Once again, I was adventuring while at my parents for the Christmas holiday. On Christmas Eve, I was able to go out for a snowy disc golf round with my Mom, and the family dogs. Check out the video!
Winter can be a tough time of year for the pursuit of outdoor hobbies. When days are so short, it can become very difficult if not impossible to get outside after finishing your workday. There is no way to change daylight hours. So, rather than simply waiting for spring, here are my favorite ways to still feel connected to the outdoors even when short days make that especially difficult.
Get Outside EVERY Winter Weekend
This might seem obvious, but when you cant get outside after work, make sure you get outside when you aren’t working. For me, this means every weekend I’m picking at least one day to go skiing, snowshoeing, or ice fishing and I make sure to actually get out and do it. Cold dark weekend mornings make it especially tempting to stay inside and sleep in, but make use of every daylight minute you have. If you get the winter blues like I do, this time in the sun is super important to your mental health. That Netflix binge can wait until the sun goes down!
Go Out at Night
A good headlamp can extend your outdoor hours if you are interested in exploring after dark too. I’ve found that hiking at night in the winter can result in some pretty spectacular stargazing on clear nights. Just be careful to not put yourself in a dangerous situation if the weather gets too cold, or if your light source stops working. This winter I’m hoping to try out some nighttime ice fishing and will probably put out a video on this at some point as well. Some ski areas also offer night skiing which can be a welcome change of pace after a long workday.
Gear Check and Inventory for Summer
During warmer months, my adventure style changes. Contrary to winter, I like to make my summer plans very last minute with a “Carpe Diem” mentality, perhaps deciding on a Friday at 4PM to spend the weekend camping in the woods. However, it isn’t safe to leave civilization behind without being sure you have all the necessary gear for your trip. One way to allow this last minute planning is to spend some winter evenings setting up adventure boxes with all your gear for different trips. Make sure everything in the boxes are inventoried with a proper packing list and if things are missing, replace them as soon as you can. The last thing you want to happen is to open the box the day of your trip and realize that something needs to be replenished or replaced. That way, you can just grab the box and get out there.
Plan a Larger Summer Trip
Small trips can happen with minimal planning in the summer, but one way to certainly beat your winter blues and cabin fever can be planning out a bigger trip. Organizing friends, mapping routes, finding campsites, permitting and shopping for new gear are all important factors in planning a bigger trip, and the cold winter months are the begin this process. Sometimes this can add to your sense of cabin fever if you’re really itching to get out there, so find out for yourself if this idea works for you.
Learn a New Skill
One of the amazing things about the internet is the wealth of information available in every imaginable subject. Specifically for outdoor adventurers, you can find blogs, videos and instruction articles on everything from skiing moguls to hand-tying fishing flies. Find something that interests you and learn something new. My own current inspiration has been camping skills taught by YouTube video creator Joe Robinet. Spend your winter months learning some new skills that will help to make the warmer months more adventurous!
Whenever I head out exploring, whether it be a day of skiing in the winter or fishing in the summer, I want to start my day with a good breakfast. Usually for me, this is either a Bagel and Cream-cheese or a Bacon, Egg and Cheese type sandwich as well. There are a number of different places in my “home base” city of Burlington, VT so I figured I would share my favorite 4 Breakfast stops! Without further ado, and in no particular order:
Many times, if you were looking for a good breakfast sandwich, you might not think to check your grocery store. In Burlington though, City Market is not just a grocery store! Inside, the deli has fantastic lunch sandwiches to order, but also their “Breakfast Bagelwich” is available to order from 7 to 11am. I usually order the “Deluxe Bagelwich”, adding sriracha and sprouts. Once I get one of these sandwiches in me, I’m ready for a day in the mountains!
Burlington Bagel Bakery
On Shelburne Road, less than a mile from the highway on-ramp, is Burlington Bagel Bakery. Conveniently in the same parking lot as a gas station, you can fuel up not only your car, but also yourself. This place is popular on the weekends after 9, so if you made a late start, be ready to wait in line. Burlington Bagel Bakery has a wide variety of bagels as well as flavored cream cheeses. A great sandwich to order here is the “Triple B” which is a Bacon, Egg and Cheese sandwich with a hash-brown and chipotle mayo added on!
If you’re making an EARLY morning of your adventure, Meyer’s might just be your best choice of breakfast stop. At 4am Meyer’s opens its doors for hungry adventurers to get their breakfasts. I usually get the “Conquistador” sandwich which is sausage, egg and cheese with avocado and sriracha on the signature “Montreal Spice” Bagel.
Kountry Kart Deli
Perhaps more famous for being the last stop of the night after a night downtown in Burlington, “KKD” is also a fantastic spot to stop for your breakfast before a road trip. Not only do they have a great selection of sandwiches, portion sizes are pretty large. Do you normally think of a breakfast sandwich going on a foot long sub roll? At KKD, a large breakfast sandwich comes on just that!
My friend and I got out for some skiing today at Stowe! The conditions were fantastic. The sun was shining, and the snow was soft and easy to turn on. Unfortunately I crashed pretty hard, but conveniently I left that out of the video I made! I hope you all enjoy.
Instead of writing an article this weekend, I published a video to YouTube! Check it out and let me know what you think.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone reading! This morning I am in Killingworth, Connecticut to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family. I hope you are celebrating as well! For my celebration, I decided to hit the trails.
Before the festivities begin, I was able to squeeze in a quick geocaching adventure with my blog’s first official subscriber (Hi Mom!) and the two dogs, Brookie and Barley at the Parmelee Farm nature trails. This morning was pretty bitter cold for November, below 20 degrees, but once we were out walking the trails, it wasn’t too hard to keep warm. On the walk, soggy ground had frozen and expanded forming these really cool looking icy pillars, almost looking like mushrooms poking out of the ground. This was the best picture I could get of these cool ice structures.
Each cache was found relatively quickly by myself, but Mom seemed to enjoy watching me laugh at her while she spent another 5 minutes looking for the hidden Tupperware containers! Thanks for coming on an adventure Mom!
I woke up Friday morning to perhaps the best text message I could ask for. “School cancelled for Friday November 16, Please complete work from home!”
I sprung out of bed and immediately began getting my “work from home” tasks completed as fast as I could. I was going to get on the road to ski as fast as I could. It took me a couple hours, but by 11 I was free and ready to head to the mountain.
As soon as I got off the highway, I was reminded that perhaps school was cancelled for good reason, as the roads were all still covered in snow and I had to drive about 25mph down roads that are normally posted for 50 mph. Either way, I eventually got to the mountain, got my new Epic Pass from the counter and made the quick walk to the FourRunner Quad. Despite the foot of snow that fell overnight, I didn’t need to wait in any lift line. I hopped on the Quad chair and had the ride all to myself.
The chair sped me to the top of the mountain and before I knew it I was at the top. I took a quick selfie (Insert obligatory selfie below), and my 2018/2019 ski season had begun!
I was amazed on the first few runs at how great conditions were. Usually, before Thanksgiving, skiing consists of skidding down a single icy glacier of snow making snow with little, if any natural snow. This year however, has been an especially stormy November and the mountain certainly benefited from that. There was a variety of trails to ski and many of them opened up with just natural snow!
In total, I did 12 runs over the 4 hours I was there and enjoyed every single one of them. I’m very excited that my preseason workouts seemed to have paid off as well. Usually my legs only last for 3 or 4 runs this early in the season. It seems like this fall is setting up to be a great winter. Get outside and enjoy it!
Also, I wanted to mess around with video editing, so I made a quick Youtube video. Check it out. I might make more of these videos since I think they might fit my subject matter.