When the temperature drops during winter, people often resort to staying inside where it’s warm and cozy until the snow melts. Others enjoy some of the classic outdoor winter activities of sledding down a hill or having a snowball fight. But there are some exciting, lesser-known options that can help beat back the doldrums of winter.
It should come as no surprise that many of the wild winter activities on this list originated in countries with lots of snow and access to mountains. Many of these diversions come from countries along the Alps mountain range, such as France, Germany, and Austria. Several other activities come from chilly Scandinavian countries like Norway and Sweden.
Some activities, such as sled dog racing, were developed from activities people have been doing for thousands of years. For example, Yukigassen is essentially a large organized snowball fight. Though people have likely been chucking lumps of snow at one another for millennia, the specific rules of Yukigassen were set in Japan, so the country was credited as the home of Yukigassen.
Similarly, people in cold climates have used dogsleds to travel long before sled dog racing became an organized sport. The first organized race on record was held in Alaska, so the state is credited with the origin of sled dog racing.
Skiing and tobogganing are two of the most popular pastimes in winter, so it is hard to consider them as truly wild. However, many of the wild activities are variations on these popular sports. For example, some people choose to slide down a mountain seated on shovels or woks. Or, inventive thrill seekers go on skis pulled by dogs or snowmobiles. Some other skiers end their run down the mountain with a bungee cord jump or even a free fall that requires a parachute.
To find the wildest winter activities, 24/7 Wall St. researched the internet for extreme, unique, and bizarre activities that people do in the winter months of December, January, and February. To be considered for the list, an activity had to require either snow or some kind of winter setting.