Alyssa Evans

Alyssa Evans.

While it’s been a few weeks since Christmas passed, I think it’s safe to say — although, trite — that January’s weather has been frightful.

During these past few cold, rainy weeks, I’ve found that getting outside has been, dare I say, delightful. After months of virtual gatherings, I’ve found a new appreciation for going outdoors. But in the same vein, I’ve found that appreciation can be quickly muddled if I’m not properly prepared for side rain, 20 mph winds and the other joys that Mother Nature offers us North Coast residents.

In case you’re like me, and are a bit of a newbie when it comes to enjoying the outdoors during winter, here are some suggestions to help you make the most of your outdoor adventures.

Bring proper gear: Say yes to a good, durable raincoat (preferably once that allows you to cinch the hood to cover more of your face), rainboots that cover at least your ankles, and warm layers (think wool-lined pants under rain paints, a long-sleeve shirt and a beanie under your rain jacket).

Add on some accessories: Gloves, thick socks and scarves are all some go-to’s of mine. As a born and raised PNW resident, I’m not an advocate for umbrellas, since they can cause a fuss when a gust of wind blows — but to each their own.

Check the weather forecast: There have been quite a few days where I’ve planned to go for a hike this season, only to have to postpone until the next day because weather currents are too intense. Remember to check the weather forecast before you head out in order to avoid getting stuck in any dangerous situations.

Tell a friend: A good rule of thumb is to let someone know when you’re going to be outdoors alone. Before you head out, I recommend letting a friend, roommate or family member know where you plan to go and when you expect to be home.

Happy adventuring. If you feel inclined, send me a selfie (editor@coastweekend.com) of yourself enjoying the outdoors — it might even get featured in an upcoming edition or online at coastweekend.com.

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