Last year, after several days of this, I couldn't take it anymore. I put on my new Filson Wetlands Hunting Hat (purchased during a particularly severe bout of cabin fever), buckled it under my chin, and ran into my yard. Using only a pocketknife and a shoelace, I tried to fashion a bow drill, a friction-based fire starter I'd made exactly once in a survival course. I started by attacking a dead cedar tree. Soon I had fashioned the bow, spindle, socket, and fireboard. I spent the next three hours on one knee, bent over a wet piece of wood, trying to start a fire. In the process I cut my hand deeply and thorooughly muddied my long johns. But the experience brought home two important lessons. One is to never go into the woods without NATO-rated waterproof matches, a flint and steel, and a good lighter. The other is that it takes one heck of a long time for winter to turn into spring, and there's not a lot you can do about it.