9 Outdoors Bloggers Share Tips To Help You Get Outdoors More
At the start of 2015, I made a promise to myself to focus on my wellbeing and so I planned a bunch of things that I wanted to do that year.
2015 turned out to be one of the busiest, and happiest years of my life; and I strongly believe it turned out that way thanks largely, to the extra time I spent exploring nature in the great outdoors.
We’ve all heard about the many benefits of switching off and spending time in the natural world, so why not make a pledge to yourself and your family, to get outdoors more in 2016 and see what a difference it makes to your wellbeing?
To help you do this, I asked some of my favourite outdoors and travel bloggers to share their top tips…
Ideas To Help You Spend More Time Outdoors This Year
1. Photograph your adventures
I love having framed photos of friends and family on my wall in my home and a great way to capture creative photos is to take them outdoors. A mysterious tree in woodland, the long grass in a field or a dry stone wall in the hills all make beautiful backdrops for photographs.
So, at the start of 2016 get your loved ones together for an adventure outdoors and have fun taking photos of each other out in the wild and create memories that will last a lifetime.
The Thrifty Magpies Nest
2. It’s what you wear, not the weather
We live in a country that has notoriously fickle weather. But rather than looking outdoors and being put off by the rain, wind, snow or cold, simply make sure you have the right clothing and gear to keep you warm and dry. Also, it’s a good idea to be flexible about your outdoors aspirations.
So if it’s wet and windy at higher altitude choose a lower level walk through a glen or find a sheltered forest for a mountain bike ride. If it is snowy, find a smaller, rather than a larger hill to climb. Walk up and then enjoy sliding down a few shallow slopes on your waterproof trousers. I find I feel far more satisfied having battled tricky weather and conditions, such as being wind-blasted at the coast, walking icy mountains in crampons, getting covered in mud by mountain biking on a wet day, than on a straightforward dry, sunny and wind-free day. Although, of course, there are also amazing memories to be had on a blue sky day in Scotland!
3. Make the most of your garden
You can be outdoors in your own garden (or a friend’s garden) create a mini festival vibe for yourself and/or the children. Pitch a tent, have a picnic and listen some music, you can even make your own! Be barefoot, don’t wear a watch. Then stay out late and watch the stars while sipping something warming before snuggling up for a night under canvas.
4. Camp in comfort
Camping doesn’t always have to be about sleeping on the floor and slumming it. Look into the alternatives such as glamping or staying in a camper van. For our family, we found our equilibrium with a folding camper. We have proper beds, a seating area, a kitchen and a huge awning for the children to run around in, even in the rain. And yet we are still sleeping under canvas and getting out and about in the great outdoors every day.
5. Make it part of your life
My top tip to get outdoors more in for 2016 is to make it part of your every day life. Not an add on that needs to be done after everything else is. That way being outdoors becomes less about you feeling like you have to do it, and more like great fun! Exactly what it should be. Try experimenting with something different every month, until you find the things that you and your loved ones really enjoy.
Here are some ideas to get you going:
- Jan: Wrap up tight and go trail walking through the forest.
- Feb: Take up jogging and run a few slow miles.
- March: Fly a kite on the beach. If there’s no beach nearby a public park is great too. The kids will love it.
- April: Go hiking. Pick hills that match your fitness levels. And be sure to take all other necessary safety precautions.
- May: Cycle to work. It’s a great way to get around.
- June: Go swimming or take surfing lessons.
- July: Take a picnic to the park and play Ultimate Frisbee.
- Aug: Go camping. Had to get that one in!
- Sept: Join the “World’s largest treasure hunt”.
- Oct: Try some outdoor photography.
- Nov: Go star gazing, it’s seriously underrated!
- Dec: Setup a Santa observation station in the back garden, so you and the kids can keep an eye on the his progress coming up to the big day.
6. Discover what’s right outside your own front door!
Lots of people assume that you have to go somewhere special or remote, be super fit, and own all the kit to enjoy the great outdoors. You don’t. Grab your coat and some comfy shoes and go for a walk from your own front door.
Get the OS Explorer map for your local area and head off to discover trails, parkland, meadows, hills and river paths within just a few minutes of your home. Then do the same from your family and friend’s homes and you’ll soon have a whole new list of favourite places. Make a couple of hours wandering around outside your new Sunday afternoon routine.
7. Find something new close to home
A popular excuse people come up with is “there’s nothing to do where I live”. I challenge you to FIND something outdoorsy to do in your local area. You don’t always have to travel to the beach or mountains that is over an hours drive. Leave the phone and spend the afternoon doing something near you.
Quite often people miss the natural beauty that surrounds them every single day. All the best afternoons are not planned so don’t use Google maps, just start walking, running, rollerblading, scootering, whatever you have to do and go explore! You could even just grab a tent and camp out at your closest campground. There’s something so special about finding new and secret locations you haven’t found before in your own town or city!
8. Plan things to do and where to go in advance
Spend some time researching places you’d like to go walking or camping in, and collate them together on a Pinterest board.
That way, each time you have a free weekend, or some spare time that you’re not sure how to fill, you can easily pick something off the board and you will never be stuck for something to do again!
Camping With Style
9. Try something new!
Never been kayaking but always fancied giving it a try? Make 2016 the year that you finally do it! Make a list of all the things that you’ve always fancied doing but have never gotten around to, and choose a few of them – then just go for it!
From coasteering to camping, trekking to trampolining, don’t put it off any longer and try something new this year. For example, I tried snowboarding for the first time last year after always wanting to do it, and haven’t looked back since!
Camping With Style
So there you have it, 9 expert tips to help you make 2016 your most outdoorsy year ever! If you’d like to share any of your own tips for getting outdoors more, then we’d love to hear them; just fill in the comment box below, and don’t forget to share your adventures with us throughout the year with us on Twitter.
A big thank you to all the brilliant bloggers who contributed to this article.