Lets face it, winter can be a testing time for outdoors lovers. Oh, for the days when we could wash in rivers without freezing, sleep under fly nets and emerge from our tents with bare chests basking in the sunlight. Feeling SAD? You’re not alone.
‘Seasonal Adventure Disorder’ can affect all of us. Perhaps you’ve even had to cancel a recent trip when storm stopped play (damn, that East Coast low), leaving you housebound and stir crazy, sharpening your pocket knife and looking forlornly at Facebook albums of past adventures. The good news? There is an antidote to the winter blues, or at least a way to suppress the side effects. Here’s how:
#1 Embrace the Off Season
Even professional athletes don’t train 365 days a year. In fact, studies show that ebbing during an off-season is the key to coming back stronger in the summer. Just like an athlete, use this time to cross train (even if it means stepping inside a gym), work on body imbalances and problem-solve any injuries that you’ve been pushing through. Need inspiration? Check out these insane off-seasons workouts.
#2 Rediscover the Day Trip
Every adventure doesn’t have to be a multi-day endurance event. The perfect winter day trip just needs to include three special elements; a leg-burning hike that finishes nearby a small country town which has a pub with a roaring log fire. The Blue Mountains are the obvious day trip destination for Sydneysiders but there are other options. Just make sure you start your hike early so you arrive before the kitchen closes for lunch and decide your designated driver beforehand.
#3 Build Up Brownie Points
Be honest – how many social occasions, birthdays and kids parties do you miss during the summer because you have somewhere very important to be (i.e the middle of nowhere). Explorers can be a little single-minded in our social lives but winter is a time to clock up credit. Go to that baby shower, blow up balloons and visit your parents. Think of it as a buffer for when you disappear again in summer. On the plus side, studies show that being generous releases feel good endorphins akin to exercise.
#4 Look Up!
In Australia there is one fast way to thaw – go north. Take the opportunity to explore the upper end of the country. Although it can be tricky to fly with camping gear, a nine-hour road trip can get you from Sydney to Coffs Harbour where the water temperature still tops twenty degrees and Yuraygir National Park has no shortage of adventures. It’s the perfect time to visit the local’s favourite campsite, Pebbly Beach, which can be a crowd-fest in the summer months.
#5 Get Cultured
If a storm cloud leaves you couch-bound then make your TV viewing inspiring.
Revisit the classics, Touching the Void and 180degrees South (available on Netflix). Alternatively, dive into the Outdoor Sports category on Vimeo where you’ll fall into a rabbit hole of DIY adventure documentaries. It might even inspire you to finally edit all that GoPro footage which you’ve been meaning to get around to… or maybe not.