Well, you made it through Thanksgiving, and you didn’t even set anything on fire with your turkey fryer. Congratulations! But don’t get cocky, the hardest part is still to come. As a outdoor enthusiast, there’s a specific way you can survive December in style, and not lose your mind doing it. All you need is our outdoor holiday survival guide.

Prepare The Hunting Stories

For many families, hunting stories can make up the backbone of conversation at a holiday get together. You better have your stories ready to go, and this is the year to go really big. Set the scene, and really get into the details. Consider bringing a map to reference key points throughout your story. Have the game camera photos from early scouting efforts ready to go, and pull up all those Facebook deer photos for the family to see again after they already saw them online. Own this year’s unofficial award for best hunting story. If all goes right, you’re story will take up all the time and no one else will be able to tell theirs. This means you’ll be the undisputed best hunter of the year.

…And The Deer Jerky Or Sausage

Typical holiday main courses are either turkey or ham, but often the real star of the party is cured meats. Most outdoorsman bring a sampling of their venison sausage or other game meats to a gathering, and all meat eaters welcome the addition. This year go out of your way and send some of your game to an experienced processor. Make sure to try samples before you order, you never know if the processor is just throwing red pepper into a mixer and calling it good on the seasoning. Now once you have the sausage in the works, get yourself a nice board from the shed, then cut it and stain it properly. Before you head to the party, stock up on olives and cheeses to accompany the sausage. When you hit the food table, you’ll be the hunting charcuterie hero of the party.

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Somewhere There Is A Tree To Cut Down

Christmas tree hunting is the true sport of the holidays, right beside freezing in a duck / goose blind hoping for a fly by. A successful tree harvest is certainly something to brag about. After all, think about all those cheaters who stopped into the local tree lot and picked out a nice, uniform one. Or worse, those who decided to give in and go with a plastic tree. But no, you persevered. It’s no easy task finding the right tree for your house. It has to 1) not be extremely tall, 2) be somewhat uniform, and 3) in a position where it can be conceivably cut down. You’ll find that hunting for a Christmas tree is a bit like wandering through a desert full of mirages. From far away, that tree over there looks like the one. Yet when you get up close it is a ragged mess, but that next one over there has got to be the one… Eventually you’ll settle on a B+ tree and you’ll have at least burnt off some of that deep fried turkey.

…And Tough Routes To Hang Christmas Lights

Do you like hiking or climbing, but the cold weather has you grounded inside? Well now you can engage in new, tricky routes as you try to hang Christmas lights around your home. Using the extension ladder and traipsing around on the roof is really where the excitement is at, and it will feel just like you’re on a rock ledge out in the field. Get creative with how you string the lights, and go for some high difficulty setups to really get the blood flowing. You never feel quite as alive as you do when the extension ladder wobbles. The only thing better than putting up the lights is taking them down, which is usually way harder because you wired those puppies in way to well. Just don’t get hurt in the process. You won’t be able to move very fast and you’ll get caught listening to bad hunting stories while everyone else eats the deer sausage.

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Just imagine yourself on a shaky ladder stringing Christmas lights, now that’s holiday fun.

Finally, All The Ammo

It’s no secret, the best gift is lots of ammo, because after you decided to buy the rifle that costs $3.50 to shoot once, you need all the help you can get. For many, going to Christmas dinner and opening gifts is a lot like going to the armory. Uncle Billy knows you need rifle rounds, and since coming up with anything else to give you is pretty impossible, you’ll be getting that box of ammo just like you did last year. Except, well Uncle Bill needs ammo too, so you just kind of break even this season. At least you both have something to open.

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Make your holiday as outdoors as possible with these tips, and we wish you the best this season. Also if you need that ammo for gifts, we’ve got you covered.

Image one and two courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.