This is the season of rest. The season when my husband and I take a break from our backpacking adventures and recover. The season of rest, not only because the weather is cold and hunters roam our trails, but because we don’t have the equipment to brave the snows and freezing temperatures.

I only started backpacking a few years ago, and there was no need to invest in the heavier (and more expensive) gear required for winter backpacking. There isn’t really need now, but I’m starting to consider it, because the outdoors are calling me.

Maybe it’s because I missed my solo trip, or maybe I’m just growing in my backpacking skills, but I have this itch inside. I ride my bike to work, bundled up and wind-proofed, inhaling the sharpness of the freezing air, and I don’t want to arrive at my office. Sitting in a desk chair, heater under my desk, toilet facilities and potable water available at my whim… I’m not saying it’s not a nice situation. It’s a pretty good one, but I want to be outside.

I want to throw myself against the elements and discover my limits. I don’t want to hibernate anymore when the bears sleep, fattened from their fall forage. I feel a call to spend the winter blazing new trails through the snow and learning how to make igloos. I’m itching to go outside and explore the seasons that are not summer. I want to meet them, and for them to meet me, to see if, like summer, we could be friends.

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