Guest Author - Carol Viau
Tubing is a great family activity for all ages. It doesnít require any skill either, which is an added bonus!
Tubing is very similar to sledding, but involves sliding down the hill on an inner tube. Ideally, finding a tube park in your area is the easiest way to go. The tube parks generally have hourly rates, and the tube you use is included in that rate. The parks also have well maintained runs for the tubers, and side barriers to prevent anyone from going off course. They also have cushions of some sort at the base of the tube hill, just for extra assurance that youíll come to a final stop. For an added bonus, the tubers only need to walk a short distance to the towrope, which will bring them back up to the top for every run.
Many ski resorts offer tube parks. Check to see if a resort near you has one!
Sledding is a generic term for sliding down a hill sitting on any object you can find that is worthy. Ideally, it would have some sort of padding and steering ability! There are many types of sleds for sale. The round plastic disks move well down a slope, but they are nearly impossible to steer. What you see in stores frequently now, is the rectangular plastic sleds. They are comfortable to sit on, and you can stretch your legs out in front of you. These donít have great steering either, but you wonít have to worry about spinning in circles as you might with the disks.
Sledding can take place nearly anywhere. If there is a steep enough slope near your home, just make sure it is on public property and that a road doesnít run underneath it. Stopping a sled can be challenging, so you want to find a location with a nice mellow run out giving the sledder time to slow down and come to a stop.
Whether you are tubing or sledding, make sure you are dressed properly for the activity. For sledding at a local hill, keep in mind youíll be hiking uphill for each run, so you wonít want to start out wearing too many layers. Otherwise, youíll work up such a sweat hiking up, that you may end up getting cold while going downhill. Bringing along a thermos of hot chocolate is always a good idea too. Have fun this weekend and go tubing or sledding!