed skating by Yang Yang. The Canadian men’s hockey team earned their first gold medal in 50 years by defeating the U.S. team, 5-2. The Women’s Bobsled Event made its debut, and the awesomely named Skeleton event returned as a medal sport for the first time since 1948. Recently introduced Olympic Snowboarding and other extreme sporting events took a firm hold in spectator popularity, with the U.S. competitors Ross Powers, Danny Kass, and Jarret Thomas sweeping the podium in snowboarding. U.S. competitor Sarah Hughes also had a big gold medal win in figure skating.

These days Soldier Hollow is a resort where cross-country skiing, tubing, and snowshoeing are popular activities during the winter, while mountain biking and golfing are the major attractions in the warmer months. It is owned by the state of Utah and is a part of Wasatch Mountain State Park. Soldier Hollow Charter School is also located there.

Tubing at Soldier Hollow                                                                               [Image:4.bp.blogspot.com/]

One thing that can always be anticipated every four years is the unpredictability of the Olympic games. From triumphs to upsets, amazing career beginnings to career-shattering scandal, and the fact that history is being made every time makes it a crucial event to the unity of the world. What an honor it was that a simple state park like Wasatch Mountain State Park got to host Olympic competitions. Who knows—maybe a state park near you may be hosting some Olympic events in the near future!

For more information about Wasatch Mountain State Park and Soldier Hollow, check out the Pocket Ranger® app here!

 

How to Keep Your Feet Warm When You’re Outdoors This Winter

The list of things we love about winter recreation is long. It’s so long, in fact, that we’d be hard-pressed to list any things we don’t love about it. BUT, if we had to (like, if we were forced to pick between saying something bad about winter or giving up the state parks), we’d have to top our list of cold weather complaints with this: COLD FEET.

cold feet

Who hasn’t wanted to do this before?
[Image: www.mnn.com]

If you spend as much time outdoors as we do, we are guessing you’ve experienced the dreaded Icicle Feet Syndrome a time or two. Nothing can suck the fun out of a day on the slopes or a trek through the snow-covered woods like realizing that your toes are numb. Luckily, after plenty of seasons spent out in the snow, we here at PBN have become veritable experts on how to keep your feet warm. Keep reading to find out what you can do to keep your tootsies nice and toasty when you head outdoors this winter season.

1. Keep Your Feet Dry

This simple-sounding rule is the most important factor in keeping your feet warm, and yet it can be much easier said than done – especially when you’re knee-deep in snow! First, some science: the main reason feet can feel cold in the winter is that feet are frequently wet to begin with from sweat. When the sweat evaporates, it takes heat away from the body, cooling down the feet. For this reason, wet feet = cold feet.

The easiest way to keep your feet dry is to invest in waterproof boots. Gore-Tex is the most popular material, but leather boots also work well when given a waterproofing treatment. Another option is a half leather/half rubber boot, such as SOREL. The rubber lower half of these boots totally sheds water, leaving you free to traipse through the elements, worry-free. Making sure that water is unable to penetrate your boots is the first line of defense against wet, cold feet.

waterproof winter boots

Image: www.sierratradingpost.com

While it’s essential for your boots to make sure water doesn’t get in, it is equally important that they allow water (perspiration) to get out. All the waterproofing in the world won’t make much difference if your feet are drowning in a swamp of sweat! Therefore, breathable waterproof boots are a must. If you’re wondering how a boot will be able to let moisture escape while still keeping water out, here’s some more science for you: the water droplets on the outside of the boot are much larger than the water vapor that your perspiration evaporates as, which is why perspiration can escape without any rain or snow getting in.

Again, when it comes to allowing the feet to breathe, Gore-Tex-type fabrics lead the boot pack, as the material has micro-size pores that allow sweat to escape even while blocking water from coming in. While SOREL boots are great at repelling water, they’re not so great at breathability. If your winter boot isn’t the most breathable, all is not lost. You’ll just need to pay extra care with the next steps on our guide!

2. Choose the Proper Sock

If “Grab a sock, any sock!” is your motto when dressing for the outdoors, it’s time to alter your thinking. Even if your sock drawer is stuffed to the brim with options, it’s unlikely that any of them are a good choice for our purposes here. That’s because most socks are made of cotton, and cotton is the enemy when it comes to keeping your feet warm. In fact, cotton socks might even be worse than wearing no socks at all!

Not only do cotton socks offer minimal insulation value, they also absorb and retain moisture. Once the cotton socks are wet, the little insulation value they had goes right out the window. When you take your cotton-socked feet outdoors, you can kiss any hopes of warmth goodbye as soon as your feet begin to sweat. When choosing a sock, steer clear of any that contain cotton.

sandals in snow

Okay, maybe cotton socks would be better than THIS, but not by much…
[Image: www.flickr.com]

So if cotton is out, what materials should you look for instead? We’re glad you asked! Wool, IsoWool, shearling, fleece and similar synthetic fabrics are all excellent choices. Socks made from these materials do not lose their insulation value, even if saturated with perspiration. Plus, your body heat can actually cause these fabrics to dry themselves, so even if you feel your feet getting sweaty, that doesn’t mean you have to suffer from cold, soggy feet all day.

3. Don’t Forget About Sock Liners!

This oft-neglected component of foot warmth is no less important just because it’s much forgotten. Sock liners pack a one-two punch of added foot warmth. First, they offer extra insulation, and second, they transfer sweat from your foot directly to your sock. In other words, the sock liner pulls perspiration from your feet and moves it to the sock, while staying dry itself. This moisture transfer keeps your feet dry and, most importantly, warm! Adding one of these thin liners to your foot gear will go a long way toward keeping your tootsies toasty.

4. Consider a Snow Gaiter

If you’ve never heard of a snow gaiter, don’t worry. You’re probably not alone. However, you’ve definitely seen them! You know the thick, white fleece that can poke out of the top of a snow boot? THAT’s a snow gaiter! Snow gaiters can also take the form of a nylon cover that can be tightened around the lower leg.

snow gaiter

Image: www.ebay.com

Whichever type of snow gaiter you choose, the purpose is the same: to keep the snow from working its way into your boot from above. This makes snow gaiters especially essential when deep snow is in the forecast, since even the most high-tech waterproof technology can’t prevent snow from piling its way into the opening of your boot. By creating a barrier designed to keep the snow out, snow gaiters are great for keeping feet dry and warm.

5. Insulate!

Our homes are insulated to stay nice and warm, so why shouldn’t our feet be? This simple addition to your winter boots will go a long way toward keeping your feet warm, so choose a boot with a high insulation value. The two main types of boot insulation are Thinsulate and shearling, both of which are thin, so they can add a lot of warmth without adding bulk. Although both materials will do the trick, shearling is less durable than Thinsulate, so it’s not the best choice if you plan to be doing a lot of outdoor exploring.

6. Use Chemical Heat Packs

Keeping feet dry may be the most important part of keeping them warm, but adding heat packets to your boots won’t hurt either! We’ve mentioned our love of foot warmers before, but we’ll keep on preaching it from the mountaintops. We like to think of them as mini space heaters for your feet. There are a million brands that sell heat packets (just Google “warmer packet” and you’ll see for yourself), and they even come in bulk if you want to stock up for a whole season of outdoor exploring.

warm feet

If you follow our guide, your feet will feel like this, even after hours in the snow.
[Image: www.justmustard.com]

It’s not always easy to stay warm when the temperatures drastically dip, but knowing how to keep your feet warm will make a big difference in keeping the rest of you warm, too. When you don’t have to worry about regaining feeling in your toes, you’ll be better able to focus on having fun outdoors all winter long!

Do you know any tricks we left out for how to keep your feet warm? Leave us a comment and let us know. Oh, and stay warm! 

To ski or snowboard? That is the Question.

Image: en.wikipedia.org.

Image: en.wikipedia.org.

With so much snow on the ground in various parts of the country, it’s hard to resist a ski or snowboarding trip. But if you’ve never attempted either, choosing which way you’d rather soar down the mountain can be a tough choice. While your inner daredevil may be pointing you towards snowboarding, the terrified, non-athletic you is telling you to play it safe with a pair of skis. Before you choose (and potentially break bones on account of an uninformed decision), we’ve provided a quick breakdown of what to expect for both snowboarding and skiing.

Where to go:

Not all terrain is apt for both winter activities. Snowboarding is best suited for more fluffy, powdery terrain while skiers tend to do better on icier, bumpier trails. In this case, let nature dicate your equipment. There’s nothing worse than jumping onto icy snow with a snowboard. Can anyone say, wipeout?

Injuries:

The risk of injury is relatively high for both yet each sport is more prone to specific injuries—upper body for snowboarding, lower body for skiing. Snowboarders are prone to wrist injuries, as they instinctively put their hands out to break a fall, while skiers are more likely to sustain knee injuries or fractures to the shinbone.

Protect Yourself:

Because wrist injuries are more likely during snowboarding, snowboarders should wear wrist guards at all times. Pliable boots are both ideal for snowboarding and skiing. Skiers, however should be weary of purchasing proper-fitting boots: beginners should wear looser-fitting boots while experienced skiers should opt for tighter bindings.

Skillset:

Skiing is more akin with the natural biped movement of walking, running or skating, so beginnings, especially those who’ve never partaken in any type of snow sport or activity, might feel more comfortable. Snowboarding is more challenging on a person’s balance and requires a stronger core to remain upright while going downslope. Because of the physical restrictions inherent in boarding, beginner and intermediate winter sports enthusiasts usually have an easier time on skis. 

Packing the essentials:

No matter which sport you choose to tackle, skiers and snowbaorders should always wear: weratherproof pants, a moisture-slicking base layer, weatherproof jacket, gloves, ski socks and a hat. Items like ski boots, skis and snowboard can typically rented on the mountain so unless you’re planning on becoming a full-time skier, we suggest renting them for your ski holiday. For a full checklist of gear that’s suitable for both winter activities, check REI’s comprehensive skiing/snowboarding checklist.

 

Skiing Essentials for Deep Pockets

When all of your extremities are tied up doing more important things than holding your stuff like, say, holding tight to ski poles, slinging snowballs or helping you balance as you snowboard down the side of a steep, snow-covered mountain, you’ve got to find other, more convenient ways to haul your ChapStick®, sunscreen and other necessities. Instead of lugging it all in backpack or—worse—not carrying it all, might we suggest putting your pockets to work?

Don’t cram your pockets just yet. Here’s how to make the most of you wardrobe’s hidden compartments with some efficient tips for packing your pockets with cold-weather activities this winter.

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1. Burt’s Bees Ultra Moisturizing Lip Treatment

Soar down a mountain multiple times per day at 15-20 miles per hour and try not to have the worst chapped lips of your life. You’ll look like Lisa Rinna minutes after lip injections before you know it.

Fight the fat, blistering lips with Burt’s Bees moisturizing lip balm. It’s compact enough for your pockets yet packs a bunch of moisture better than the giant jar of Vaseline you’ll be tempted to tote once you’ve exposed your untreated lips to the cold.

2. Neutrogena Oil-Free Sunblock Stick, SPF 30

While your lips will suffer from cracking and chapping due to the cold, your face will crack and burn due to excess exposure to the sun. Sunscreen is a must even during the cold winter months, especially if you plan to spend hours on the ski slopes.

Just like when you’re spending time outdoors in the summer, it’s important to reapply sunscreen every few hours. Pack a small sunblock stick and reapply sunscreen on the mountain, on the ski lift, next to the fireplace… you get the picture. Plus, it’s oil-free so it won’t clog pores or into your eyes causing another part of your body to burn.

3. Kleenex®

Like, your nose will probably be cold and drippy. Now that you’ve outgrown the gross habit of wiping your snot on your jacket or gloves (right?), you’d be hard-pressed not to carry a pack of Kleenex.

4. Handwarmers

In addition to a weatherproof pair of gloves, you’ll want to stuff your pockets and your gloves with handwarmers to keep your fingers from frostbite.

5. Mitten Clips

You don’t want to be the person who leaves their gloves on the ski lift, do you? Avoid a Dumb & Dumber skiing situation with a pair of practically incognito mitten clips. You’ll keep from having one freezing-cold hand, and the option to either buy another set of gloves at a mountain shop, or call it a day.

Pants: Powderfin.com

 

 

Cold Catch: Seven Must-haves for Ice Anglers

Ice fishing may just sound like a chilly version of the warm-weather pastime, but below zero temperatures and thick ice make this winter sport a whole new game. Don’t believe us? We’ve got the action to prove it. From chipping ice to keeping your mitts toasty and dry, here some essentials to get you started before you head out on an arctic fishing adventure.

1. Trans-Alaska Elite Trail Suit

In the concrete jungle we’re usually worried about keeping our fingers from freezing while texting. When you’re out in the wild, it’s a full-body freeze you should worry about, and this insulated trail suit will keep you toasty and warm, whether you’re sitting around waiting for fish to bite or mushing across an arctic tundra. Available at Cabelas.com, $299.99.

2. Ice Arctic Angler Glove System

Believe it or not, there are a lot of ice fishing gloves out on the market these day, and none seem quite as practical as this neoprene model from Bass Pro Shops. Not only are these mighty mitts warm and waterproof, but the are designed with finger dexterity in mind, so the next time you need your fingers to use your Pocket Ranger® app  just use these built-in slits for easy access to your digits. Available at Basspro.com, $24.99.

3. Eskimo Mako Ice Auger

Drill, baby! Drill! Ice fishing is a great way to play with power tools and hunt all at once. This high-performance drill allows you to safely and effectively bore through solid ice so that those fishies don’t stand a chance. Available at Cabelas.com, $259.99.

4. Celsius Ice Fishing Dry Bag

Things can get pretty wet and cold out on the ice—mostly cold, but definitely wet. This handy back will keep your belongings safe from any damage  caused by moisture with its waterproof and leakproof features. Perfect for toting around mobile devices, tools or snacks, this dry bag is a must-have for ice anglers. Available at Dickssportinggoods.com, $19.99.

5. Clam Ice Fishing Twin Hub Shelters

For the solo sportsman out there, this one-man shelter is the perfect place to take cover. Lightweight, durable and easy to set up, this tiny tent is truly a fisherman’s best friend. Available at cabelas.com, $90.99.

6. JB Lures Big Max Jigs

Any fisherman knows that lures (in addition to saint-like patience) are the key to making the big catch. For all the squeamish sportsmen out there, you can rest easy knowing that worm season is over. Big lures catch even bigger fish, so Big Max is sure to get one nasty nibble if you play your cards right. Available at Cabelas.com, $1.37.

7. Eskimo® Redneck Dual Headed Bucket Ice Chisel

In cold climates ice freezes FAST, so you’ll need to be on top of your chipping if you want to reel in the big ones. This small, but mighty ice chisel should do the trick, and clear your watering hole of any unwanted ice and frozen debris. Available at Basspro.com, $24.99.

For The Glove of The Game: 10 Ways to Keep Your Hands Warm This Winter

Let’s face it, nothing dampens a walk through a winter wonderland like a pair of frozen mitts—aside from being painful, cold hands are useless when it comes to climbing, setting up camp, and, oh yeah, checking your Pocket Ranger® app. Outdoor living means outdoor dressing, which also means those hand-knit mittens from your Aunt Boo won’t quite cut it when it comes time to scale that snow-covered mountain, and feel the alpine air blasting away at your poor mortal skin. Even with Valentine’s Day coming up, we don’t recommend hand-holding as a remedy for frosty fingers, but instead we’ve rounded up some tried and tested hand helpers that will not only keep your digits toasty while hailing a cab or waiting in line for the newest Apple product, but also stand up against the wicked winds of the wild, and whatever chilly challenges come your way.

Mano

1. Marmot Caldera Glove

One of the most affordable and functional models offered by outdoor big timers, Marmot, this Caldera Glove offers a waterproof outer shell and a cozy thermal insulation to keep active hands warm and dry. The Caldera also includes a soft nose wipe fabric for those mountain top booger emergencies, as well as handy safety leashes so gloves stay put even when not in use. Available at Marmot.com, $65.

2. Youngstown Waterproof Winter Plus Performance Glove

You don’t have to ditch dexterity just to keep your phalanges from freezing over. These form-fitting, nylon blend gloves allow fingers to grip while keeping them safe from the elements in even the coldest, wettest conditions. Available at Amazon.com, $34.99.

3. Outdoor Research Men’s Adrenaline Gloves

Winter’s harsh chill doesn’t stop at the wrist, so neither should your gloves. These durable nylon gloves have extra long, cinching wrists to keep the cold air from creeping up your sleeve while you’re on the trail or slopes.  Available at Moosejaw.com, $49.

4. Heritage Extreme Winter Gloves

Horseback riding is amongst the most popular activities found at state and national parks, and thanks to these extreme weather gloves, you can get your gallop on year round. Lined with trust Thinsulate® and Polar fleece insulation, these form-fitting riding gloves will keep you hands safe and dry on and off the trails. Available at SmartPakEquine.com, $34.95.

5. L.L. Bean Men’s Gore-Tex Patroller Gloves

For the ski slopes to the snowy trail and every chilly place in between, there’s this pair of waterproof, pliable winter gloves from the outdoor outfitters we trust, L.L. Bean. These easy-grip gloves allow for maximum dexterity, whether you are grabbing a ski pole, walking stick or companion’s hand. Available at LLBean.com, $89.00. 

Screen Shot 2013-01-08 at 5.04.45 PM

1. Women’s Troller Mitt, Cloudveil

We know what you’re thinking, but these aren’t your childhood mittens. Insulated with Primaloft and lined with super soft micro fleece, these tough mitts are two shakes of a lamb’s ear away from being little ovens for your fingers. One of the warmest of its kind out on the market, the Troller Mitt is ideal for snow sports and other winter activities where your primary goal is not to freeze your poor pinkies off. Available at Amazon.com, $30.45.

2. Women’s Gore-Tex Insulated Gloves, L.L. Bean

We’d put our lives in the hands of L.L. Bean as much as we’d put our hands in the hands of L.L. Bean, which is why these Gore-Tex-lined gloves made the final cut. Durable, yet lightweight, these do-it-all gloves come complete with a strong holding bungee at the gauntlet to seal out snow and moisture to ensure complete comfort when participating in the outdoor activities you love most. Available at LLBean.com, $49.95.

3. REI Switchback Gloves

Keeping the cold out is a cinch with these durable winter sports gloves from REI. Easy gripping, waterproof, and well-insulated, these gloves are the perfect pair for skiers, hikers and mountaineers alike. Available at REI.com, $44.93.

4. The North Face Women’s Etip Facet Glove

Not only are these gloves waterproof, insulated, and available in an ultra chic white-grey colorway, but the glove’s Etip is designed with Smartphone users in mind. No need to slip off your gloves and risk frostbite just to find the nearest restroom or trailhead on your Pocket Ranger® map. The Etip allows you to smoothly and comfortably using your touch-screen devices without removing your gloves. Available at TheNorthFace.com, $85.

5. Patagonia Women’s Better Sweater™ Gloves

If you can’t bear to part with the coziness of warm woolen mittens, but you know darn right your digits will fall off if you don’t give your homemade handwarmers an upgrade, than these are the pair for you. These tight-knit, “sweater” gloves are sleek, soft, and dare we say stylish. Ideal for those who don’t want to sacrifice style or comfort, the Better Sweater™ Gloves are all you want and more. Available in three colors from Patagonia.com, $39. 

Bring on the Blizzards! How to Use Your Pocket Ranger® App for Winter Fun at the Parks

Now that the holiday season is behind us with three long months of winter ahead, we hope you’re not planning to make like a bear and hibernate until spring, because plenty of state parks abound with recreational opportunities all year round. What’s more, your Pocket Ranger® app makes it easy to make the most of all the great winter activities the parks have to offer. How best to use the Pocket Ranger® to take advantage of the season? Let us count the ways:

1. Search By Activity

Wondering which parks are packed with the most opportunities to enjoy the snow? Simply search the app By Activity to find a park that suits your wintertime needs.

Finding a spot to do this is easy!

Finding a spot to do this is easy!

From cross-country skiing to sledding, snowmobiling to ice fishing, when you search parks By Activity, you’ll be able to easily locate a park where you can enjoy whatever winter sport you’re craving.

2. Search Places Near Me

If you are less particular about needing to find a specific activity and simply want to get out and enjoy the beautiful winter landscape at a nearby park, the Places Near Me feature is your best friend.

When the roads look like this, you’ll probably want to select a park close to home.

When the roads look like this, you’ll probably want to select a park close to home.

With one tap of a button, you’ll be able to see on a map which parks are closest to your location, so you can spend less time on the road and more time enjoying the snow at a nearby park.

3. Calendar of Events

Even though the temperatures have dropped off, the events at the parks are still kickin’, and winter is one of the best times to enjoy the many events put on by the parks.

These brave souls used their Pocket Ranger®’s Calendar of Events to find a park hosting an icy plunge.

These brave souls used their Pocket Ranger®’s Calendar of Events to find a park hosting an icy plunge.

Whether you’re in the mood for an energizing Polar Bear Plunge or a mellow ice fishing tournament, the Calendar of Events makes it easy to find a fun wintertime happening.

4. Track Trails

Snowshoeing and snowmobiling are two great ways to explore the parks this time of year, and with the app’s advanced GPS technology allowing you to track and record trails, it’s easy to keep track of your excursions or return to a particularly pleasant trek.

When you record your trails, you’ll be able to retrace scenic hikes like this one again and again!

When you record your trails, you’ll be able to retrace scenic hikes like this one again and again!

Measure distance traveled and time elapsed so you can brag about your active, fun-filled winter to your less adventurous friends spending the season bundled up on the couch.

5. Mark Waypoints

However you choose to enjoy the parks, the scenic winter beauty almost guarantees you’ll stumble upon a cool discovery. Whether it’s a choice ice fishing location, a good spot to watch for wildlife, or simply an excellent place to savor the early sunset, you can mark any location with a waypoint or photo waypoint.

When you record your trails, you’ll be able to retrace scenic hikes like this one again and again!

When you record your trails, you’ll be able to retrace scenic hikes like this one again and again!

Use these waypoints to revisit your favorite park destinations, or share the coordinates with friend so they can check out your finds.

6. Friend Finder

Use the Friend Finder feature to locate your friends in case you lose them on an intense run down the slopes or jaunt through the woods.

Even losing a friend is this vast landscape is no big deal with the Friend Finder to help locate them!

Even losing a friend is this vast landscape is no big deal with the Friend Finder to help locate them!

You’ll be able to see your friend’s location on a GPS map, so reuniting is easy in case you get separated.

7. Photo Sharing

With sparkling snowfalls, icy vistas, and numerous chances to see people plodding around in dorky snowsuits, winter offers plenty of photo-ops.

This shot was made for sharing!

This shot was made for sharing!

After a day of fun, the app makes it easy to share your photos with friends and family on Facebook, Twitter or Flickr. With a few clicks, your circle of friends will be able to see all the fun you’ve been having at the parks!

With so many features to maximize your outdoor adventures, we’re sure we’ve missed plenty. Tell us how you’ve been using your Pocket Ranger® to enjoy winter at the parks. Remember, just because warm weather has left the parks doesn’t mean the fun has, so pick up your Pocket Ranger® and start exploring!