(This is a cross-post sampling of a complete article on the blog Wild.Here. Photos from Wild. Here.)
The Scandinavian Approach to Embracing the Outdoors – by Katherine Forster
Cooler weather and even winter seem to be embraced with open arms by many Scandinavians.
There are certain Scandinavian approaches that have been talked about for decades, that seem to provide an easier transition to winter and an opportunity to celebrate this season, rather than dread it. I took a “Winter Cities” class in university and I remember reading about how urban design, urban planning and event urban festivals can create spaces that make it much more easy to appreciate and enjoy the colder temperatures and darker months.
Which makes me wonder if there are ways to take this approach in our own lives so that we can make personal choices that enhance our enjoyment of cooler fall days and winter months? I think instinctively we seek out some of these but may not realize how consciously adding such experiences to our outings can really enhance our pleasure as the seasons change.
Here are some ideas!
Seek out Patios that Face West and/or South. You’ll be able to enjoy some passive solar heating (think brick or stone wall that can soak up and radiate out the heat) or benefit from sheltered pockets of warmth away from prevailing winds. Added bonus if there are heaters that can provide that warmth on days the sun is not out! I can think of one spot in Ottawa where the temperature was in the low twenties (Celsius) but when we were up on the patio at 5 pm, we were practically sweating! So imagine how great that patio would be when it gets to 15 degrees Celsius!
Find Cafes and Restaurants that Offer Winter Seating opportunities. I’m loving that here in Ottawa there are some businesses that are embracing this type of hygge approach. I’ve seen wool blankets laid out in the outdoor seating area at my local cafe (on their signature red Muskoka chairs) and cozy furs (and a firepit) at another favourite place in the Market that serves Glühwein (a type of mulled wine). In Ottawa I love seeing the outdoor seating areas offered as part of Winterlude also including an outdoor patio (with bonfire + bar carved out of ice) and other gathering spots around bonfires.
Take Advantage of Sunny Days – Good Weather. Sure this one is a no brainer, but especially in the fall we can become wrapped up in things and forget that some of these mild days may be the last. Get out at lunch time or extend your walk after work (get off a couple of bus stops before home). Enjoy a mild evening even if the sun sets early. And as it gets colder, pay attention to these sunny days and seek out opportunities to enjoy a bit of the outdoors. Find the streets where the angle of the sun reaches in or enjoy a mild day where you can find a spot to soak up a few rays.
We’ve definitely been taking advantage of the recent sunny days – read about more winter-embracing tips in the complete article by Katherine Forster here.