The thrills of the zip line don’t end when seasons change and temperatures drop. In fact, a brisk breeze can even add to the thrill of winter zip lining. Even zip line courses in frigid climates across the world remain open in the winter. Alaska boasts the northernmost zip lines in North America; some offer breathtaking views of snowy mountain peaks. Here in Florida, the lows bottom out around 52 degrees, but a brisk wind and a slight drop in temperature await at the canopy.
You don’t need to do too much differently to have fun zip lining in the cold, but a little preparation will ensure you’re focused on the thrill, not the chill.
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Winter Zip Lining: What to Wear
When zip lining in the cold, layered clothing is key to staying comfortably warm. Keep in mind you’ll have a harness and a helmet, so you want to avoid becoming too bulky.
Layers: Try to keep it tight! A long-sleeved T-shirt and sweatshirt under a soft-shell jacket is the proven plan of action. If you’re in extreme temperatures, you will probably want to add a heavy-duty coat on top.
Leggings, athletic compression pants, or long underpants are ideal below when trying to keep the bottom layers tight. An under-layer of sweatpants can be a bit bulky for the harness, but may still be worth it.
Gaiter: A gaiter is perfect to keep your neck and face warm and tucks below your collar to break the wind. Just don’t go scarf; it won’t fare well on a zip line.
Gloves: Protective gloves are highly recommended even on the hottest of days. So they are a must when temps are chilly. Again, try to avoid the bulk of some winter gloves, ideally opting for work, garden, or bike gloves (even baseball-style batting gloves).
Beanie: Adopting a different name in every time zone, a thin woven cap will fit snugly under your helmet. No folds, pom-poms, or frills
Wool Socks: Ditch the no-shows and get those toes cozy. If you don’t have wool socks in your drawer—bless your heart—and double up on the tube socks.
Hand Warmers: Inexpensive and long-lasting heat right in your pockets, great for a quick warm-up when you’ve reached the next tower. They also help warm feet, placed outside your socks.
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Our zip lines are open all four seasons and even though the daily low in Tampa Bay’s coldest month (January) is still greater than 50 degrees, there is more of a bite to the air when zipping around the tree canopy. It’s been many years since Tampa Bay’s coldest day on record (18 degrees in December 1962), so keep a layered zip line backup plan in your pocket.