The Abundant R’s of Winter

We might not hibernate but winter typically signals a period of slowing down, spending more time indoors, and for me doing a lot of R’s. Funny as I thought about this post, every descriptor began with an R so I decided to run with it.

Rest, Recovery and Rehab

My body says thank you for slowing down, tending to aches, pains and neglected areas.

Recondition, Revise, Repair, Replace, Recycle

It’s a time to evaluate my clothing and gear. Broken zippers, holey socks . . .  With discounts at their best from November through January, winter is the time to replace or upgrade gear. It’s also a good time to see if I have clutter worthy of selling, donating or tossing.


My food and resupply bins are usually looking quite sparse by this time of year. Nothing says prep quite like the dehydrator, boxes of bars and


Might as well put things away where they belong when done with inventory and restocking. When it’s time to play I want to be able to grab and go.

Rewind and Reflect

This is typically the time of year I catch up on photo processing, blog posts and my map track. What were my highlights and lowlights? Yes, my broken blog photo links have been my lowest low of the year. I’m still working to resolve.


While I’m reminiscing about my joys of the previous year, it’s also a good time to starting planning for the upcoming season. Where oh where shall Jan jaunt in 2020?


The holidays and winter provide great opportunities to reunite with friends and family. It’s when I need more social time. My hiking groups tend to provide motivation along with face-to-face interaction during the dark, wet, chilly days of winter.


My coping strategy is to spend time being active outside at least an hour a day. This has made a huge difference in my moods. Embrace winter! I’m glad I enjoy snowshoeing and hiking in brisk temperatures.


Generosity seems to be in the forefront of our minds during the holiday season. It’s a good time to not only make my annual financial donations but also to thank those who’ve helped me during the year. I think about ways I might want to contribute in the upcoming year. Do I want to volunteer or teach? If so, where, when, how?


For me that means resisting the urge to overeat, be lazy and shop the sales (as I sit here staring at 5 down jackets, a tent, pack and sleeping pad).


I’m still alive and I’ve added another chapter to my book of memories! Hopefully it was a year with few regrets, good health and lots of laughs. If not, I can still sing my thanks for living to hike another day. I’m Alive!


Winter is my most challenging season. The shortened hours of daylight combined with rainy days can lead to the blues. I like many people experience Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD). I feel a bit like a caged lion or maybe more like a tigress. Recently Anish (aka Heather Anderson) posted her thoughts on the changing seasons. One phrase caught my attention, “We’re in a season of darkness now. Look to nature. She sleeps.”

Life is simpler on the trail.
So many of us crave that simplicity.
It’s a place where we find our natural rhythm.
A sustainable pace in sync with sun, wind, moon, blossom, and Fall.
We’re in a season of darkness now. Look to nature. She sleeps.
She is not frantically racing, acquiring, preparing.
That time is done.
Now it’s a time for drawing inward.
Relying on that which was set aside already.
Holding tight to the fire within.
Awaiting the return of the light.

When it seems like there is too much busy-ness this time of year I take my cue from Mother Nature. I step back. I draw in. I take a break. Winter is for resting, preparing for another year. The trail gives us calm because it connects us to the essential ebb and flow. Holding on to that off trail is what keeps me balanced.

I know if I focus on the R’s of winter, I’ll be ready for the greens of spring.

5 thoughts on “The Abundant R’s of Winter

    • Ah yes, REPAIRING the blog is still at the top of my list. The friend who was going to help me in December has been delayed. I’m still hoping for a Christmas miracle, the gift of reactivated links. One can dream, right? Until then Merry Christmas Dean. Thanks for your patience.

  1. I wish I had more time. I really need to go through my gear as well. I have some nice, but older, stuff that I don’t use, and have no idea what to do with.

    • Time is a valuable commodity. You are using yours wisely. I put off most of these Rs when I was working also and still have plenty of catch-up. Yesterday I scrubbed the zippers on my tents so I can see if they need to be sent in for repair. I returned the GG tent I bought (as well as a pack and 4 of the 5 jackets).

      If you ever find yourself with some downtime, there are several fb groups I use to sell and buy gear. If you don’t want to deal with selling, you could donate to scouts or other youth groups. You can also PIF (pay it forward) on the fb groups where basically you are giving away for the cost of shipping. I believe there are a couple of the women’s groups with newbies looking to trial backpacking and just need something to get started. But yes it all takes time and right now you don’t have enough of that.

    • Mary, for that older outdoor gear you can sell it at Next Adventure in Portland, Oregon and they will give you instant store credit. You can also sell it at the Mazama Used Equipment sale which happens once a year in Portland, Oregon. In that sale, you get the price you asked minus 20%. If you join Oregon Nordic Club, you can advertise you used gear to the entire membership for free.

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