When the temps start to dip and staying at home is often the most viable option, cabin fever becomes very real. There are only so many puzzles to put together and true crime shows to binge. Even though it's cold outside, you can still head out of doors and break free of the four walls of your home — all you have to do is pack the right gear, embrace the chill, and have an open mind. So to help you out when you’re starting to go a little stir crazy, turn to this helpful guide for how to have a safe and fun outdoor adventure — and embrace the snow day.
Start With a Hearty Breakfast
Before you start bundling up, you'll want to give your body the fuel it needs to power you up and prepare you for the day. Go for something hearty, filling, and nourishing (and also delicious!) so you won't get hunger pangs while midhike. Try out the unbeatable combo of these savory Sausage, Mushroom, and Thyme Biscuits paired with scrambled eggs and a couple of slices of bacon or fruit. Add in some homemade gravy if you're feeling ambitious.
Make Sure You Have the Right Gear
Make sure you have all the things you'll need for whatever activity you're setting out on, from warm clothes to a trail map to plenty of water. If you're heading out on a wintery hike, have a map of the route you're taking both downloaded on your phone (in case you lose service) or printed out. Pack things like an insulated water bottle, hand warmers, and lip balm with SPF. No matter what adventure you're planning for the day, dress for the weather — warm socks and hiking boots are a must, plus a good coat, mittens, and a hat and scarf are essential. Better to be too warm than catch a chill!
Protect Your Pup, Too!
If you're taking your dog along for the ride, they'll need to be geared up as well! Put on their winter coat or sweater, pull on their rubber booties to protect their paws from ice and snow, make sure you have water for them, and bring along a portable towel to dry them off. Be aware of the signs that they're getting too cold, and have a plan in case you need to warm them up quick.
Now that you're both prepped and ready, it's time to decide on the day's adventure!
Take a Long Drive
If you're not so keen on actually trekking through the snow yourself, jump in the car and head out on a long drive, ideally to somewhere with a gorgeous view. Pack a thermos with hot cocoa (or belly-warming soup), blankets, and pillows, so that you can stop along the way and have a cozy moment to enjoy and soak in the wintery scenery.
Watch the Sunset
No matter where you live, there's likely a spot in town that has an epic view of the sunset. Whether it's along the shoreline, atop a hillside, or even from your own porch, head out to that spot in the evening and witness nature in all her glory. This is a great time to do a little meditation, breathing exercises, or simply set an intention for the next day. Use it as a time to connect back to yourself and appreciate the little things.
Take a Walk
When we say take a walk, we really mean head outside and get in some movement. This could be a stroll through your neighborhood, a game of fetch with your dog in the yard, a brisk run, or any other type of physical activity you can think of outside. The most important thing is that you find some way to move your body and build some heat. After sitting inside all day, the change of scenery and physical movement will do wonders for your mental health.
Try Out Nature Photography
Calling all amateur photographers: now is the perfect time to flex those creative muscles and sharpen your skills. Even if you're just shooting on your smartphone, the wintertime offers so many gorgeous natural vignettes to capture. Take a walk and challenge yourself to notice little details, then use your camera to play with light, shadow, and depth. Who knows, maybe you'll continue the hobby all the way into summer!
Design: Mia Coleman; Images: Shutterstock and Campbell's®