16 November 2010

Heading Indoors...

Heading Indoors:

November and December are times when I start to plan for the year ahead. The days are shorter and I try to get up early, to get as much sunlight into my day as possible. By getting an ealy start, I can get back to home base and enjoy the evening properly. This allows a lot of room for error just in case my original plan does not go well. I plan ahead for an ealy nightfall (flashlight/spare batteries) and have plenty of things to do when it gets dark or I get stuck in a white-out(book/pen/survival equipment).
I like to calendar all my yearly to-do items such as cleaning out the gutters from fallen leaves and making photocopies of the cards in my wallet just in case I lose it or get it stolen. Quick errands that I have saved up all year to do, I do this time of the year. I accumulate a lot of gear and leave gear in people's car all the time... so I spend times in November/December/January not only returning gear or retaining gear, l but can often be caught enjoying a beverage or dinner with above similar minded gear-hound.
I also spend some time refreshing rescue skills such as knots and wilderness medicine techniques.
If at all possible, I time my recertifications this time of year, when I am more likely to be able to focus on bookwork.
Remember if you are heading outdoors, especially if for more than a day, let someone know when you are expected back and what kind of contingency plan you have... It allows the rescuers a lot of knowledge and they are more likely to find you if they know ... about where you are(leave a map in the car seat), are you ready to spend the night(rescues often start the next day) how prepared are you (spare batteries for radio or cell phone) (beacon/shovel/avalanche/orienteering skills)(overnight and warmth/food skills)(are you likely to look for a helicopter clearing and seek a signaling device). I like to ask myself, toward the end of any adventure "If I all of a sudden stopped having fun right now... can I survive the next 12 hours?"
Bears are more likely to forrage for hibernation this time of the year so be very careful in the back-country and mind your rubbish in the front-country. Other migratory things are happening so please be cognicent of what you tramp on.
The list below are some of my favorite things to do.

Trip planning: The year in review always lends ideas for trips and adventures ahead 
I highly reccomend this free website for skiing and snowboarding:
gear overhaul (clean/label and review usefullness and proficiency)
winterizing you car (keep gas tank patially/mostly full during winter outings)
lights and signals
proper eyewear(snow) and

Jump Sky High
Monster Mini Golf
Granite Arches/Pipeworks (indoor climbing)
Swimstitute (indoor pool/ indoor kayaking)
Leadership and Ropes courses
Bounce towns
Indoor skydiving (Union City)
Volunteering at a community shelter (animals too)

Quick Outdoors:
Fish Hatchery
Ice Rinks
Aquatic Center (Boating/Biking)
Soil Born Farms
Skate Parks
Snow shoe trips

American River:
William B Pond
River Bend Park
Hagan Oaks
Ancil Hoffman

Fair Oaks

City Water Intake Facility
Old Town

Ca State Rail Road
Discovery Science/space
Towe Auto
Sac Theater museum
B street theater

Drive in Movies! (bring camping mat, radio, flashlight and blankets:)
Dowtown and City Hikes and outings
Farmers Market
Online recipe searching (cooking/baking)
If you do not live in the greater Sacramento Area, a quick online search will produce similar activities in your neck of the woods.
Feel free to email me and help me add to next years list...
Have a wonderful season!

1 comment:

  1. Driving in snow country: always always always tell someone where you will be. Where you will most likely be if Plan A fails and when to expect you back. Stay with the car. Stay next to the road. Blaze or mark a trail if you have to leave (food, helicopter clearing). Remember that rivers rise and fall and additional snow may change the way things look very quickly. Have a pen and paper so that you can tell people what you were last heading out to do. Have plenty of lights (darkness happens not only quickly but seems infinitely longer... and colder.) Keep snow cleared of exhaust pipe especially if you are in an older model car. Have warmth(heat packs), calories, water, book, signalling device(flares). Rescuers admire rescueing someone that is knowledgeable and dread rescues that may require a "recovery". So google it and make new mistakes. Not the same old tired out ones. Yes you can be too prepared! but rather that than under prepared. Remember Darwin states that you should be either smart, pretty, fast and/or resilient, I suggest you go for as many of the above as possible.

    google winterizing your car.

    I also recommend Rain-X brand window treatment.

    When you get to the parking lot, your windshield is warm. The first snows will melt on it. When your car cools off, the ice will freeze your windshield wipers to the "glass". This makes it difficult to ice scrape it later. That's why you lift up the wipers.

    If you know it will be deep when you get back. know where the shovel, broom and chains are. So that you are not hunting for them while you are post holing.

    I cannot tell you the sense of relief it is to know that you know where your sleeping bag and warm packs are, and that a buddy is gonna call sometime tonight and that as soon as the storm clears, a helicopter will be searching for you at first light. Only to find you smiling and sipping on a warm bowl of chicken tortilla soup!

    Be safe! Happy Holidays! LIQUID SUNSHINE! BRING IT ON!!!

    oh and remember... more C02 means warmer air, warmer air (global warming) means higher humidity. Higher humidity means more monster storms... So know about your ecological footprint and do your best to minimize it!