The end of warm weather doesn't mean that your outdoor fun is finished for the year. The misconception that everything dies come the last days of fall rings false; there's a whole, beautiful world of life in the winter, awaiting those who love nature.
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The sun may set a lot earlier than you'd like, but there's still plenty to do outside in the winter months.
Here are a few options that will make what may seem like those long, drab months just a little bit more colorful.
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Shell Out for the Season Pass
The most obvious option as far as winter activities go: skiing. Even if you've never stepped foot on a snowy mountain or buckled/strapped your feet into a pair of skis or a snowboard, the cool thing about this winter sport is that you can start anytime. Buy a lift ticket, book a lesson and enjoy some hot cocoa in the lodge. As soon as you step off the hill and back into everyday life, you'll be missing that crisp mountain air and gorgeous views, just itching to get back for more.
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Strap on the Cross Country Skis or Snowshoes
Aside for your equipment or park fees (depending on where you go), this activity is basically free. It's a great way to go on extra long hikes and get to parts of the wilderness that you wouldn't be able to access otherwise. Plus, both cross country skiing and snowshoeing are incredible workouts, so you can add them to your off-season training plan.
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Drill a Hole in the Ice and Drop a Line
Ever try ice fishing? When you learn the basics, invest in the right equipment and educate yourself on safety and regulations, it can be one of the best days to share with your family and friends. Kids will love playing on the lake, viewing winter wildlife and you'll be hard pressed to beat those serene, winter lake surroundings. Besides, what's better than grilling up some fresh caught lunch to warm you up?
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Take Your Climbing Skills Below Freezing
True, to start ice climbing, you should already have a good base of rock climbing experience. If you don't have the skills already, you'll need to learn about the right equipment, safety knowledge, belaying and knot knowledge, should anything go wrong. After all, vertical icy sheet's a far cry from the climbing wall at your gym. Still, with the right preparations, classes and possibly a guide, even beginner climbers can have a go at the excitement. The key is to not start extreme and to have someone with a lot of experience show you the ropes, so to speak.
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It can be done...and isn't as brutal as you may think. With all the proper, quality gear, you can camp in the cold and, even in the snow, with comfort. In many respects, you may find camping in the winter to be even more peaceful, fun and beautiful than camping in warmer weather. You'll begin to spot different types of wildlife than you're used to seeing in the spring or summer and can partake in activities unique to this time of year.
Find a camping spot and plan your next adventure.