Surviving February in Alaska
Most anyone who lives in Alaska will tell you that this winter has been cold. Not a typical cold, either, but skin-hurting, bone-chilling, soul-freezing cold. When it's in the thirties one day, then below zero for weeks only to get to the twenties, snow, and dip below zero again, it's hard to see an end to the winter.
February in Alaska is one of the darkest and coldest months of the winter season. February is also the last month that Alaskans have to make it through before they can start seeing the minutes of daylight gain and warmer temperatures. The road conditions are treacherous. When it gets warm enough to rain or melt the snow, the next day it gets to freezing, creating ice on the roads invisible because of the snow that covers it right after. Alaskans are tired of snow boots and sweaters, and they want warm days, open roads, and outdoor adventures.
Don't worry, Alaska. This is the last month before things start warming up for what passes as spring and summer this far north. Fishing, hiking, and water sports aren't far away. So how do you survive this month with the anticipation of warmer weather looming just-too-far in the distance? With a plan, that's how.
It's Never Too Early to Plan
If you are thinking about doing any in-state exploring this summer, now is the time to start looking at reserving cabins and hotel rooms. After two years of a pandemic, Alaska tourism is poised to make a huge comeback this year. This means you are not only competing with people from out of state planning their dream vacation, but you are competing with other Alaskans for a piece of paradise as well.
If camping is your jam, February is a great time to start looking at campgrounds. Some more popular state locations may start taking reservations early, so it's good to plan now.
If you are looking to offroad camp or do any backcountry camping, now is time to start picking up any gear that you may need or that needs to be replaced from the last year you went camping. Since you have plenty of time, you can start doing some research and pick out the best gear for any future adventures.
Do you think that this is the summer you do your first triathlon, 5K, half-marathon, or biking adventure? Now is a great time to start training so that when the summer comes, you'll be ready to take on whatever challenge you set for yourself. Not only will training help pass those colder days, but you will have a goal to work towards.
Not sure where to find a race? Turn to Google or any of the places that sell sports gear catered to your desired sports. Races and groups often put up flyers in shops advertising gear, adventures, and friends. You can find all this and more when you put your mind to a new goal as you're sitting there in the cold February blues.
There may also be training groups or hobby clubs that can help you get ready for your upcoming race. All you have to do is look for running, biking, or triathlon clubs in your location. If clubs are not your thing and you prefer to train alone, that's fine too. There are dozens of training programs and apps out there to help you along.
Have you ever thought about growing vegetables or flowers? This is possible even if you don't have a yard. Container gardens are popular, rewarding, and easy to begin. If growing your own outdoor greenery feels like a good path, February is an excellent time to begin your research to see what seeds you would like to start planning.
You typically have until mid-April in Alaska to get your seedlings started inside. If you have never gardened before, getting started can be a bit expensive upfront. In February, start gathering what you need a little at a time. That way, you spread out the cost and will have everything you need when the time comes to start planing.
If you are unsure where to get started, Youtube has several Alaskan-based gardeners who share tips and tricks to have a thriving Alaskan garden. It does not matter if your space is a yard or an apartment balcony; some form of gardening is possible in most spaces.
Despite the cold and darkness that is experienced in February, Alaskans can hold on to the knowledge that summer is getting closer with every passing day. Now is the time to make your plans. You've got this!
February in Alaska can be difficult. People are tired of the snow, the cold, and the dark. Whether this winter is your first or your fortieth, there's no doubt it has been a difficult one. After two years of social isolation topped with a brutally cold winter, mental health issues are on the rise. The effects of cabin fever are beginning, and depression often comes as a result. It is understandable if the Alaskan winter has been difficult for you to handle this year. If you're experiencing new or worsening mental health issues due to social isolation or the long winter days with little sunlight, Achieve Medical Center is here to help. Achieve Medical Center has experienced, empathetic, and compassionate professionals who understand what you are experiencing. The staff at Achieve can help you create a plan to help you regain your joy and plan for your upcoming summer. Call (619) 375-3977.