If getting outside in the winter isn’t for you, you still need to stay ready for what “post-winter” brings.
Here in the Northern Hemisphere, and particularly the northeastern US, we’re getting a heavy dose of winter right now. Unless you’re active and moving around, it’s generally uncomfortable, with colder temperatures, snow and ice, and winter winds that howl for days.
Safe to say, winter’s not the best season to work on your tan. But that’s not to say there’s not fun to be had. Ask the skiers, snowboarders, snowmobilers, snowshoers, ice-fishers – and ice climbers – that love this time of year. Not only is it visually stunning, but it challenges us to adapt and approach the outdoors from a different angle.
But if getting outside in the winter isn’t for you, you still need to stay ready for what “post-winter” brings. Below, we go over 5 things you shouldn’t overlook as you prepare for your best year yet.
- Stay in shape. Like other animals, humans slow down in the winter. And there’s some peer-pressure to lean towards packing on the pounds. Make sure you keep in shape throughout the winter, even if it means dragging yourself to the gym. Sure, you can scale back, but make sure to pay attention to your fitness, because if you put the task of “getting in shape” on your spring To-Do List, you might be asking too much. In the unfortunate event you get injured or just don’t have the time once spring comes along, it will be that much harder to claw back your fitness.
- Plan and research. The reason we added “research” to this is simple: the world is increasingly complex. You can have the best plans in the world, but did you know the Park is closed the second week in May because it’s mud season? Or that you need a permit to drive on the sand to launch your kayak? These are just examples, but make sure to do the research. Mapping out your route and booking your stays is a start, but understand the nuances of your adventure before you get out the door. Winter is a great time to do this.
- Be prepared for emergencies. Always have a comprehensive first aid kit. Whether it’s back at the truck, in your backpack, or hooked up to your kayak/boat, make sure your first aid kit is versatile enough so that you can buy yourself time in case of emergency. The Breakwater Supply Survival First Aid Kit is an advanced, comprehensive first aid kit (AFAK) and comes pre-packed with everything you’d need in emergency situations, including an emergency blanket, compressive and absorbent bandages, a multi-tool, survival splint, survival bracelet, and more. It’s also packed in a waterproof dry bag with a heavy-duty carabiner to keep it where it needs to be. Below: Breakwater Supply Survival Waterproof First Aid Kit
- Sharpen your skills. Similar to staying in shape, but you can mark these down as New Year’s Resolutions. If this is the year you land the big one, you might need to add a few more knots to your arsenal (we’re partial to the Palomar knot). Or if you’re a photographer, you can use the winter months to study techniques you can use out in the field. Don’t slow down – stay sharp. This applies to us all.
- Get your gear right. The off-season is a time to purge old gear that might not be working for you, and bring in something new. Whether it’s more versatile, weighs less, or it can more efficiently handle your lifestyle, have your gear closet ready so when the good weather gets here, you can get out there with gear you’re excited to use. One uniquely innovative product to be excited about is the Breakwater Supply Fogland Backpack – it’s completely waterproof and fully submersible, making it a top pick for kayaking, jet-skiing, boating, hiking, and surfing. And it’s a great choice in the winter too. Below: Breakwater Supply Fogland Waterproof Backpack in 25L and 15L sizes.
Though the points above require some effort, keep them in mind as winter goes on. Having these things to focus on will keep you prepared and help you maximize your time once the good weather comes along. And before you know it, another epic year will be yours in the making.