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If you live in an area where winter means having to deal with snow, and it takes up a not insignificant part of your daily schedule, February is usually when you start wishing for March. Or April. Or really, whenever the hell this crap will stop already.
I happen to be in a part of the country where we sometimes see snow start in October and continue until May, because apparently, skyborne ice crystals don’t pay attention to calendars. But if you live in such a place, you don’t have to spend 50% of your days cursing Mother Nature. You can totally get your rogue on with these badass projects instead.
Snowball fights: the epitome of backyard wintertime shenanigans. Nothing says “victory” like hitting your unsuspecting friend in the face with a packed semi-sphere of nature’s cold-ass fury. Sure, it can be kind of brutal, but it’s called a snowball fight, not a snowball snuggle session. Get over it, Kevin.
But to hell with counting on your arm to deliver icy pain – let’s build a goddamn snowball launcher!
That’s ... whoa. Just imagine emerging from your fortified snow bunker and unleashing that onslaught upon your enemies. You’re armed with fully-automatic snowball madness, and they’re armed with appendages. Plus, you can make reloadable clips, ensuring you have enough firepower to push forward and ruin absolutely everyone.
And it’s not a complicated project – if you already have a quality leaf blower, you’re most of the way there. After that, it just takes a quick trip to the hardware store to grab a few other items. But even if you don’t have the appropriate leaf blower, go buy one, because this thing is awesome.
You can find detailed instructions for building your own in the comments section of that video.
“But Dwayne,” you say from your home in a much warmer climate that doesn’t have to deal with shoveling and windshield scraping and falling on your ass because the sidewalk is slippery, while hoping that no one noticed. “We don’t even get snow here. How can I enjoy the majesty and wonder of outdoor winter activities?”
Well, you can’t. But stop complaining, because at least you don’t get nastygrams in your mailbox because postal workers think you’re doing a crappy job of keeping your steps cleared. You get the nice weather, we get to play in the snow. Maybe you could let your grass grow all crazy and make a yard angel or something. I don’t know – I’m too busy knocking icicles off the side of my house to worry about recreational activities for you non-snow-getters.
Well, I guess there is one thing: ice blocking. It’s basically like sledding, only you sit on a block of ice and go careening down a grass hill. It’s not quite the same as sledding, but ... OK, that looks pretty fun.
I think the best thing about this activity is that those of us who live in Blizzardville can still do this during our 23 days of summer. And that we can be all smug about it, because we get to sled and ice block. So there.
Oh, and you don’t even have to go buy a block of ice to make this a reality. You can make your own, which is actually a better option, because then you can create the perfect size and shape for your butt ice, and put some rope in it to make it easier to carry back up the hill. I mean, you need to have the freezer space to do it, but you know it’s worth it.
Speaking of dangerously going down hills ...
Sleds aren’t expensive -- you can go snag one of those five dollar plastic discs from Walmart or wherever right now. But you know what’s even better than letting gravity chart your course? Steering.
To be fair, no amount of directional assistance will help you if you’re plummeting down an ice-covered snow mountain at a 75 degree angle. Maybe the illusion of control will give you peace of mind -- but that’s about it. On less aggressive slopes, however, it’s kind of a cool feature.
This is a totally doable project, and one that rocks because it doesn’t involve a whole lot. It’s basically some 2x4s, plywood, PVC trim board, and a few nuts and bolts and screws. Oh, right—and some rope, for the steering. You do have to, like, cut and measure stuff, but the result is pretty kickass and worthy of flames or racing stripes or both.
It’s kind of like those soapbox derby races -- only this time, it’s on a snowy hill, and Tommy can’t steer because his dad was too focused on the paint job and HAHAHAHA, how did that snowbank taste, Tommy?
OK, I won’t lie to you. This project is pretty ambitious. And you probably need the appropriate yard to accommodate its construction, or at least enough snow that you can start the damn thing from the drift that’s crawled up onto the roof of your house.
It’s all about physics, or at least terror and potential injury to all who attempt to conquer it. Because, and I can’t stress this enough, part of the “plans” for this monstrosity contain four words: Two of them are “steep hill,” one is “stream” (where the path ends), and the other is “deck.” So, you know, 25% of the verbiage doesn’t give you a feeling of imminent danger or injury.
It also involves using a bench and a small table to get a really badass bank. Though I can’t help but notice they chose those plastic disc things as the preferred method of transport, and included terms like “brake” and “steer” in there. At this point, I’m fairly certain that they don’t know how those things work, because brakes and steering are not a part of oversized plastic dishes.
And now that I think about it, the unpredictability of such a setup seems more punishment than joy. In fact, this has officially become my new disciplinary measure for my kids during the winter months. “Oh, right. You lost your homework? Go do three runs on the luge and then we’ll talk about it.”
Like this article? Check out “Awesome Stuff You Can Make Out Of Random Household Junk” and “5 Appliances You Can Make After The Apocalypse”.