I honestly thought I would have a surplus of spare time once winter set in. I’m not sure why I had this idea, but I imagined the colder days and early onset of darkness would leave me with more free time to leisurely drink hot cocoa after an awesome snowshoeing adventure in the wilderness. Turns out it’s the opposite, I have way less time.
Winter is a huge time drain. Any and all activity that involves going outside takes a pile of time gearing up for and it takes a lot of gear just to survive a walk, run or ski with the hound. It also doesn’t help that my memory is about 3 seconds long and I forget at least 2-3 critical items during the gear-up and have to run up and down the stairs to find the critical items before I actually end up getting outside.
I’m just grateful Kobi comes in a nice furry little package and doesn’t require all the gear that I do, otherwise it would take an hour to get out the door.
I had also forgotten that running in cold snowy conditions takes longer and you need to be a bit more prepared for the unexpected. That leads me to a few other ‘things’ I had forgotten.
Thing 1: I remembered that I really dislike drinking cold water when I’m running around outside in the cold, it just makes me colder. To solve this I turned some tacky beer can coolers (you know, the little slip on foamy covers) into water bottle cozies! Fill up a water bottle with hot water, put a few of those bad boys on it and voila, you’ve got water that is still luke-warm an hour into your cold weather activity.
Thing 2: I remembered that cell phones don’t like the cold and die really fast. To solve this dilemma, I made a nifty iPhone jacket. I’d take a picture of it, but someone will steal my amazing prototype and get rich off it. It’s pretty awesome and it works! That’s all I’m going to say.
I actually go so far as carrying some basic survival gear with me in case we get in some extra trouble and need to hunker down. You know, things like matches, extra gels, hand warmers, and a fixed blade (that’s more to fight off Yeti, vampires and frozen zombies – yes, I have irrational fears).
If anything, the colder, shorter days have taught me to be a bit more prepared when I head out the door, but at the cost of time of course. So much for that relaxing hot cocoa.
How about you, do you carry extra gear for winter running? Do you even experience winter running where you live? What’s the coldest temperature you will run in? Do you like Kobi’s hairy toes? They will get hairier.