Wow. It is snowing. And has been snowing. And will continue to snow. I know there are the Boulderites with their intense training schedules who will brave the cold and snow to run up mountains or brave the disastrous, car wreck inducing ski resort traffic on I-70 to freeze their buns off on the slopes; there is still plenty to do indoors for the outdoors enthusiast on the rare weekend that Boulder doesn’t have pleasant weather. Here are some of my options this weekend.

Boulder, Colorado Blizzard

Image Credit: http://www.beaudodson.com/stormchase/stormchases.htm

 

Planning

Trips as well as many outdoor activities take planning. Even if you are the most experienced backpacker, you may want to try a new route this spring/summer and you will need to plan out a few things.

  • Backpacking Trip Plans: Where do you want to backpack once it warms up? Who would you like to come with you? When could you possibly go? How long could you go for? Would you be able to take off from work (employers usually prefer early notification)? What is your transportation method to get to the trailhead? Do you need a permit and how do you get one? What route do you want to take? How many miles are you hoping to cover per day? Will you need to train in order to accomplish you miles/day goal? What will your meals be? What gear will your bring? What have others who have already hiked this route say about it- safety precautions, etc?
    There’s more questions than this depending on where you’re going and who you’re going with, but making sure you have all this information in mind as you plan your backpacking trip(s) will be helpful and get you off to a good start.
  • Camping Trip Plans (car camping): Discuss with friends/family what fun trips to go on and where they would be. Even though car camping can be pretty plan-free when you just decide to pick up and go for the weekend, it’s nice to do a little prior research into the areas where you would like to camp. How far of a drive are they (can you escape work on Friday and get up there in time to pitch your tent and get the fire going before dark or are you driving to Utah)? What are the nearby activities (ie hot springs, rock climbing, wildlife watching, etc)?
  • Ski Trip: There is still time to plan and execute an awesome ski trip perhaps at a new resort you have yet to visit. Where do you want to go? What is the best deal for where you want to stay- rent a house with friends, or grab a hotel room? Deciding between affordable packages on sites like Groupon, Priceline, and Kayak. Can you find deals through friends or online for discounted lift tickets?
  • Other vacations and trips: any kind of vacation takes a bit of planning, might as well start now to get the most out of your trip, where ever it may be. There’s always something new to discover!

Image Credit: http://www.backpackingbuzz.com/backpacking-checklist.html

 

Gear Check

All the outdoor fun you want to have usually uses some sort of gear. Take some time to clean, repair, maintain, and inventory the gear you have to make sure its in tip top shape for the coming summer. Also if you need any new gear, its a good time to look at summer gear now as a couple months from now prices will go up when people realize that their sleeping pad won’t inflate and their headlamp is missing, and those items come back into demand.  Here are a few maintenance things I like to make sure I do at least once a year (if not after using the items).

  • Hiking boots: Grease up your supposedly “water proof” hiking boots with mink oil or another kind of water proofing substance to get ready for mud season
  • Camelback: Give the old water bag a good cleaning- take it apart completely and scrub with soap and water. Rinse thoroughly and let it dry completely before storing
  • Check battery supplies in devices
  • Tents: Clean out your tent, sweep it out, get in there to spot clean any sap spots and take a thorough look at its parts. Repair any rips, broken zippers, etc. Consider using waterproofing spray to enhance the waterproof capabilities of your tent.
  • Sleeping bag: Does it smell like feet? Follow manufacturer’s directions and carefully wash it, likely using tennis balls to fluff and then letting it air dry.
  • Shopping for gear: Check out sites like Steep and Cheap and Gear Trade for a different approach to getting quality gear.

Sharing Your Past Fun

You know your grandma would love to see the picture of you on top of your first 14er! Take some time to share your past fun with your family and friends through Facebook, your blog, email, or even a nice hand written letter. It not only helps your family and friends to feel connected to your adventuresome life, it also embeds those memories better in your brain.

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Get excited about what this coming season will bring and all the awesome adventures you will be able to go on because you planned out your weekends instead of watching Netflix documentaries about other people going on adventures!