During the week I slipped (!) over a new survey that Swedish shoe company Icebug has just done. It is about slipping and notes that as many as 30,000 Swedes every year slip so badly that they have to go to a hospital. And that 3.4 million Swedes have slipped so badly that they hurt themselves. We are not talking about the kind of slipping when your first spontaneous reaction is to look around in small panic to estimate exactly how many people saw you make a stomach splash. No, we are talking about actual injuries where people get hurt. Injuries that might have been avoided if one had been a little better prepared.
A basic idea in hiking and outdoor life is to have the right and relevant equipment. It is not possible to go out on the mountain in a thin t-shirt and sneakers and believe that it will be an uncomplicated pleasant trip. Certain preparations are fairly accepted when it comes to spending time in nature. But it doesn’t seem to extend to ice, snow and slipping. Icebug itself speaks, for example, that it is a matter of course to have winter tires on the car or life jacket on the water, but when it comes to shoes in the winter, we gladly continue with flat, unshaven summer shoes. There is something in it. Oh, I see the sea of teenagers’ white Converse in front of me, how they slip on Västerås streets.
In addition, their investigation shows that it is not just the damage itself that is a problem. People also seem to be less likely to go out when it gets cold. A total of 63 percent move less outdoors in the winter compared to the summer. It pains my outdoor heart when I hear it. To think that there is an uncomfortableness and an uncertainty about equipment, clothes and shoes that prevents people to go out, making them stay inside and miss all the beautiful, fantastic and fine scenery that is out there in the winter landscape. Especially during a time of year when we really need to refuel and gain extra energy, daylight and activity.
So today’s co-creation is simply this: Take care of yourself! Don’t become one of those who slips this winter. Certainly, accidents happen inevitably sometimes, not everyone can avoid. Of course, it is also about snow cleared, plowed and well-lit roads. But I also think that we ourselves can do our best to prevent and prepare. Like putting on proper shoes, which are actually meant to be used in winter. Put on extra studs or put on shoes with grippy sole. Use a stick or bars for extra balance if it is really slippery.
Above all: Get out! Experience the winter on the paths and the walkways in your neighbourhood. There is something special about that crispy, slightly sleepy feeling that comes when winter has settled. Cook the coffee and put in a thermos, pack the snacks, throw on the backpack, the warm jacket and the solid shoes. Then just go out and enjoy.