Tuesday, February 2, 2010
I get asked a lot about why we build boats from the fall through until late spring. Where I live, we have a "hard water" season where you really can't paddle. If you're an active outdoor person, this can be a hard time of year for you - particularly if the groundhog has just let you know that there will be 6 more weeks of winter. If you don't ski, snowshoe, ice-fish or go winter camping, cabin fever can become a bit problem.
To counteract this, you have to switch to some absorbing indoor activities. Reading is always high on the list, but as a paddler, the highlights include building boats and maintaining them. really, it's much more selfish than that - we want to be paddling the boats building during our regular paddling season, not building them. Anyway, as a paddler, you've got to have some "indoor" boating things to keep you going to keep from going stir-crazy.
Another great activity this time of year is dreaming about where you're going to paddle. Growing up, my Scout troop used this time of year to plot and plan our trips. We would pore over topographic maps and guidebooks of the ares where we were thinking of going. We would plan menus and start to accumulate gear. We'd repair old gear, waterproofing tents and varnishing paddles.