You guys! It’s officially spring! That means we’re *THIS CLOSE* to having survived the short, dark days of winter…and well on our way to reversing our Vitamin D deficiencies with lots of QT outside. However, there’s a reason poet T.S. Eliot tapped April, and not February, as the “cruelest month.” Despite the lengthening days and deceptively blue skies, it’s probably gonna be cold AF, and windy in both March and April. Here are six ways to treat your spring fever when the weather is more like #marchmadness.
1. Start Festival Season, Like, NOW.
We tend to think of festival season as something that starts heating up around May, possibly because that’s when the weather here in Colorado starts making our out-of-state friends really jealous. But there are actually quite a few festivals that start much earlier, in warm places—including one that involves America’s favorite hoarder of Olympic halfpipe gold. Earlybird cheat sheet below.
- Austin’s SXSW is the best place we know of to catch the coolest music acts alongside amazing up-and-comers—before they break. Check out the 2018 SXSW Spotify Playlist. March 9–18.
- Miami’s Ultra Music Festival lineup is an EDM who’s who—lose yourself to live sets from masters like Steve Aoki, Kaskade, Tiësto and David Guetta in Bayfront Park. March 23–25.
- Indio’s Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival Go hard or go home. Coachella is about as big as it gets. Over two weekends: April 13-15, 2018 & April 20-22, 2018, you can catch big names like The Weekend, Beyonce & Eminem headlining, among a host of other artists.
2. Have a Picnic in the Park.
Sun’s out, fun’s out! Even if the mercury’s barely climbing out of the 30s, a bluebird day (have we mentioned we average 300 of them here in Colorado?) is the perfect excuse to head to the park.
Though the new spring grass has yet to show its face, there’s still significant upside to picnicking in March: lighter crowds (which means you can easily score the volleyball courts, BBQ grills or any other shared resource that gets snapped up before 10AM in the summertime), fewer kids (which means you can swig your IPA and blast your Cardi B) and no rentals yet (which means you can play Frisbee without fear of getting run down by a tourist on a surrey bike).
DON’T FORGET: your waterproof stadium blanket, because there’s so much groundwater and goose poop this time of year—and spiked hot chocolate, because…do you really need a reason?
3. Spring Clean Your Gear Closet.
If multiple days of face-melting music seems like a bit much this time of year, why not get a head-start on the kinder months by spring cleaning your gear closet? If you’re anything like us, you’re probably prone to hoarding stuff that’s WAY less cool than gold medals—like snowboard pants that haven’t fit since before Chloe Kim was born, or frame-packs that weigh more than your chocolate lab.
Do yourself a favor, and let that sh*t go. Put it on Craigslist or swing by your local outdoor consignment shop, then put your earnings towards something new. Or, better yet: donate it to a friend or a worthy cause! When you help a friend spend more time outside, everybody wins.
4. Have an Indoor Campout.
Sooooo you took our advice, and cleaned out your gear closet. Success! You found a slightly musty tent you can probably do without, a cooler that maybe has a leak, and a camp stove that might possibly still work. What better way to solve these mysteries than an indoor campout?
Setting up camp in the comparative comfort of your living room is not only a hella fun way to pass a late-winter weekend—it’s the perfect way to take inventory of your gear, identify any repairs that need to happen before it’s time for a real trip, and give your Craigslisted gear a proper air-out / send-off.
5. Train for an Adventure Race.
Now that your gear is in shape for summer—is your body ready to run with the Wolfpack? Whether or not you’re training with Jessie and the rest of the American Ninja Warrior crew, 2018 offers an unprecedented selection of adventure races and other activities to get your blood moving.
Adventure Race Hub is the most comprehensive database of adventure races in North America and beyond—offering a thorough roundup of annual events, complete with descriptions, prices and sign-up deets. You can search by location, date or keyword (“spartan” or “mudder,” for example) and even see top past competitors, along with their scores. The default list is in chronological order, so you can work backwards by how much time you think you’ll need to bulk (and psyche) up.
6. Do a Bar Crawl on Your Bike.
It’s patio season somewhere, right? If you can’t wait for 100% cooperation from Mother Nature, spring is actually an amazing time to rally your crew for the perfect pairing: bikes and beer. Cycling is both great way to warm up on brisk days and to burn off the calories you’ll ingest while enjoying everyone’s favorite carb.
EXPERT TIP (truly, we ARE experts in this): bring a backpack. You’re going to work up a sweat, especially if you’re renting a B-Cycle—they’re one-speeds, and can be very heavy if you’re hauling butt up a hill—so you’ll need a place to put your puffer when it gets too hot. This will also give you some cargo space if you want to bring along your favorite board game…or take home a growler.