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Skate Smart

In the winter, Ontario offers many trails through for skating enthusiasts. 

Skate Smart Tips

  • If you are skating with other people (which should always be the case; this is much safer), take turns leading. 
  • If the more energetic people in your group want to stay in front and set pace practical and safe. When leading however, consider the pace of the slowest member of the group, and make your strides short enough so everyone in the group can follow in them.
  • Take breaks as necessary to adjust your gear and clothing. Try to stay dry and avoid chills.
  • Take frequent water and snack breaks.
  • Skating can be strenuous and burns a lot of calories, so rehydration is essential. REMEMBER: In the winter, because you feel colder, you may not realize how much you are perspiring. You are nonetheless, and those fluids must be replaced.
  • If you must travel in areas frequented by snowmobilers, stay out of their way!

10 Skating Essentials

  1. Skates
  2. Warm Socks (and extras)
  3. Backpack or Waist Pack
  4. Water (between one pint per hour and one quart per outing, per person)
  5. Food
  6. Trail Map
  7. GPS Unit or Compass
  8. Sunglasses
  9. First Aid Kit
  10. Whistle


  • Waterproof Boots
  • Pocket Knife or Multi-tool
  • Waterproof Matches or Lighter
  • Flashlight
  • Ice Axe
  • Cell Phone
  • Shovel
  • Wire Pocket Saw
  • Emergency Blanket
  • Additional Clothing, food and water

Things to Consider Before You Go:

  • Are you skating on a municipal rink, lake, river, or ice trail over solid surface?
  • Do you have all of your survival gear?
  • Are you familiar with the area and terrain you'll be traveling? Do you have your map?
  • Do you have everything on your checklist?