Growing up most of my life in New England, I was forced to enjoy the long winters. As an adult, I find the best way to shake off the dark winter blues is by doing something fun outside. Whether it’s going for a walk in the mountains or fishing for trout in a frozen lake, just because I’m a concealed carrier doesn’t mean I can’t have a good time.
Here are some activities I enjoy during the long winter months. Hopefully, you find some you can appreciate. And, as always, feel free to tell me what I missed in the comments section below.
#1. Cross Country Skiing
Because cross-country skiing is a great way to get an aerobic workout, enjoy the snow, and avoid falling, I think this is an excellent choice for winter activities for concealed carriers. There’s a lot of people who hate cross-country skiing because it can be a lot of work. There’s a lot of shuffling around, movement, and it sucks when the snow is slush and just sticks to your skis when you’re six miles deep into a trail.
Regarding a good workout and a great way to get around in the snow, I think you can’t beat it. And it’s absolutely no stress whatsoever to keep a concealed handgun under my warm winter jacket.
Read More: Does Exercise Improve Concealed Carry?
A bit more stable than cross-country skiing, snowshoeing is a great way to get into the outdoors without sinking into a foot of snowpack. I have a sturdy pair that I’ve used for the last fifteen years, but there are new pairs that are lightweight and easy to snap on or off.
#3. Ice Fishing
The deep, frozen months of New England can get mighty dreary. The one thing I have to look forward to when temperatures consistently drop into the single digits is a thick, frozen lake nearby. The lake is kept stocked well with fish, and I just love snapping a photo of what I caught so I can harass my co-worker who hates the cold but loves fishing.
Ice fishing and concealed carry are completely compatible in my mind. It’s no effort to carry a gun beneath all those warm layers, while I sit there waiting for my line to get a bite.
#4. Winter Photography
There’s just something special about the woods after a fresh snowstorm. The woods are so quiet that I could probably hear a pin drop. I carry a gun when I’m in the woods because I never know what I’ll run into. I’ve yet to need to use my gun in self-defense. The only thing I end up shooting in the woods is my Canon EOS. I still keep a gun on me, though, because I like knowing that if I need to protect myself, I can.
However, winter time is a great time to spot a wide variety of wildlife and snap a few shots. As much as I enjoy guns, I enjoy capturing life and scenery. There’s a bit of pride when I get back from a long walk in the snow-strewn woods to find a photo I snapped that really stands out.
#5. Tapping Maple Trees
A great New England tradition is boiling down maple syrup. It usually involves several weeks of collecting into buckets, pouring into a large vat, and boiling it down slowly until you have gallons of delicious maple syrup. Many New England families have their own rituals associated with this annual process, but my favorite is going out onto the property and tapping maple trees. This last year we went deep into my family’s acreage to find fresh reserves of maple trees.
As a concealed carrier, I’ve found no problem with carrying my gun while knocking in some spigots for collection. And while I won’t lament the old days of hauling buckets of syrup back to the sugar shack, I’m glad I kept a gun in case some bear woke up just a little early at the smell of some delicious syrup getting made.
#6. Chopping Down A Christmas Tree
There’s a beautiful section of woods near my family’s house that grows these amazing spruces. Each year, we have an agreement with the property owners that I’ll help them take down their trees in exchange for one for my family. It’s mostly an excuse to come over, drink some hot cider, and gab.
Last year, we found an unexpected guest had come out there and chopped down one of the Douglas Firs. As it turns out, somebody decided that poaching a tree was alright. While I don’t think a concealed handgun is necessary to resolve that sort of incident, it definitely upset the property owners to think someone would just walk onto their property and proceed to take a tree without asking.
I hope you enjoyed some of my favorite winter activities I like to do while carrying concealed. I hope you find some fun, fascinating stuff to do this winter to keep those cold doldrums at bay. And, as always, carry concealed every day, everywhere you can.