With hours spent at a desk and the easy temptation of computers and television, days go by without spending time outside. On weekends, boredom sets in with the same running routes and biking trails. To stay motivated and get outside, look for a change of routine and try a new outdoor activity. Here are a few fun things to do outside for a new change of pace in the outdoors.
Spend a day on a high-tech treasure hunt. Geocaching uses GPS coordinates to plot the site of hidden, "caches." Caches are hidden everywhere, so use your GPS around your neighborhood or on your vacation to explore your surroundings. Most caches hold treasures you can take in exchange for leaving one of your own. It's a great way for both adults and kids to go for an adventure outside.
Full Moon Hike
Leave the headlamps at home. Keep an eye on the calendar and plan a local hike on the night of a full moon. With clear skies, it's easy to navigate a trail without lights. Check the events calendar at your local hiking area. Many venues offer docent led moon hikes every month. A guided hike lets you enjoy the trail without worrying about getting lost. Trained docents and rangers give insights to the natural history of the area and often provide special activities for kids.
Ditch the bed and the long drive to the campground. Set up camp in your backyard for a local evening in the outdoors. Great for families and teenagers who want to get away without going too far, a backyard campout keeps the fun close to home. Campouts are a simple adventure and also work as good practice before the first big camping trip. Set up tents and bring out the fire pit to roast marshmallows.
Connect with your community through an outdoor service project. Whether working trail maintenance or cleaning up the beach, service projects let you give back to the places you enjoy. For an extended trip, check out the Sierra Club's Volunteer Vacations. Learn more about their service trips at http://www.sierraclub.org/outings/national/service.asp.
Get active outside and train for an adventure race. Adventure races combine several athletic events into one challenging race. Events cover different activities, from running to kayaking to mountain biking. They often have a navigation component, so brush up on those map and compass skills. The United States Adventure Racing Association lists upcoming events on their site. Find them at http://www.usara.com/calendar.aspx.
Article Written By Kathrine Cole
Kathrine Cole is a professional outdoor educator. She teaches rock climbing, backpacking, cycling, and bike maintenance classes. She is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School, a Wilderness First Responder, and a Leave No Trace Trainer.