I recently read a statistic about the fact American kids spend an average of 10 minutes playing outside a day. What a sad fact for our society. I remember being a child playing outside until all my skin was numb. With all of the indoor entrainment options available to us I find myself having to make a conscious effort to make sure my kids get outside in particular during the winter. I have complied a quick list of fun things to do outdoors this weekend with your kids. Most of them are quick and easy and cost little to nothing.
- Build a snow fort
- Make a snow man (then knock it down according to my 5 year old)
- Go to a play ground (no they don’t close in the winter)
- Go to a nature preserve and snowshoe (pull the really young ones in a sled)
- Go to a sledding hill
- Go downhill skiing
- Go ice-skating on an outdoor rink
- Ice fishing
- Go to a woods and look for animal tracks
- Have a campfire with smores and hot chocolate
- Cross country skiing
- Go Camping
- Go hunting for small game (assuming the season is still open)
- Shovel the driveway with your kids (it can actually be fun and as a bonus it is productive)
There you go! Now you have a list of 15 things to do outside this winter weekend with your kids. Pick one of them and get outside.
This is not going to be your typical product review where I give you manufacturing specifications and include other boring crap no on cares about. Do you care about a revolutionary manufacturing process? Me either, I just want my boots to be warm, dry, and comfortable. This review is based on personal experience and not internet research.
To say the LaCrosse AeroHead boots are the shit would be a huge understatement. I have used these boots for the last two years and absolutely love them! I have the 7 mm version of these boots, which I find to be perfect for a multitude of applications during a typical Wisconsin winter. The boots are knee high, made out of Neoprene, are waterproof, and scent free.
I start wearing my LaCrosse boots during the whitetail rut starting around early November and wear them through out the entire winter. The boots have done a great job keeping my feet warm on all day sits with the temps running 25 to 40 degrees, without over heating. The boots also do a great job on later season whitetail hunts as well. I remember missing a Packer game a few years ago for a deer hunt on a cold snowy December day with a high of 9 degrees. My feet did not get cold once during the 3 hour sit. I shot a deer with my muzzleloader, but that story is for another time.
What I really appreciate about these boots is how lightweight and comfortable they are to walk in compared to other knee-high boots. A few weeks ago I went on a pheasant hunt in 0 degree weather and wore them for 4 hours of hunting. My feet were warm and dry, but just as important I did not become overly fatigued. I was also able to get a rooster no one else had a chance at. The weather had only recently turned cold causing us to break through the ice on the marsh. I was the only one wearing knee high boots and was able to walk across the small water filled ditch to put myself in a position for a shot.
I have used my AreoHead boots for checking traps, small game hunting, snowshoeing, snow blowing, and playing with the kids outside. I have other pairs of quality boots, however when push comes to shove I usually grab these. In addition to all of the other qualities of the boots they appeal to my lazy side where I can quickly slide them on and off.
On the Internet the price of the 7mm LaCrosse AeroHeads range from $125 to $170. If my memory serves me correct I paid $139 including shipping. I think it is important to note I am not affiliated in anyway with LaCrosse Boots nor do I receive any compensation from them.
As the year comes to a close it is a natural time to take stock of the prior year. The question I want to pose is simple. Have you helped protect our way of life by being politically involved and supporting conservation? If the answer is no you’re not alone. As a general rule the personality traits, which lead us to enjoy outdoor pursuits, are the same traits which cause us to have a disdain for politics. However, if we fail to support conservation efforts and let our elected officials know we will not stand by idly as our privileges to hunt, fish, and trap are chipped away our way of life will disappear.
I challenge every single outdoorsmen to become more engaged in 2016. Follow the issues and contact politicians to let them know you support conservation. Become involved in one of the many conservation organizations such as Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, or The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Donate money to public land acquisitions. It doesn’t take a lot of individual money to make a substantial impact. Imagine if every adult hunter donated $10 in 2016 for public land purchases. As a nation we would have one hundred thirty million additional dollars to protect wildlife habitat.
Anti-hunters are definitely in the minority, but they pose a significant threat to our way of life. As a collective group anti-hunters / animal rights activists are vocal, organized, and politically active. They are working every single day to make sure you and I loose our ability to hunt, fish, and trap. If it was up to them you would never experience the beauty and excitement of flushing a rooster Pheasant, the anticipation of walking the trap line would be a thing of the past, and never again would you relive the memories of your hunt while you prepared your favorite venison recipe in your kitchen.
Let’s make 2016 the year of the outdoorsman! I am not asking you to quit your job to become a full-time activist. But, let’s all do a little more this next year for conservation and accomplish great things.