This weekend I was due to go for two nights and two days of camping, hiking and full outdoors immersion, but I’m not going. A combination of things such as health (my wife’s, not mine), poor planning (all mine this time) and some cold, cold weather (lacking on the gear front) means that my weekend by myself, outdoors, is cancelled. I’ll probably go next week, or the week after, but that got me thinking – how can I pick myself up after this cancelled weekend? I figured there probably only two things that will pick me up and I have used them sometimes, but now I’m going to start make an effort to implement them every time a trip is cancelled (and it will happen a lot).
1. Treat yourself with something nice
No, I don’t mean that sexy thing you had your eye on, or a case of good whiskey, I mean a piece of gear. You planned on going outdoors, play with your gear and enjoy all the perks that it has, so get that “fix”. The treat must match the scale of the trip and you must be honest with yourself. I think that for this trip it will something small as I had a big part in me not going – maybe a good lightweight running cap for the coming summer? I need to keep it on a tight budget.
2. Get the outdoors fix
The outdoor is still there, somewhere. I live in the center of one of the biggest cities in the world (London), but I can be in a decent urban outdoors setting (Epping Forest) in half an hour, so find a spot that works for you – close, easy to get to and still green. Granted, you this little “fix” you won’t get a whole weekend outdoors worth of time, so make it a dense one. When we are outdoors we want 3 things:
- See trees/rock/snow/sand or anything natural
- Be active and build some sweat
- Play with gear (it always goes back to that!)
So the best way is to to go for very, very condense experiences that will allow all three to happen, for example:
- Trail Running – crank up the activity for an hour or five, use some gear and be out – no pavement pounding!
- Hike with your kids – it is always more intense with them: you carry them (activity), you have a huge pile of stuff (gear) and they look at the outdoors more closely (you will see lots of leaves, or frogs, or branches or anything else)
- Do your planned activity, but faster – want to hike 25 miles? Do it in a day. Want to do a multi pitch climb? Do it in 3 hours instead of an over nighter. Just test your limits a little more and see if you can squeeze it in.
Weekends outdoors will be cancelled – it is inevitable, especially if you add kids to the mix. You can get bummed, or you can find a different way to play outdoors, even if it just a quick “fix”. Do you have any ideas or your own tricks to get a little pickup after a cancelled weekend outdoors?