The Shortest Day and Longest Night of The Year
And a re-introduction for all our new readers
Tomorrow (Dec. 21) marks Winter Solstice — the shortest day and longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. We’re in store for just under eight hours of sunlight here in Calgary. (As well as an extreme cold snap with temperatures hovering below -25 Celcius.)
Throughout history, different cultures have marked Winter Solstice with festivals, ceremonies and rituals. For us, this annual shift in seasons is an opportunity to reflect, celebrate, and rejoice that the days will (slowly) start to get longer.
While we love, love, love winter, we recognize many of our readers do not. Many of you are trying your best to embrace and, dare we say, maybe even enjoy this dark and cold season. So, if that’s you (*former* winter hater) please take time this week to give yourself a pat on the back and celebrate the fact you’ve made it through the darkest days of winter. More sunlight is on the way! Read that again. More sunlight is on the way!
We were planning to mark the longest night of the year with a backyard fire, though depending on tomorrow’s temperatures we may postpone. We encourage you to take at least a few minutes on Wednesday to notice and recognize Winter Solstice. You could spend time connecting with nature, be present with family or friends, or simply watch the sunset from the warmth of your abode.
Living in a place with such wildly different seasons (-30 degrees in winter and +30 degrees in summer, eight hours of sunlight in winter and 16 in summer) makes going outside all the more interesting. There are so many different activities you can do and look forward to.
We routinely find ourselves getting excited for skiing in the depths of summer, and longing for those dreamy, long summer days in the middle of winter. How boring would it be to live somewhere where snow never falls?
Celebrate the seasons tomorrow, notice the shortest day of the year, and relish in the fact that the days are getting longer. More sunlight is on the way!
We’ve welcomed hundreds of new subscribers in recent weeks (hello and thank you!) and we want to do a quick re-introduction and chat briefly about our plans for 2023.
Who are we?
We’re writers, outdoor enthusiasts and sisters. We’ve been hiking, biking and skiing near Calgary since childhood and continue to be happiest outside.
Cailynn is a freelance writer and editor whose stories have appeared in publications including The New York Times, The Guardian and The Globe and Mail. Annalise is the co-founder and principal of Champion Communications, and previously worked as a journalist at the Calgary Herald.
We’re also both new(ish) moms and are loving introducing our little ones to the great outdoors.
Why do we write Go Outside?
We co-write this newsletter to help more people Go Outside. We launched Go Outside in the fall of 2020 as a pandemic project. As Canadians flocked to the great outdoors amid COVID restrictions, we were fielding a lot of questions from friends and acquaintances about where they should explore, what gear they needed, and what activities they should try.
We wanted to help Albertans explore their own backyards, and so, we created Go Outside. We took a year off writing this newsletter and returned in September 2022. We’re proud of the community we’re building here and thankful to have thousands of readers consuming our weekly outdoorsy goodness.
How can you support our work?
There are so many ways! Share posts you enjoy with friends via e-mail, in group chats, or on social media sites or groups you participate in. Sharing truly makes a massive difference and brings readers our way. It's such a simple and helpful thing you can do for any online creator whose work you enjoy.
What else? Routinely hit the like button or leave a comment. We love hearing what you think or if a particular post really resonated. Send us an email or Direct Message! Participate in our subscriber chat (we’re chatting about our fav 2022 adventures right now). If you have the means, you can also contribute financially via a paid subscription, which will support our writing while ensuring our content is free for everyone to read. If you're part of a larger outdoor brand and reading this, get in touch about sponsoring a post.
What do you have planned for 2023?
We’re enjoying bringing to you a range of newsletter entries — from trip reports to interviews to opinions to advice. This variety keeps writing Go Outside interesting and fun. We’re looking forward to continuing these different types of entries in the new year, while including our growing community's thoughts and direction. We're pumped about the possibilities to connect with readers on our Substack Chat and are also scheming some sort of in person adventure in 2023. If there’s a specific topic you’d like us to cover, or person we must interview, please be in touch. We love hearing reader ideas.
We’ll be taking next week off to soak in that Christmas goodness. Have a peaceful holiday, enjoy your time outside and see you in 2023!