Winter seems to stretch on forever when it's dark during the morning commute and pitch-black by the time you eat dinner. We may be past the winter solstice, but we're still in the midst of dark days, my friends.
But getting outdoors isn't impossible — it just takes some adjustments. Here are some ideas for skipping the Netflix marathon and marinating in the fresh air instead (don't worry, people will stop talking about “Making a Murderer” soon).
Upgrade your tent
Camping can be a year-round activity if you own the right gear. A zero-degree sleeping bag, a warm mattress pad and an all-season tent will typically keep you comfortable in any type of winter weather.
Look for a tent with less mesh and a sturdier design to keep the cold wind at bay.
Invest in a winter sport you don't need a lift ticket for
“Snowfall” can be synonymous with “season pass” if you live near a mountain resort, but if you don't have time to filter through the chairlift line during the week, it might be worth investing in another winter sport.
Snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, fat biking and even ice climbing come with very few ongoing expenses. Seeing that gear in your garage will serve as a reminder to get outdoors all winter long.
Commit to waking up really early, but just once a week
Take a page from Fast Company writer Rachel Gillett's book, and challenge yourself to wake up at what you consider an “insanely early” hour — a few hours earlier than you would normally wake up.
Maybe that's 6:30 a.m., maybe it's 4 a.m., but the idea is that you can use that extra time to log some time outdoors, and it won't interfere with the rest of your schedule.
It's basically bonus time, and if you commit to doing it just one day a week, it won't feel as torturous trying to alter your entire schedule.
And on that note …
Use that headlamp
When sunlight is scarce, light your own way with a powerful headlamp and some extra batteries. Always play it safe, and buddy up with a friend when you can.
Pack some work clothes and sleep at the trailhead
Wondering what to do with those bonus hours we mentioned above? Why don't you go for a hike?
One night a week, pack up a bag of work clothing, a hearty breakfast, a Thermos of coffee, some hand warmers, a winter sleeping bag and a headlamp and spend a night camped out at the trailhead of your favorite hike.
You'll be out and back in time to make that morning commute (and have a good story for the water cooler, too).
Sleep in your base layers
Give yourself a head start for any early morning excursions and sleep in your base layers and wool socks. Then, all you need to do is roll out of bed, grab a cup of coffee and continue piling on the layers.
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