Whether you’re in love with nature, your significant other, your friends, family, pets or just yourself, there are plenty of good reasons to get outside and celebrate love on February 14th.
Valentine’s Day dates don’t have to be fancy or expensive—instead, you can spend time in the environment you love the most: the Great Outdoors.
Here are five outdoorsy date ideas to impress the love of your life this Valentine’s Day, along with some gear recommendations for each outdoor experience.
Wander through a local park, walk past meaningful locations to spark loving memories of your relationship or simply stroll through your neighbourhood while holding hands. If it’s chilly outside, consider wearing Mammut’s Albula IN Hooded Women's Jacket. It’s almost entirely made from recycled materials! If you need a destination, seek out the best hot chocolate in town or end your adventure at a skating rink where you can continue to hold hands, gliding across the ice and helping each other stay balanced.
Snowshoeing Through Magical Lights
Alison Karlene Hodgins
Bright twinkling lights aren’t just for Christmas. Some outdoor areas and ski resorts, such as Cypress Mountain’s Hollyburn Nordic Area, ignite snowshoeing trails with ambient lighting for a romantic after-dark adventure. Follow the sparkling, colourful bulbs through the forest to a lodge selling cocoa. We recommend bringing your own snowshoes to save the extra cost of rentals. If there are no official lit paths in your area, go for a moonlit hike or stargaze in a nearby Dark Sky Reserve. Maybe you’ll even see the northern lights!
Cozy Cold Camping
Photo credit Dan Patitucci
Winter is a wonderful time to go camping: fewer crowds, no bugs and ample excuses to get cozy with someone you love. Wrap up in your favourite base layers—my top choice is Smartwool’s Classic Thermal Merino Crew and Bottom. You’ll have sweet dreams on the NeoAir® XTherm™ NXT, which has the best warmth-to-weight ratio of any sleeping pad ever made. Couples can connect two separate sleeping pads with the Therm-a-Rest Synergy™ Luxe Coupler. For a special touch, bring a projector and watch a romantic movie on the walls of the tent. Keep your toes warm and comfortable with MEC’s Hut Booties.
Campfire in the Snow
We love having campfires in the winter—there are typically smaller crowds and no fire bans. Use a designated fire pit, burn wood sourced from the area and remember to fully extinguish your campfire before leaving (including the coals). Bring marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate to roast s’mores; mugs of steaming hot tea, hot chocolate or coffee; and Explore’s campfire-building bundle to create an impressive crackling campfire. Snuggle up around the roaring flames and talk about your favourite things about each other. If you’re still getting to know each other, try answering questions with prompts from Basecamp Cards.
Backcountry Wine and Dine
Alison Karlene Hodgins
For a simple meal in the Great Outdoors, bring a picnic to a local park. Lay out a blanket and arrange a cheese, pickle and charcuterie board. For dessert, share fruit dipped in chocolate fondue. To stay warm, we recommend MEC’s funky Fireside Fleece, the super-soft Vuori Ponto Performance ½ Zip Top and Black Diamond’s ultra-comfy, adjustable Credo Pants. Go ahead and cuddle up under Rumpl’s two-person, water-resistant Original Puffy Blanket. If you want to take your backcountry banquet to the next level, tap into your inner chef and cook a romantic dinner on the shores of an iridescent lake or on the summit of a scenic mountain with MSR's PocketRocket Deluxe Stove, an ultra-portable and fast-boil backpacking must-have.