Wow, what a year! With 2018 nearly upon us, it’s time to reflect on all the awesome adventures we have had in 2017, and to look ahead to a full year of exploring the Canadian backcountry in 2018. For the BRMB team, 2017 has been full of everything from camping to ATVing, fishing, skiing and snowboarding, hiking and much more. Of course, we’ve also been busy producing a ton of new BRMB products to help you get out and enjoy the great outdoors, and we’re looking forward to doing more of the same next year!

 

New Year’s Eve is not only a time to reflect and look ahead, but it is an opportunity to set a precedent for the year to come – and what better way to do that than to ring in the new year outdoors? Nothing sets the stage for a year full of incredible adventures like a New Year’s countdown under the open sky or nestled around the fire in a backcountry hut. Luckily, there are plenty of choices for spending New Year’s Eve outdoors all across Canada. Here are a few of our favourites:


Winter Camping

If you are looking to spend New Year’s Eve as far away from the crowds as possible, and are not afraid of Old Man Winter’s cold embrace, then you may want to consider winter camping. This is the perfect option for seasoned explorers, or for us average Joes and Janes who want to step up our camping game. With a pair of snowshoes, a good tent and a winter sleeping bag you can basically camp anywhere you would in the summertime.

 

Kouchibouguac National Park. Photo Credit: Parks Canada

 

Winter camping not only provides a greater challenge, a change of scenery and guaranteed peace and quiet, it also gives you the unique opportunity to combine your camping adventure with some backcountry skiing or snowboarding, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.

 

Garibaldi Provincial Park. Photo Credit: Floris Van Breugel / artinnaturephotography.com

 

Additionally, you can forego the tent and choose to build yourself a snow-shelter such as an igloo or a quinzee – though this may take a little bit of research to do properly.

 

Jasper National Park. Photo Credit: explorejasper.com

 

For some of Canada’s best winter camping destinations, we recommend checking out our national and provincial parks. You can find a list of winter camping-friendly parks, along with some handy winter camping tricks and tips, in this BRMB Blog.

 

Backcountry Huts

Looking to get out into the wilderness but want some protection from the elements beyond a tent or a snow structure? Backcountry huts and cabins are found all across the country and are as good a place as any to celebrate the arrival of the new year. Most backcountry huts can sleep ten to twenty people or more, so you do not have to make your New Year’s Eve a solitary celebration, but rather spend it with all the friends you would want to back at home.

 

Elfin Lakes Hut, BC. Photo Credit: Richard So / squamish.com

 

Most backcountry huts contain a kitchen area with either a propane stove or a wood stove, so you can cook up a backcountry New Year’s Eve feast and serve up some festive drinks such as hot buttered rum or punch.

 

Sydney Vallance Hut, AB. Photo Credit: where.ca

 

Much like backcountry camping, spending your New Year’s Eve at a hut is a great way to mix some snowshoeing, skiing or boarding into your 2018 welcome party. It should be noted that some huts are quite popular, particularly those that are close to major cities, so booking ahead may be required.

 

Jackfish Lake Cabin, MB. Photo Credit: manitobahot.com

 

One good resource for finding a backcountry hut near you is the Alpine Club of Canada, but sometimes the best way to find a hut is to ask around and do a bit of your own research. Just to give you some ideas, here are some of our favourite places to spend the night in Canada’s beautiful wilderness:

 


Elfin Lakes Hut, British Columbia

Sydney Vallance (Fryar) Hut, Alberta

Cypress Hills Cabins, Saskatchewan

Jackfish Lake Cabin, Manitoba

Algonquin Park Cabins, Ontario

Kouchibouguac Backcountry Cabins, New Brunswick

Mersey River Cabins, Nova Scotia


Hot Springs

Ranging from developed resorts to rustic soaking pools deep in the wilderness, Canada is one of the greatest places in the world to visit hot springs. And, when the temperatures drop below zero and a thick blanket of snow covers the ground, these natural hot tubs become even more inviting. What better way to celebrate the passing of an adventure-filled year and the arrival of 2018 than in a steaming hot spring under a star-filled sky, surrounded by your favourite adventure buddies?

 

Lussier Hot Springs, BC. Photo Credit: Stevin Tuchiwsky / tuchiwsky.com / @stevint

 

Let the past melt away as you soak in the coming New Year with a drink in hand (leave the glass at home). When it comes to hot springs, western Canada is the place to find them, and you can find the best hot springs to visit in our Western Canada’s Hottest Hot Springs Adventures blog.

 

Liard River Hot Springs, BC. Photo Credit: pinterest


Ski Resorts

While ski resorts are definitely on the developed side of outdoor adventure, any skier or snowboarder will tell you that hitting the mountain is still a great way to get in touch with nature, and we are not ones to argue. From breathtaking views of surrounding mountains to getting up close to unique landscapes that only hardcore mountaineers get to explore otherwise, downhill skiing and snowboarding offers much more beyond the initial thrill of riding (although that in itself is totally worth the experience!).

 

Revelstoke Mountain Resort, BC. Photo Credit: skisafari.com

 

Of course, one of the greatest traditions for downhillers is the Après Ski – a cold beer will never taste as good as it does after a full day of pillaging powder lines. Getting together with your riding buddies and celebrating a killer day on the slopes can be almost as much fun as the riding itself.

 

Blue Mountain Resort, Ontario. Photo Credit: bluemountain.ca

 

At many ski hills, New Years Eve offers the ultimate Après with live music, food, fireworks and more. Of course, there is always the choice of skipping the party and having the mountain all to yourself the next morning while everyone is sleeping off the night before, but if you choose to ring in 2018 with a night out at the mountain, here are some of the best places to do it:


Revelstoke, British Columbia

Lake Louise, Alberta

Asessippi Ski Area, Manitoba

Blue Mountain, Ontario

Poley Mountain, New Brunswick

Ski Wentworth, Nova Scotia

Marble Mountain Resort, Newfoundland

 

No matter how you choose to ring in the new year, we can help you find your way to adventure with our Backroad Mapbooks and Backroad GPS Maps! From all of us here at Backroad Mapbooks, happy new year, and may your 2018 be full of outdoor fun!

 

 

Did we miss your favourite place to ring in the new year outdoors? Let us know in the comments below or share your new year’s eve adventures with us on Instagram using #brmblife for the chance to be featured in our feed and win prizes.