If you're not into snow or ice or don't like the cold, winter can be a tough time to enjoy the outdoors. But there are plenty of ways
New York and the Northeast have a variety of good outdoors shows where you can check out new gear, get some good deals and plan trips for spring, summer and fall.
The show that is closest to us is the annual Adirondack Outdoorsman show in Johnstown, which is set for the weekend of Feb. 9-10. Info can be found at www.adkshow.com. Promoter Mike Hauser always puts on a nice event.
If you don't mind the drive to Syracuse, the annual New York Sportsman's Expo at the state fairgrounds is a big show that's not too far away. The show is set for this weekend, Jan. 25-27 and its website can be found at www.newyorksportsmansexpo.com.
Heading south, the annual World Fishing and Outdoor Expo is set for Feb. 28-March 3 in Suffern, Rockland County, while the Springfield Sportsmen's Show in Springfield, Massachusetts is set for Feb. 22-24.
It's also a good time of year to settle in by the woodstove or fireplace and get ready for outdoor adventures during the warmer months. Northshire Book Store and Mountainman Outdoor Supply Co. in Saratoga Springs both have good selections of outdoor-themed books and maps.
Falcon Guides publishes a series of detailed hiking guides that break down trail offerings by state, which are great for those who want to venture outside our region. You can find them at Eastern Mountain Sports, along with a selection of additional hiking-oriented publications and maps.
If you want to find out a bit more about hiking offerings in the Adirondacks, Barbara McMartin's "50 Hikes in the Adirondacks" is a great read as well.
It's also a great time of year to read up on fishing or hunting tactics and new gear. A book we received here in the newsroom to review titled "The Hunt for Giant Trout"has been a good read so far, and for beginning fly anglers, the Orvis Fly Fishing Guide has a great overview of the sport for beginners. Orvis publishes a variety of books for beginner to expert fly anglers. I just picked up a book on caddis flies, "A Guide to Eastern Species for Anglers and Other Naturalists," that is loaded with info to better understand these insects that are an important trout food.
I have been getting back into tying my own flies, which is also a good way to pass the time in the colder, darker months. But the fading eyesight of my middle-agedness has made it much more difficult than I remember years ago!
-- Don Lehman