The Rainy Day Shuffle
This post has been sitting as a draft for a while but with last nights Thunder Storm and today's general crapiness here in Ontario I thought it was time to post.
Nothing takes the wind out of your sails like a downpour during an outdoor excursion. In some cases, you may just be cooked (golf) and some days you may just need to deal with it (camping)
In other posts like 10 Items for the Frugal Camper Top 5 Items for a Backcountry Enthusiast I gave a few tips but I thought I would detail a few of the coping techniques we have developed.
Going to bed or waking up in a downpour at the cottage or your cabin for the week sucks. Worse if you are camping!. If you’re like me this little vacation has been on your radar for weeks, even months or in the case of our fly in trips years. Nature can be a cruel mistress. So what do you do?
Invest in a good rain suit. I personally have a Bass Pro Shops Pro Qualifier suit. BPS Pro Qualifier Bibs BPS Pro Qualifier Jacket It’s a big investment, in total I think my suit was around $600 CDN (crazy according to my better half) but I can tell you that it has kept me dry and comfortable even in some hellacious storms. Unless there is a chance of a thunder storm or extremely high winds I can still get out on the water.
Make a Game Plan. On a fishing trip we have used a bad weather period as a time to create our strategy for our next fish. We will make a big pot of coffee (inject some Baileys or Kahlua) and pull up some chairs at the kitchen table. My group always brings a few extra lake maps which stay in the cabin and on days like these it’s a great resource. Looking at the map we will lay out what areas have been producing, which lures are catching fish, are there common themes? A lot of times big storms have kept us in the cabin it was followed by a cold front. How will this impact the pattern? By the time we are done we have a plan on how we think we will fish for the next few days and we have laid that out on the map. It both kills some time and helps us get some confidence for the days to come (somewhat - Al Lindner we ain't!)
Play a game. This is a common one, I think. Very few cottages or cabins I have visited DON’T have a board game or deck of cards or a puzzle. You know tucked away in the drawer with all the other useless crap. When camping we usually pack all 3 and if it’s a full day of rain we use all 3. On our fly in trips we always pack a deck of cards and a small set of poker chips - comes in handy at night but even more so on that stormy day
Go for a drive. Assuming you aren’t on a back-country trip a rainy day is the perfect time to head out on a mini road trip. I remember being at my brother’s cottage when it rained almost every day of a week long trip. After a few days we just needed a change of scenery and off to Haliburton for ice cream we went. After a few more days with no real let up we took another trip, this time to Bancroft for more ice cream and some shopping. Kawartha Dairy I thank you.
Indoor Scavenger Hunts. This is my daughter’s (and her friends) ingenuity in action. She calls them escape rooms but personally I think they are closer to a scavenger hunt. Basically, you need a pen, blank paper and some hiding spots. The “creators” pick an area of the cabin/cottage/tent and hide a bunch of clues sequentially leading to the escape. The “finders” stay in a separate room until they are told they can go and solve the puzzle. I even think this could work in a tent if the finders are willing to sit in the car for a bit.
Hopefully it never rains on your trips to the outdoors (unless you like rain, weirdo) but if it does hopefully the above provide you with a few ways to enjoy yourself even when the conditions suck.
PS – I am NOT sponsored by any of the brands listed on my site. I am however SO open to it.