1. Plan Ahead
Everyone loves an adventure. But if you know you’re going to set off on a weekend outdoors, save yourself some time and worry by packing the essentials the night before. Be sure to remember: fresh cold water in a refillable bottle. You can freeze it the night before and it will stay cold most of the day. Snacks, like trail mix or granola are easy to carry and contain enough protein to keep you going all day. Plan to take a good long break mid-day to re-charge and enjoy a healthy Hot lunch. Remember other essential accessories like sunglasses or your favorite baseball cap, a picnic blanket, and don’t forget small items like bandages and Neosporin.
2. Get Going
National parks are one of our great treasures. Pristine natural landscapes like Yellowstone, Acadia and the Badlands were set aside for the enjoyment and education of posterity. It seems like people always just innately understood the inherit value in preserving our natural resources. Can you even imagine an America minus the majesty of Yellowstone, or the beauty of the Shenandoah? While we may not all be able to paddle across Acadia’s lakes, most states have local treasures just waiting to be explored.
3. Involve the kids & bring a friend
Studies show compelling correlations between getting outside and increased concentration, responsibility, creativity, focus and impulse control. Children are happier and more grounded when they are active and spend part of their day outside in nature. We bring a book on birds or rocks and make a game of seeing how many varieties we can identify.
4. Leave the Phones at home
As much as we love them, they are a barrier between us and the world in front of us. In this way they actually prevent us from truly experiencing the day and keep us tied to our work or other online lives. Studies have shown that spending at least one day tech-free can reduce stress levels, improve cognition, and overall well-being. Trust us, you won’t lose your job if you ditch the digital tether for a few hours.
5. Get Lost
Rather than thinking of lost as a bad thing, try to think of it as a positive – it’s a chance to explore, find something new, stretch, and go where you’ve never been before. Try navigating the old fashioned way – with a map or trail guide, or by the trail markings. On a simpler note, try getting lost at home, on a long walk in your home town. You might stumble upon a new farmers market, flower stand, book store and more.