I am not a big fan of winter. Most of the things I love are Spring, Summer and Fall centric. Plainly put I suffer from the winter doldrums. At this stage of the year my fishing, golf, kayak and camping gear is all stored away. Weekends change from “where did the time go” to “what I am going to do with my time” I’ve got a few tactics that help me cope, some involve leaving the house others require nothing more than a strong coffee and a wifi connection.
During the winter is when I get real deep into research mode. Could be for an upcoming trip, could be for a potential trip or it could be for my bucket list trip. I have mentioned before but here are some of my go to research places:
During the winter months I like to dive into reading. Books, magazines, blogs, outdoor forums, really anything that is related to the outdoors. It may be about brushing up my fishing or camping knowledge with books like
. Sometimes its just about transporting myself into the outdoors with books like
And sometimes its just a good mystery novel that has an outdoor slant like
In the GTA there are a few megalithic outdoor sports retailers. MEC, Bass Pro, Sail and Cabelas are all within a 45 minute drive (blizzards excluded). A lot of times my family and I will hit one of these stores to buy a few things, investigate others and just see what’s new. The Bass Pro at Vaughan Mills and the Sail Store near Sherway Gardens are good destinations for my family. Outdoor gear for Molly and I, Mall for my wife.
I can count on one hand (maybe two) how many times I have ice fished. I have done weekend trips to fish on Lake Nipissing, a few self managed outings on Lake Simcoe and last year my daughter and I tried a half day at Island Lake in Orangeville. All have been fun but I am still not sure its my bag. This is most likely because I like to be constantly moving and ice fishing in a hut is not very conducive movement. I do plan on giving it another whirl this winter – maybe in Haliburton for trout. If you decide to give it a whirl maybe try using an outfitter. These listings from Ontario Out of Doors may help
Very close to my house there are some great hiking trails that are open in the winter. Bruce Trail, Mountsberg and Meadowvale conservation areas to name a few. My daughter and I have enjoyed a short but brisk hike with the plan to stop somewhere on the way for a warm drink and a snack. If you dress appropriately (layer, wool socks, warm boots) it’s a great way to get out and enjoy nature.
Sometimes the best thing for me is a change of scenery. Heading out to a nice tropical climate is awesome. We did Costa Rica last year and it was incredible. So many great things to do besides soaking up the sun, sipping a Daquiri by the pool (Yes, I like a good fruity drink) and relaxing. This can be quite expensive though and isn’t always doable. Sometimes just a good drive up to a festival of lights, a new hiking spot or even to just get a good butter tart.
None of the above can truly fill the void of not doing the things I love during the warmer months here in Canada, but they do lessen the sting.