Non-traditional sports by season

With spring break past, the semester nearly over and finals looming, it seems like your only hobbies for the foreseeable future will be nervous apprehension, increasing dread and daydreaming about dropping out to join the circus. But in between shots of espresso and panic attacks, make sure to take time to enjoy the outdoor activities Montana has to offer. In light of spring approaching, we have highlighted the different activities now available to you — including the other seasons too — because Bozeman weather can cover the whole spectrum in an hour.

Spring

Slacklining: Not only does this activity provide an excellent opportunity to enjoy some of Bozeman’s scenic parks, but it allows you to work on your sense of balance and channel your inner Philippe Petit to achieve death-defying stunts. If done well, slacklining looks super cool — if done not well, it still looks pretty cool.

Easter Egg Hunts: Easy to modify based on desired age demographic, this provides fun for both kids and college students. Plus, candy is usually involved.

Longboarding: A fast, efficient way to move about campus, sans the bike lock and tricky mall crowd maneuvers.

Hail Dodging: Ah, the beloved pastime of all Montanans, the semi-weekly Spring Dodge-a-thon. Always appearing in the middle of a perfect day, when you decide to take a relaxing walk. Just remember the age-old advice: Dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge.

Summer

Bird Watching: Bozeman and its surrounding areas are home to a lot of cool wildlife and feathered beasts. For best results while pursuing this activity, pick up a guide book, grab a pair of binoculars and stay still for a long time. And no, sitting by the duck pond does not count.

Sunbathing: Only included as an activity because it gets you outside and because there is a certain art to the precision of rotating yourself like a slab of meat to get optimum tannage and avoid burning.

Tubing: Hit the Madison River with some five-dollar tubes from Big O Tires, grab a couple beers or hard lemonade (or soft lemonade for the under-21 crowd), and enjoy a relaxing float with friends in the deliciously cool water. Remember, only go if it is hot outside — the water is often frigid.

Rope Swinging into Water: Besides being a ton of fun, this activity allows you to cool off by taking a plunge in any reasonable water source. Just make sure to let go of the rope.

Autumn

Leaf Raking: A nice, active way to tidy up the front lawn.
Leaf Pile Spelunking: Let’s be honest, this is the real reason people rake leaves.

Pumpking Carving: Pumpkins offer so many opportunities for activities. Not only can you go yourself to pick your pumpkins from the field, but you get to rejoice in the art of carving the perfect pumpkin and feeling the seeds and guts squish between your fingers. Roasting the seeds is a tasty way to gain back the calories you didn’t really burn. You can also smash pumpkins, but only your own — or face the wrath of irate Halloweeners.

Winter

Sledding: Check out our previous article from Feb. 14 to get the scoop on this slippery slide down the slopes.

Ice Skating: Another one we’ve covered on Feb. 28, that features some local ice info.

Snow Shoveling: Sort of like raking leaves, but with a less pleasant pile jump.

Competitive Snowball Fights: Use the snow you shoveled as a fort to protect yourself from icy projectiles.

Snowman/Snow-Sculpture Building: The perfect outdoor activity for the artistic — just fire up those creative juices and don a flexible yet warm pair of gloves.

Igloo Creating: Take a cue from the Quads and craft an igloo for some serious snow-sheltered fun. A cool twist is freezing colored water in milk cartons to create an igloo of stained-glass ice bricks.