It’s been well over a year now since varying stay-at-home orders and social distancing rules were first implemented to curb the spread of COVID-19. That’s roughly 14 months of spending an excessive amount of time indoors, either crowded around the TV or cursing over finicky sourdough bread in the kitchen.
The winter was, by far, the worst of it. Without the luxury of indoor gatherings and the temperate weather necessary to spend time outdoors, most people went a little stir crazy.
Luckily, there’s light at the end of the tunnel – in more ways than one. For starters, a promising vaccine rollout may help restore a sense of normalcy in the next few months. Secondly, the summer’s right around the corner, which means opportunities for outdoor fun!
If you’re tired of all the usual outdoor activities – picnics in the park, walks along the waterfront – try these three creative ways to enjoy the great outdoors this summer.
Pick Up an ATV
Who says you can’t enjoy the serenity of nature and get your adrenaline pumping at the same time? ATVing can be the perfect compromise between thrill-seeking and nature exploration. Get your blood rushing by ripping around rugged trails, then take a few moments to enjoy the unspoilt beauty of off-the-beaten-path locales.
It’s relatively easy to get started with ATVs. Just check your local guidelines for trail-riding, find an ATV that’s right for you, and then buy ATV parts either online or at your local recreational vehicle retailer. You can watch online tutorials about how to ride an ATV, or find a company that offers ATV lessons. After that, you’re off to the races!
Download a Geocaching App
Geocaching is part recreational sport, part outdoor exploring. Essentially, it involves looking for treasure that other users have hidden in remote locations. To find the treasure (often small trinkets and interesting curios), you have to solve puzzles and navigate your way through remote areas.
Avid geocachers exist world-round. Chances are, there are several nearby you, looking for treasure that’s right under your nose. To get started, read the basics of geocaching, including etiquette and safety tips, then download the app.
Join a Foraging Community
Looking for a fun outdoor activity that can also put food on the table? Try joining a foraging community in your area.
Foraging involves finding and picking wild, edible plants, often in forests and other dense natural environments. Foraging groups are usually led by experts that know what they’re looking for. For instance, they can tell you the difference between a delicious patch of wild sorrel and a dangerous patch of wild parsnip. If you are interested in foraging, you should always refer to the experts (this is especially true when mushroom hunting). To start, sign up for one of the Meetup foraging groups in your area.
This summer, break out of your shell and try something new. After a challenging year, you owe it to yourself to make the most of the warm weather.