Treating Cabin Fever

During the winter months an outdoors lover will most definitely become stir crazy. This cabin fever can only be cooled by a full dose of mud, campfires, and steep slippery climbs. Unfortunately the further winter progresses the more antsy we become. We find ourselves staring blankly out the window at work imagining the sloping peaks of our beloved mountains and forests.

Nothing like a trail run up Noonmark Mountain in February!

So how do we mountain enthusiasts handle our cravings in the winter months?

It’s easy, we ignore the cold, buy an extreme amount of down jackets, heavy duty gloves and Smartwool socks and then head to the mountains regardless of the negative temperatures.

For those of us who despise the cold, and would like to avoid it at all costs; try these few tips for getting through the cold months:

  1. Plan a big adventure for the warmer days. Planning an adventure will give you something to look forward to and help the winter months seem less bleak. An adventure to look forward to gives purpose to the days you’re cooped up inside. Take the time inside to do research on gear, permits and trails..
  1. Train for your adventure. Get on a treadmill, bring a book or an iPod and pound out some high incline miles. Then focus on your core, quads and hamstrings with some squats, deadlifts and lunges. Now don’t forget arms and back; hiking requires a lot of arm and shoulder strength, especially if you use trekking poles or a heavy multi-day pack.
  1. Get out and go for a snowshoe. Yes, I know it’s freezing outside, but trust me you’ll feel twenty times better after you give Jack Frost a chance to nip at your nose. You just might end up realizing that getting outside is more worthwhile than avoiding the cold.
  1. Go through your summer gear. If you’re stuck inside from the cold temperatures, try boosting your mood by combing through all your mud caked gear. Take the time to clean up your outdoors equipment and repair any tears or broken pieces this way as soon as the temperatures increase you can be ready to hit the trail.
  1. Join a rock climbing gym. Nothing like an outdoor activity with a indoor twist to quiet the continuing call of the peaks and valleys of your beloved mountains. Try out some new techniques or climb for the first time. The trick is to push your limits past your comfort zone.

Truth be told, there is no cure for the outdoors enthusiast’s cabin fever during the winter months, but hopefully the tips above make the cold days a little more bearable.