Lise Brown, co-owner Momenta

Tian and I have been walking [at a distance from everyone else who needs the trails]….it helps us get space from each other and recharge with fresh air and take in the teachings that the natural world has to offer. Tian and I are at our best when we are alone, with each other and with the forest. He has not complained about hitting the trails since he began to feel the benefits of it and I am so lucky to have him as my walking buddy now. 

I wasn’t meant to be a stay home parent, and being a sole parent I really appreciate the moments I can take to myself….so, this past week and the weeks ahead are going to challenge me to my limits, I rely heavily on daycare and school to offer me some space, and of course to go to work. I also want to embrace this time to reconnect and slow down with the centre of my world, and try not to stress about the home schooling we are supposed to be doing. So, we are walking….everyday, and we’ll see what emerges. I’m feeling fairly confident that Tian is learning from the natural world around him, he is noticing things and asking good questions. I, well, I am giving him space and not doing much but picking the trail each day and responding to his questions with more questions. So far, he has…

-noticed that his Mama needs to head onto a trail with a fully charged phone, or else it dies and we can’t finish our GPS tracking
-identified a black capped chickadee
-learned about maps and navigation through GPS mapping and trail maps and markers
-expressed interest in making his own bow and arrow
-talked about gravity, balance, length, circumference
-made music with sticks
-identified Red Osier Dogwood, Cattail and Poplar
-talked about weight
-noticed trail etiquette (or lack of)
-asked about the history of trails and why they have certain names
-identified animal tracks
-asked what certain words mean
-wondered about different dog breeds
-asked “what day is it anyway?”
-asked for water when he is thirsty, and food when he is hungry
-noticed different types of snow and ice
-practiced parkour, climbing, leaping and galloping
-identified cedar, harvested some and brought it home to dry
-adjusted his neck warmer based on the wind SO many times
-noticed shadows and was playful with them
-talked about distance and speed
-wondered about ravens and crows and how they are the same and different
-identified a spruce tree – confirmed red spruce after referring to a field guide at home
-expressed his full range of feelings from joy to tears

It’s day 6 of physically isolating from others, we have walked 17.31 kilometres (math) and many steps which he is tracking on a pedometer. We’re gonna walk this thing out. I’m enjoying our time on the trails, it feeds the extrovert in me and clears my busy head, and feeds Tian full of wonder and curiosity. He has asked Siri SO many questions upon returning home from walks, here’s my favourite: “Hey Siri, tell us how to make a decaf london fog”

Stay well my friends 🙂

At Momenta we are committed to doing our part to prioritize the safety of our team, clients, and the broader community. We want to take a thoughtful and preventative approach to COVID-19, while maintaining a high standard of service. 

On June 1, 2020 we resumed small group in person programming. We are keeping up to date, and following operating guidelines put forth by the Province of Manitoba for Day Camps and recommendations for certification courses from Sirius MedX.

We are so grateful for our community. Our staff who have been resilient and adaptable, to our clients for allowing programs to continue, youth who continue to join in, have fun and be safe, and to the land for helping us to make connections.

On Sunday, March 15th we paused all of our group programs. This is a difficult business to be in when everything you do encourages people to gather in meaningful ways. 


Our offices are closed and staff are working remotely to support clients and each other. We work together in a 1000 square foot open-concept office where we have always joked about how it’s impossible not to be with each other – now that set up poses a real challenge. We are taking time to process and to figure out how we can continue to be helpers in the best way we can. And, most importantly, to get our team back together. 


We appreciate each and every person that has contributed to the success of Momenta over the past 15 years and we can’t wait to see all of you again. 
This pause, we hope, is going to change how we all walk in this world – protection of land, connection to land, to ourselves and to others will continue to be our priority through meaningful programs, certifications and professional development. 

Maddie Newell, Director of Foresthood

When it comes to playing outside in the winter time, you are probably familiar with the usual suggestions: building a snowman, making a snow angel, having a snowball fight, and activities that require equipment like tobogganing, skating, snowshoeing, and skiing. I highly recommend all of these activities! They are well known because they are tried and true and create beautiful winter memories.

Today we will be focusing on outdoor play ideas that do not require a lot of equipment and that work for children of all ages, especially our youngest who are still mastering motor coordination. Here are some interesting ideas for outdoor winter play:

Ice Bricks: You can give your recycling one more life by freezing water and food colouring inside old milk cartons, yogurt containers, plastic egg cartons, and ice cube trays. Once frozen you can build a colourful ‘candy’ fort, hide in the snow and find, or smash into colourful pieces!

Snow Paint: Fill old salad dressing and condiment bottles with water and food colouring and squirt fun designs or write messages into the snow. You can also use spray bottles, if you have those lying around your house, to try different effects!

Snow Drawing: Grab a stick or use your hands to create interesting designs in the snow! Perfect for after a fresh snowfall, when the snow is usually fluffy and easy to work with.

Snow Maze: Stomp around in lines to create a path that winds around and eventually leads to an exit. Make lots of dead ends to keep it interesting! Stomp it down a few times to make it last and easy to follow.

Snow Fort: Create a pile of snow and then work to shape it into an interesting fort. You can create something that is more like a cave by hollowing out the hill (make sure it’s not too deep or it might collapse from the top). You can also make a big hole in the centre of the hill like a nest with walls to hide in.  If you have access to small, child-sized shovels, this will make the work easier and more available for all sizes of children. Use plastic recycling, beach toys, or kitchen items to mold the snow like you would with sand at the beach!

Snow Kitchen: Take the kitchen tools outside to utilize the snow like you would mud. Pans, bowls, wooden spoons, and other utensils will offer an opportunity to create something ‘tasty’!

Snow Ball Target Practice: There is nothing inherently bad about a good old fashioned snow ball fight if you make sure that all the snow being thrown is soft and that no head shots are taken, but if you’re ever concerned about throwing snow, try target practice! You can make a target out of wood, use a fence or the side of a brick building, or just some trees around your nearest park or neighbourhood. Who doesn’t love watching snow explode?

Winter Scavenger Hunt: While walking around the neighbourhood or a local park, focus on a sensory scavenger hunt. Look for things that have colour, make noise, move, are living, or have a smell (it’s harder to smell things in the cold). You could also incorporate looking for lights on houses into this scavenger hunt or lost hats and mittens in the snow.

Hopefully these ideas have sparked some excitement. Remember that standing still is how we get cold. Activities that encourage us to move our bodies will keep us the warmest. Here are a few other ideas to keep you moving in the cold: search for animal tracks in fresh snow (look them up while you’re at it!), feed the local birds, blow bubbles and watch them freeze, bury legs in the snow, stack and knock over snow balls, bury an item in the snow and find it (if you don’t find it, you’ll get a surprise when the snow melts!), build a creature snow sculpture, smash ice chunks, and pull things around on a sled (bigger children can pull smaller children).

Bring warm liquids with you if you are going out for an extended period of time, like hot chocolate or tea with honey. The sugar will give a boost of energy and the warmth will offer a boost in body temperature. Have fun in the snow, create new and exciting memories, and enjoy the beauty that winter offers!

Zev Robinson, Director of Expeditions

Staying comfortable when adventuring outside is always on the mind of Manitobans this time of year, and many only go outside to travel to another indoor space. In the past I dreaded winter and being cooped up inside for so many months, but since I have been taking some time to dress and plan for my winter activities properly I look forward to the season for the rest of the year!

In this post I will discuss some of the things I find helpful when thinking about adventuring this time of year, and some tips and tricks to help with your success.

Activity Level

Movement is pretty much the only way our body can generate its own heat and it is the best way to keep warm outside. On the other hand making our own warmth can come with sweat, which once we stop moving will ultimately rob us of heat. So the first thing I do before getting ready to go is identify the most active I will be and the least active I will be. 

Once I have decided what my most active and least active times will be I can get started to think about what I will wear. 

Dress

As I am sure folks have heard – layering will get you the best results from your clothing. Layering does a couple of things for us. First, it is a very efficient way of using insulation and keeps us from having different clothing for each part of the day, and keeps bulk off our sleds and weight from our packs. Second, layering allows our clothing to pull moisture away from our body to the outer layers in a process called wicking, where it will evaporate or sublimate into the air, keeping us dry on the inside. 

A note about waterproof fabrics: Waterproof fabrics are great to keep us dry from the outside if the snow is melting, if there is rain, or if you love playing in the snow! But they can work against us in our cold winters. When our layers are wicking moisture away from our body, it will be stopped by our waterproof layer. For most of the winter the temperatures here in Manitoba are cold enough to freeze against this layer or inside our insulation. In the case of breathable membranes these will breath for a little while, but they cannot breathe at a rate to prevent icing of the fabric, and once this occurs it will no longer breathe.

The last thing I consider with dress is the tightness of my clothing, handwear and footwear. Blood is our body’s way of regulating our temperature, tight items restrict this. Tight gloves and boots are some of the biggest culprits of cold extremities in my experience, and next up would be tight socks, especially tightness in the tops of socks on ankles and calves. Another aspect of tight clothing to be aware of is that it can compress insulation that rely on taking up space, like down, or other ‘puffy’ insulations. If these garments are tight on our body the space the insulation is able to occupy will be squished and will not be as effective an insulator as possible. On the other end of this issue is clothing that is too loose. Loose items are less efficient insulators, because there is more ‘air’ or open space inside the garment for our bodies to heat up, this increases draft and air exchange with the cold outside air. Loose garments are an easy fix up to a point. If the item is not too loose, one can layer underneath it, this will increase the insulation and take up the extra space you need to work to heat, resulting in a happy, warm person!

Tips and Tricks

  • Pack an ‘oversized’ jacket
    • This is a jacket that I think is ‘too warm’ for the weather outside, that I can throw over all of my layers when I stop moving to help retain as much heat as I can.
  • Putting an extra layer on my body to keep my extremities warm
    • In the constant battle to keep fingers and toes warm in very cold temperatures I have found this one of my best friends. The extra heat in your core causes your body to increase circulation to your extremities, keeping new warm blood moving through your fingers and toes.
  • Socks without ankle cuffs
    • When buying big warm socks, I look for socks with no cuff on the ankle or a loose ankle cuff. These cuffs are often the culprits of circulation loss.
  • Keeping a layer on my hands when I get warm
    • I always try to keep some sort of glove on my hands. This is for a couple of things: First, it acts as a protection for my hands if I need to touch anything that is metal or ice. Second, it is much easier to cool yourself down then it is to warm yourself up, hands tend to go from too warm to too cold very quickly and generally unpredictable, so I would rather unzip or vent a layer for temperature control rather then get rid of one altogether.
  • Keep in mind what you will need to stay warm for your whole day, not just the travel
    • I find when I think of a day outside I often get stuck planning my dress according to how warm I will be when I am moving, and have to make a conscious decision about how warm I will be when I stop.

Happy adventuring!

We would love to hear from you about your favourite tricks to stay comfortable in the winter! Tag us on instagram @experiencemomenta with your favourite tricks!