The mouth of Sheep Creek in spring


With spring arriving, and cabin fever in its final throws, many people in our area will be excitedly resuming their favorite outdoor activities. Although the prospect of having to put away the snowshoes may seem a little disheartening, boating, biking, hiking, camping and climbing will soon replace the tedious shoveling, ice scraping, and firewood splitting on every “To Do List” in the Pacific Northwest (mine included).


The landscape is turning green and the days are getting longer, with that, the temptation to dust off your day pack and head outside will be (at least for me) too much to resist. However, a certain amount of caution must be taken when gearing up to rejoin nature in this freshest of seasons. Remember not to let excitement take priority over safety.

While it seems obvious to prepare properly during the winter months, more cases of hypothermia, disorientation and exhaustion actually occur in the spring and fall months. There are several reasons for this, the most obvious being that during the winter months several feet of snow is a pretty decent reminder of the potential danger involved in an outdoor excursion. In direct contrast, the clear skies and agreeable temperatures of the spring and fall months (spring more prominently) can easily distract the outdoor enthusiast from the fact that the weather can make a sudden turn for the worse (and often does in our area) and easily turn a quick afternoon hike into an unfavorable situation in a very short period of time.


Proper preparation is essential during any season. If caution is kept in mind spring can be one of the most (if not the most) enjoyable times of year to spend in the outdoors; temperatures are mild, the Earth is renewed, signs of new life are popping up everywhere, and a sigh of relief can be heard as winter is finally comes to an end. To make sure your experience is positive and enjoyable, keep the following points in mind while outdoors this spring.

  • Keep an eye on conditions; look for changing weather patterns throughout the day for any signs of danger. Checking the weather forecast is a good place to start, but should not take the place of continuous observation.
  • Rain gear is a great insurance policy, its relatively light, and doesn’t take up much room in a pack. This one piece of gear can make the difference between enjoying a light afternoon rain shower during a hike, and returning home a soggy, cold, miserable mess.
  • Always, always remember to dress in layers. The sun and mild temperatures can make shorts and a t-shirt seem like more than enough clothing for an outing, but weather changes quickly this time of year and even the sunniest of days can be deceptively cold.


With the necessary precautions taken, there is no match to the entertainment and joy that spring can provide. See this season of renewal and fresh green growth for what it truly is – nature’s celebration that winter is over and summer is on the way.

Now get out there and experience all that spring has to offer!!

About Leif Krieger

Leif Krieger has written 2 post in this blog.

Leif Krieger graduated from NHS in 2000, lives in the Colville WA. area with his wife of 7 years and 3 sons. Interests include; hiking, snowshoeing, camping, trap-skeet shooting, axe/tomahawk throwing, wilderness survival and sailing.

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