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< Inside L.L.Bean

As the days tick toward spring, the lingering cold can take its toll on even the most exuberant winter fans. But for many Americans who were born and raised in cold climates, the winter is like an old friend: Even if it overstays its welcome, you still love it.

In L.L.Bean’s home state of Maine, winters are notoriously fierce. But Mainers don’t just survive the winter – they embrace it. The cold weather is host to some of the state’s favorite pastimes, from ice fishing to snowshoeing to sledding.

More than offering entertainment, stepping outside in the winter can also provide tremendous benefits. Here are a few things we’ve learned from Maine residents and our belief in the restorative power of time spent outside, no matter the season.

The Payoff of Stepping Outside in Winter

Spending time in nature – during any time of the year – can help improve one’s outlook and increase feelings of wellbeing. But there are tangible physical benefits, too.

During the winter, people tend to show a decline or deficit in Vitamin D, which plays a role in overall health. Among other things, Vitamin D is linked to serotonin activity, cold and flu prevention and the maintenance of strong bones. Spending even a short amount of time in the sun may help the body generate Vitamin D, making it feasible even in short windows of sunshine.

Additionally, winter activities can help combat problems with low energy and disturbed sleep patterns sometimes associated with the winter blues. Skiing, snowboarding, sledding, ice skating, snowshoeing, walking and hiking burn energy and produce serotonin to lead to a full night’s rest, and better energy throughout the day.

How To Seize the Freeze

If you’re trying to decide the best way to venture outdoors, there are a few tips to ensure the cold won’t cool you out.

Embrace the Importance of Play

Remember the pure bliss of the season’s first snow as a child? Recreate that joy with the Snowman Family Kit, a one-bag reminder that winter is all about creating warm memories. Or, take a spin on this heirloom quality Kids’ Pull Sled and Cushion Set, which will set young ones up with a lifetime of winter fondness. Don’t let the kids have all the fun, though. Invite your friends and loved ones out on the Sonic Tube, which was originally designed for commercial tubing parks which hosted thousands of visitors. With that history, it is sure to stand up to whatever plans you have for a rollicking outing.

Kids’ Pull Sled and Cushion Set

Women's Winter Walker Snowshoe

Give Yourself a Destination Incentive

Being in nature is its own reward – but it never hurts to sweeten the pot. Mainers, for instance, have been known to snowshoe to their favorite pub or neighborhood restaurant. The Winter Walker Snowshoe can be put on in under a minute, and it’s rigorously tested for use in harsh weather. Or, go round-and-round a beautiful destination while ice skating. The Adults’ Bauer Expedition Recreational Skates are perfect for beginners but can ably take you on the rink and to a warming hut for a rest.

Perhaps your idea of an incentive is what happens after your get home from your winter outing. Look forward to basking in the endorphins you racked up outside by cozying up in L.L.Bean’s Scotch Plaid Flannel Pajamas for men and women, and warm up with his and hers Wicked Good Slippers by your fireplace.

Think Outside the Box

Stuck inside your four walls? It’s time to – literally – think outside the box. Perhaps it’s time to take that camping trip to gaze at the stars, starting with the L.L.Bean Adult’s Down Sleeping Bag with DownTek technology, to warm you on cold evenings. If you’re not ready to brave an all-nighter, why not take a hike on your favorite trail, with the help of the L.L.Bean Hikelite 4-season Poles. If that still sounds too overwhelming, simply bundle up and have a cup of piping-hot coffee outdoors with the L.L.Bean Double-Wall Camp Mug, to take a moment of mindful meditation.

L.L.Bean Adults’ Down Sleeping Bag

Mountain Classic Down Parka

Get the Wardrobe Down

There’s an old adage repeated in cold weather climes: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.” Even the bitterest of temps are bearable when you’ve got the right layers on. Though L.L.Bean offers a variety of choices for whatever activity you enjoy – skiing, camping, ice fishing, snowshoeing and more – a few important items can see you through all. Though the Trail Model Rain Pants for men and women are designed to keep you dry during a downpour, they are also ideal for most inclement weather. Top those off with a versatile base layer like the L.L. Bean Midweight Base Layer for men and women, which has that just-right stretch for comfort. Finally, finish with the perfect outerwear. The men’s and women’s Mountain Classic Down Parka is aptly named – this classic won’t let you down, and remains one of our most popular items to date.