Don’t let the cold keep you inside all winter, there’s plenty to do out there! Fresh air and exercise is important any time of year, but all too often we find ourselves holed up through the winter months, slowly turning into a couch potato. It doesn’t take long to binge-watch every episode of every show that you find remotely interesting, and several more that you only watched because they were on. Your eyes are glazed over, you’re bored, and you have to catch your breath halfway to the kitchen for more snacks. Maybe you’re climbing the walls with cabin fever, restless, antsy in the pants, and people can barely stand to be around you. Either way, you deserve to break out of the winter doldrums, get outside, and enjoy some of the outdoor activities that you can only do in the coldest months!
People forget how much fun they had sledding when they were kids, and that’s a crying shame. If you have kids, get up that hill with them and enjoy a family day out. No kids? No problem, don’t be ashamed of going sledding anyway. It can be a creative date idea if you’re trying to show that special someone that you know how to cut loose and have some fun. Or just recapture your youth, round up some buddies, and bomb down that hill like a little kid who’s never had a bill to pay. You might be surprised how much fun you’ve been missing with all of that adulting you’ve been doing.
If you like hiking, then you should like snowshoeing. It’s easy to pick up the knack, and you’re less likely to fall over than a skier. Best of all, you can usually access all of your usual trails and haunts, even if the roads are unmaintained and closed to motorized vehicles. You can bring along a .22 or .410 and see if you can get some small game, or scout your big game areas to see what the herds are up to while they’re in their winter range. Turn off the nature documentaries and get a bit of reality in your life; you’re not going to regret the trade-off, and those shows will be waiting when you get back home.
You can still sit on the lake, and in the winter you won’t need your boat if it’s iced over. Okay, so ice fishing isn’t exactly what you’d call activity-intensive, but it’s still outdoors and it’s still fun. If the ice isn’t there, or you just prefer moving water, there are still plenty of fishing opportunities available. Anglers who know about the “secret season” enjoy the solitude of casting with nobody else around, and thus less competition. Depending on where you are, there can also be opportunities for shellfish, crabbing, and crayfish. If you’re into fishing, you really should consider making your addiction a year-round thing; it shows you don’t fear commitment.
Whether or not you filled your big game tags this year, hunting season isn’t over yet. Predator hunting is a great way to hone your skills. Predators are smart and challenging, and require different techniques than you may be used to. Expanding your repertoire gets you outdoors more, lets you learn more, and refines you as an overall hunter. Many predator hunters pick up a little extra cash from selling fur, which is a nice little bonus for doing what you already enjoy.
TRAPPING IS IN SEASON!
Most areas have trapping seasons that run through long stretches of winter, which is a great way to keep yourself outside and occupied. Trapping is both an art and a science, with a variety of applicable methods that you can work to perfect. It also offers the promise of regular outdoor activity, since you’ll need to frequently check your trap line. There’s always a little excitement and anticipation when you come up to check a set, never quite knowing what you might have gotten. Although you may not have enough success to quit your day job, you can pick up a little mad money on the side by getting into the fur trade, too.
Camping in the winter, you say? Madness! Well, yeah, but it’s also a lot of fun if you’re willing to give it a shot. It gives you an opportunity to see the landscape in a way that most people only see in pictures. You also get to try your hand at building igloos and other snow shelters, practice some survival skills, and earn the bragging rights of saying that you’re tough enough to camp out in subfreezing temperatures. As an added bonus, you can combine it with any of the activities we mentioned above, since you’re already out there with your bad self!
- 3 W’s of Layering
- Cold Weather Camping Gear
- Ice Fishing Buyer’s Guide
- Ice Fishing Gear
- Predator Hunting Gear