5 Ways to Keep the Spirit of Adventure Going
When Plan A(dventure) Falls Through
So, you’ve found yourself stuck at home. Luckily, social distancing doesn’t have to mean foregoing time in nature. With gyms and other public indoor spaces closed, the outdoors is one of the safer places to escape the house and stay sane, as long as you follow social distancing guidelines. And if you’re experiencing corona anxiety, according to mental health experts, getting out in nature can actually be a way to combat the stress of living through a pandemic.
To keep you healthy and of sound mind for the foreseeable future, we’ve put together a list of ways to Find Your Backcountry right now—a Plan B, if you will.
1. Find your local backcountry.
If there’s ever been a time to prioritize the outdoors, this is it. However, before you venture outside, check to make sure that the trail or public lands you were planning to visit are still open. And if you arrive to a crowded area, head back home. That said, here are some ideas for getting out there:
- Take your pups for a neighborhood walk, and notice that they’re equally fascinated by what they find around the block as they are by trailside interests.
- With many ski resorts closed, this is a prime time to go touring or hit the nearest Nordic trail as long as you travel alone or in small groups and maintain that six feet of distance between you and your trailmates. If you do venture into the backcountry, be sure to practice avalanche safety and bring your avy rescue gear.
- If it’s full-on spring where you live, get out on the closest dry trail. Carolyn Cannuscio, the director of research at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Public Health Initiatives, recommends skipping the gym in favor of a run or bike ride outside. Bicycling Magazine also put together some excellent guidelines on how to ride safely right now.
- Knot tying is more than a fun challenge—it’s a crucial skill for anglers and climbers alike. Head to the nearest green space and practice your clove hitches and clinch knots.
- Enjoy a book in the yard. If you’re feeling really fancy and the weather’s cooperating, set up a hammock.
2. Get moving in your living room.
Here’s how we keep our blood pumping when we can’t get to our favorite activities:
- Hangboard. Check out our favorite warm-up exercises for climbers.
- Practice yoga—there are tons of free videos available online! Or, check out some of our resources on starting a practice: Yoga for Runners or Yoga for Skiers.
- Ride a trainer. While we prefer to physically move forward when cranking on the pedals, sometimes we take what we can get.
- Do some strengthening exercises; maybe try a few planks or a new workout routine.
- Use a foam roller or massage stick to help your muscles recover from the ski season.
3. Give your gear some love.
We always keep our gear in tip-top shape, and our gear rooms are never a mess. Just like yours, right? Right … now that you’ve got some time on your hands at home, get your gear up to speed for your next adventure:
- Give your skis a mid-season spa day. We know our edges have a ding or two and our wax job could use a refresh by now.
- Tune your bike! Warm weather will arrive eventually, and it’s always a bummer to spend the first good riding day in the garage. Maybe you need to work on your shock or use this time to give your chain a deep clean.
- Wash your rope, sleeping bag, and other softgoods. This is another thing we lose track of when we’re too busy getting after it, but our gear performs best and lasts longest when it’s clean.
- Reorganize your gear room. Maybe you’ve been meaning to build vertical storage or just break out the label maker. And if you need to dial your camping equipment, here are some storage hacks.
- Old skis lying around? Seize this opportunity to make a shot ski.
4. Our second favorite room is the kitchen.
If we’re not hanging out in our gear closet or garage, you’ll probably find us in the kitchen. Not only does honing our skills with the stove or oven help us make delicious meals at the campsite, it also helps us prep for our next ride, run, or tour.
- Master a few good camping and backpacking recipes—check out some Dutch oven or trail snack recipes here.
- Try your hand at Making Your Own Energy Gel.
Even if you’re not a meal-planner, these recipes from our friends at Skratch Labs may have you prepping your snacks in advance.
5. Planning is second only to the adventure itself.
Live vicariously through your future self, and get the research done now so you can maximize your trip time. Check out some of our favorite tips and inspiration:
- Plan your next backpacking trip or a thru-hike
- If your next adventure involves bikepacking, this guide will help you understand what’s required so you can decide what to do.
- Read through our top 10 domestic destinations for the new decade and start dreaming up your next road trip.
- While you can find a ton of information online, we love digging out our old-school guidebooks for a planning sesh. Hit your bookshelf and rekindle the wanderlust.
However you get through the next few weeks, remember to consider those less fortunate than yourself, whether it’s volunteering with a local food bank, donating to the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Response Fund, or just having the backs of those in your community.
Jani Holder is a writer at Backcountry and outdoor generalist, from climbing to mountain biking. When she’s not adventuring, you may find her training dogs for the local club, or training herself at the aerial studio.