Midwinter Adventuring: How To Make the Most of Endless Winter Days When You’re Ready for Spring

Midwinter Adventuring: How To Make the Most of Endless Winter Days When You’re Ready for Spring

Midwinter is an interesting time of year. Days are short, nights are long, and frankly, you might be ready for spring. While midwinter can be cold and dark, it can also be a quiet season with uniquely beautiful days. Depending on where you live, it may even bring some of the best weather for skiing, winter hiking, snowshoeing, and more.

Rather than hibernating or wishing the season away, we hope to help you enjoy it. This blog will provide tips and inspiration for you to make the most of the depths of winter, whether you crave a cozy day in or a cold-weather adventure. Below, find our favorite ways to make the most of short, midwinter days.

Try Something New

This time of year, everything can feel a little monotonous. The holiday hype is over, yet spring is still weeks or months away. Trying something new (or going somewhere new) can help you break out of your routines and find some midwinter magic.

Plan a Night Hike

Man standing under a winter night sky filled with brilliant stars.

Winter is dark, whether you like it or not. While it’s super tempting to stay indoors after the sun goes down, getting out for a winter night hike can be a refreshing, peaceful, and even magical experience. The stars seem brighter, your surroundings are quieter, and you’ll enjoy that fresh air you crave this time of year. As with any hike — especially at night — make sure you take proper safety precautions and let someone know your plans.

Plan a Weekend “Getaway”

Women relaxing in a wood stove hotub with snowy trees in the background.

When most people think of a winter getaway, they imagine escaping winter. But why not embrace what the season has to offer and enjoy a true winter vacation? Plan a week, weekend, or day trip centered around a wintery destination or activity. You could visit a hot spring or sauna, go wildlife watching, or ski. Add in some cozy time by the fire, and you’ve got the perfect winter getaway. Most importantly, don’t feel like you have to go far to have fun.

Try a New Winter Activity

Cross country skier skiing through woods.

Unless you’re the ultimate winter sports enthusiast, there’s probably something new you could try this season. Maybe you’re an alpine skier but have never given cross country skiing a try. Or maybe you love to snowshoe but haven’t picked up ice skates since you were a kid. There’s also fat biking, ice climbing, ice fishing, birding, and even sledding — winter activities are nearly endless. Wherever you live and whatever you like to do, trying a new (or new-ish) winter activity can bring some unexpected joy to the season.

Find Everyday Joy

You may not have time for a midwinter getaway, but that doesn’t mean you can’t spice up your day-to-day. In fact, you may feel more satisfied bringing joy to your daily routines than packing all your excitement into a couple of short days. The following ideas will help you find a little everyday magic.

Start a Phenology Journal

person journaling in nature.

Phenology is the study of the seasons and how plants and animals change in relation to this natural cycle. Keeping track of seasonal changes in a phenology journal — whether you write, paint, or sketch your observations — can be a fascinating way to watch the season unfold. Plus, it can help you appreciate the small changes in a seemingly monotonous season.

Spend Your Lunch Break Outside

Women sitting on blanket having lunch outside.

In the depths of winter, it might be dark when you leave for work in the morning and when you commute home. If that’s the case, a little daylight can do wonders for your mood. Take advantage of the limited winter sun and make sure to get outside in the daylight when you can. This might mean taking a walk during your lunch break or adjusting your work schedule to fit in a midday outdoor activity.

Watch the Sunset or Sunrise

3 friends hiking up a snowy slope to see the sunset.

The good thing about shorter winter days is that you don’t have to wake up early to see the sunrise or stay up late to catch the sunset. Most likely, you can manage to see both on a regular basis this time of year. And this simple moment of awe — the rising or setting sun in a winter sky — can change the course of your day. If possible, make an effort to watch the sunrise or sunset on a regular basis — and out in nature, if possible. And to make it extra special, go the extra mile and bring a thermos of cocoa.

Spend a Cozy Day In

No matter how much of an outdoor enthusiast you are, sometimes you just need a cozy day in. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun — and have your own sense of adventure — indoors.

Plan Warm-Weather Adventures

Women at desk using maps and notes to plan a trip.

You’ve probably heard that planning your trip is half the fun when it comes to travel. If you find that to be true, spending a day planning adventures for later in the year should be a very enjoyable time. Consider any upcoming trips for the year, and spend the day planning them. Research different hikes, make campsite reservations, plot road trip routes, and immerse yourself in the excitement of your upcoming adventure.

Repair Your Outdoor Gear

Person checking backpack to get ready for summer adventures.

When warm weather comes around, you’ll be ready to hit the trails. So take a little time now — when you’d rather be inside — to get all your hiking and camping gear in order. Patch your tent, restock your first aid kit, and re-waterproof your rain gear. It’s also a great time to deep-clean those things you know probably need it: your sleeping bag, backpack, down layers, and water reservoir. Your future self will thank you.

Indulge in Someone Slse’s Adventure

Women listening to a podcast with large headphones

Sometimes the easiest way to indulge your sense of adventure (when you feel stuck inside) is to read about or listen to someone else’s adventure. So head to the library, bookstore or your favorite podcast platform, and queue up some good stories. Grab a hot beverage, snuggle up with some blankets, and crack open your book (or hit play on a podcast) for a wonderfully outdoorsy day — from the comfort of your couch.

Don’t Wish Midwinter Away

Midwinter can be a tough time, especially if you live somewhere with cold, dark winters. But there’s still a lot you can do to make the most of this slow-paced and magical time of year. Whether you want to bring more magic to your day-to-day life, try something new, or simply slow down, we hope these ideas help you make the most of midwinter.

What’s your favorite way to spend a winter day outside? Let us know in the comments or tag us on Instagram using #cloudlinesocks. Happy midwinter adventuring!

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