I was raised in rather warm climates. I never even saw snow until I took a trip in the fourth grade, so it's always been somewhat fascinating and exotic to me – perhaps this is why I loved reading about arctic explorers. Even now, I'm reading a book about a Norwegian expedition of 1893 to 1896 by Fridtjof Nansen, titled Farthest North. It's a fascinating tale about an early attempt to reach the North Pole. One of the things that fascinates me about arctic exploration is the wonderful ingenuity of many of these explorers – making do with so little and improvising all the time. If you want to read Nansen's book, you can download it here in PDF vol.1 and PDF vol. 2 or EPUB.
Nansen's ship, the Fram, frozen in ice with a wind turbine for electric light generation
Perhaps it's my lack of familiarity with winter gear, but it seems as though there's always some new kind of snow gadget I notice when we head to the hills. Last year, the kids pointed out a snowball maker.
The Sno-baller prepared for action
We didn't get it, but I was curious how well it worked. It seemed to us as though your hands would pretty much to the same job, unless you needed a snow arsenal.
I also noticed a unique snow shovel as I drove by, which I later discovered is called a Wovel. I had to look it up later as I only noticed it in passing as I was driving and kept thinking it was curious.
The Wovel in action
Any snow-bound individuals have experience with this contraption?
And here's where it gets really strange. As I was trying to figure out what the Wovel (wheel shovel) even was, I came across some photos of a snow bicycle called a Ktrak!
I don't know how fun a snow bicycle would be. The image above shows it going downhill, but I imagine it is more often used in a cross-country manner.
And here's where it gets really crazy, as I was searching for snow bicycles, I even found a recumbent snow bicycle (or maybe it's better called a quadricycle).
The heretofore unknown to me Sno-Ped
(oh, and why do snow gadgets seem to dislike the w in snow)
So what do you think? Is it the harsh climate, cabin fever, or something else that causes all this creativity in colder climes?