Sad I am to see winter disappear however new growth and new adventures await us after a mystical season frosty adventure! We have made some changes to improve our skill set to be taught to you as well as continuing to learn as well. We will talk about that a little later but let us talk about some things we should be doing in preparation for the warmer months ahead. While we daydream of skimming across a calm lake in the Adirondacks in our vessel of choice be it canoe or kayak, we do need to transition out our winter clothing and gear first.
All our clothing should be cleaned and repaired, holes stitched, buttons replaced, zippers waxed and they will be ready to go when the cold North winds blow once again! Make sure all that wonderful wool is put correctly and protected from the dreaded moth. We wouldn't want to put on our favorite shirt sweater or coat only to see a rather large hole to let the draft in I think. A tip for ya if you have to pack wool away I hate the smell of moth balls so I get ceder block cut offs at a mill or if you need I think they sell them and Moths hate them! Then again most insects avoid ceder and back in the day most of your closets were actually made of ceder.
Oil your leather, change laces in boots even if you don't think you need to. Inspect everything. Even on my traditional snowshoes I put a quick coat of Spar on the shoes and check to lacing and repair what needs it. If you have hot tent make sure it's been dried correctly especially if it is canvas, look your stove over clean the stove pipes, and the flue, you should also apply a coat or two of high heat paint to prevent rust.
If we remember to keep up on our gear that we have either worked very hard for to afford to be able to buy or we have taken the time to make it ourselves it will last us a very long time. Our gear is important and should be tended to whenever need be, it also strengthens skills not used on an everyday basis. These can include sewing, weaving, problem solving, creativity just to name some. Give your winter gear the once over it will take care of you next winter. Now start preparing for the warmth of the sun on your face as you paddle along or kick back with a line in the water!