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Cures for cabin fever

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POSTED February 21, 2011 1:15 a.m.
Some folks think that there is no such thing as Cabin Fever. They are dead wrong. If Alferd Packer was still around, they could ask him about it. Good old Alferd (that’s really how he spelled his name) was the noted cannibal who ate several of his companions after being trapped with them while snowbound in Colorado in 1874. Along about this time of year I start getting fidgety and look longingly out the window every few minutes. Although I’m an incorrigible outdoors enthusiast, even I don’t really enjoy standing in the pouring rain unless its hunting season. What’s a guy to do?

I have this burning desire to be outdoors, yet if I do go outside, I’m miserable. What to do indeed?

After many years on the verge of terminal Cabin Fever, I finally found a pretty fair solution.

Obviously the best cure for cabin fever is to get out in the outdoors, and participate in your favorite activity. Whether your passion is fishing, hunting, bird watching, photography, or cross-country skiing, Actually getting out there is the surest cure for cabin fever. Breathing the fresh air and exercising will take away the restlessness and boredom and perhaps prevent you from going stir crazy. Unfortunately, with the exception of ducks, almost every hunting season is over and most fishing is in a mid-winter lull. When the storm is pounding outside, and you are almost ready to climb the walls, there is another outlet that might just save the day.

So what is this miracle cure? Winter Wish Books! Outdoor catalogues from a host of companies that will fascinate and delight you. The big mainstream outdoor vendors, like Bass Pro, Cabellas, Abercrombie and Fitch, Patagonia, and Orvis all have catalogues available either no charge, or a small fee which is usually refundable with your first purchase. The specialty manufacturers offer similar catalogues. Of course Winchester, Remington, Ruger, Marlin, Beretta, Benelli and other gunmakers have catalogues that will cover your gun needs for several lifetimes. Rod makers like Sage, Loomis, Shakespear, and Abu-Garcia can provide you with countless hours of enjoyment as you turn the pages of their catalogues.

All you have to do is open up one of these winter wish books, peruse its pages, and Lo and Behold! You are transported to a bass pond on a warm summer evening anticipating the smashing strike of a 5 pound bucket-mouth bass. Brook Trout from the Catskills or monster Brown Trout from Flaming Gorge are awaiting your cast. Hunters can almost hear the bugle of Bull Elk from New Mexico or the cry of coyotes in the Mojave Desert.

A hidden gem among the outdoor catalogues is that of a company called Forestry Suppliers Inc, of Jackson, Mississippi. Forestry Suppliers is filled with products used by forestry and environmental professionals. They have specialty items you wouldn’t believe. Did you know that there is a meter that measures the moisture content of the forest floor materials? Yep, no kidding. I get my snake proof leggings there to prevent my little reptile buddies from ruining my day. You can also get a Peavey, portable weather stations, or animal live traps. A stream thermometer is almost a must for today’s angler. If you need a fence post driver or post puller, climbing belt, or geologists rock hammer, FSI has it. Cool stuff.

Be advised though, that is no free lunch. Although there is technically no obligation to purchase anything, I sometimes just can’t resist the temptation. Not too many folks carry multiple rock hammers, along with snake grabbers, and specimen jars in their truck. As long as you’re strong willed, you should have no problem resisting the temptation to buy all of that great outdoor gear. Meanwhile, as the rain pounds down outside, I think I’ll return to my trance and check out those new predator calls that sound just like a rabbit in distress.

Until next week,

Tight Lines
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