It’s that time of year – winter! It’s cold, the days are short, everything’s covered in snow and ice, the primary hunting and fishing seasons are over, and there’s not a whole heck of a lot to do for people who love the outdoors, with the exception of things like skiing, snowshoeing, and ice fishing. In this blog article, I’ll share with you ten outdoor-related activities that you can do inside during the desolate days of winter that will help you beat cabin fever and get you ready for the warmer, more exciting months ahead.
#1 – Sharpen your Knives
Outdoorsmen and women tend to have a lot of knives. We have pocketknives, fish filleting knives, hunting and game processing knives, cooking knives, utility knives, and the list goes on and on. If you’ve been ignoring all those blades and want to get them sharpened up for all the projects and adventures ahead, now’s the perfect time to do so. If you’re looking for some pointers about knife sharpening methods, check out the recent video I did on that topic.
#2 – Tie Flies, Assemble Lures and Make Tackle Rigs
If you’re a fly fisherman or someone who simply enjoys fishing with tackle you made yourself, the cold winter months are a great time to tie flies, assemble fishing lures, or tie up a variety of tackle rigs that you’ll be using once the fish start biting again.
#3 – Archery Practice
If you’re a bow hunter or archery enthusiast, the winter months are a great time to sharpen your marksmanship skills. Chances are good that there’s an indoor archery range nearby that you can go to, and if there isn’t, you can also practice at home. All you need to effectively practice shooting your bow is a quality arrow backstop or target and a room that’s 5 to 10 yards long, such as a garage or basement. I’ll be making a more detailed video about this topic very soon, but the fundamentals of archery, such as proper form and shot execution, are the exact same no matter what range your shooting at. You use the same muscles and go through the exact same mental process for shooting at a dime-sized target in your garage, as you would for shooting at a paper-plate sized target from 20 or 30 yards at a typical archery range. Again, more about this topic later, so stay tuned.
#4 – Clean and Organize Camping Gear
Remember that tent and all your camping gear that got filthy dirty on your last trip that you just threw in the basement when you got home and forgot about? Well now’s the time to clean it all up and organize your gear for your upcoming trips. In doing so, you may discover things that need to be repaired or replaced, and now’s the perfect time of year to do so.
#5 – Footwear Maintenance
How are your favorite hunting or hiking boots looking these days? If you want them to last many more seasons, you’ll need to clean them up, apply some leather conditioner, put on some new laces, and maybe put in a new set of odor eaters to keep the stink down. You guessed it, that’s another great winter activity!
#6 – Plan Your Dream Trip
Have you been dreaming about a once-in-a-lifetime fishing, hunting, or other outdoor adventure? Those dreams will never come true if you don’t take to first step to making them a reality. So don’t wait any longer! Make a firm commitment to use these otherwise dull days to start researching and planning and getting the ball rolling for your dream adventure, otherwise, chances are good you never will. On a side note, if this the year you’re going to finally head to Alaska, check out my new QuickStart guide about planning a DIY Alaska hunting adventure.
#7 – Get in Shape
Chances are good you may have put on a few (or many) pounds over the recent holidays. Now’s a great time to start getting in shape, especially for that dream trip you’re going to start planning! Keep in mind, that the better shape you’re in, the fewer limitations you’ll have and the more you’ll enjoy your time in the great outdoors. I did a past video on this topic as well if you need a little help and motivation to get you started.
#8 – Learn and Practice a New Outdoor Skill
Is there an outdoor skill that you’ve always wanted to learn? Maybe it’s tracking, orienteering, survival and bushcraft skills, or learning more about the flora and fauna in your area. Just like with making the commitment to start planning that dream outdoor adventure we talked about, the same applies to learning new outdoor skills. You’ll never do it unless you make the firm commitment to take that first step. So whatever you have an interest in, start checking out recourses to learn more and dive in. Get some books, take a class, watch some videos, or do whatever else you can to start gaining knowledge and practicing the outdoor skills you’d like to learn and master.
#9 – Make a Survival or “Bug-out” Kit
Disasters and life-threatening emergencies can strike when least expected, and if you want to survive them, you need to be prepared. Remember that survival or bug-out kit that you’ve been wanting to put together…which you still have yet to do? Yes, indeed, now is the time to do it. This is another topic I’ve made some past videos about if you need a few pointers to get started.
#10 – Scout out New Areas
People who love the great outdoors are always looking for new places to go, new things to see, and new adventures to embark upon. Whether it’s hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, or anything else, you’d be surprised how much there is to do right in your own backyard that you had no idea about. This is a great time of year to visit the website or the office of your state conservation department, department of natural resources, fish and game department, parks department, or any other outdoor related state or federal organization. Take some time to do a deep dive into what you can learn from these organizations about potential places to explore. Make a list of the one’s that you’re most interested in and start checking them out in the months ahead. Again, you’ll be amazed at how much there is to do in your own home state and the many outdoor opportunities that abound that you probably had no idea even existed. So check it out.
So there you have it my friends. Those are ten ideas for outdoor-related actives that you can do inside during these otherwise dull days of winter. Check out the video below to see more…