Being stuck inside has made us realize just how much we take for granted — nature included. So, we’re bringing you virtual wanderlust, climbing challenges, camping in the living room, and yes, ways to safely enjoy the outside. Get creative, and think of this as a choose-your-own-adventure guide.
Staying at home has been extra difficult for us outdoorsy types. So, we couldn’t have stumbled on The Dirtbag Diaries podcast at a better time. Tune in for inspiring stories and real-life accounts about adventuring. And keep an eye out for their virtual happy hours on Fridays!
Escaping to nature is tricky right now, but you can enjoy the sounds of birds chirping with this Nature Sounds Spotify playlist, or zen out with lululemon’s outdoors-themed meditation series. If your screen time numbers keep creeping up, listen to The Getaway podcast episode “Let’s Get Better”. It explores how to bring more balance to your life by unplugging and making time for getting outside.
VR but make it adventurous. Start out at the Precipice Trailhead at Acadia National Park and work your way through our country’s national parks with these Google Earth views. And when was the last time you went deep-sea diving or swam with sea lions?
For a reminder of how amazing the Earth and wildlife is, check out Our Planet, an impressive nature documentary on Netflix that’ll blow your mind.
The 606 and Lakefront might be closed, but we can still run and exercise outdoors if we’re smart about it, so consider this sidewalk etiquette before heading out. Or, do a good deed by joining in the Coronavirus Relief Virtual Run on May 1 — proceeds benefit the CDC Foundation’s Coronavirus Emergency Response Fund.
For a run buddy, join the virtual running community from November Project on Zoom, submit your times for CARA’s Social Distance Run, or build up to a marathon each day with Orangetheory’s Virtual Marathon Month. But, our pick for al fresco exercise has been this oldy (but goody) from Shadowbox trainer Gideon.
If you don’t want to risk it, all of this can be done at home, too. A man in France ran an entire marathon on his balcony, and ultrarunners from around the world competed in a Quarantine Backyard Ultra.
Hiking isn’t off the table — you can still hit the trail as long as you follow the rules.
As you dream about a bigger journey, have all of your hiking/backpacking/everything-in-between questions answered by an REI expert, and get geared up for that post-quarantine, off-the-map escape.
Or, learn backpacking basics and acquire some serious trail wisdom from husband-and-wife team Heather and Josh Legler.
Even if biking is life, the quarantine probably has you pedaling less than you’d prefer. To help you keep your head up, Cannondale Bicycles has crafted ’90s-vibe biking programming on Insta called Channel71; our favorite show so far has been Archives Unlocked.
And this is how pro mountain bikers across the globe are spending their time away from the trail.
Interested in a podcast by bikers for bikers? Stream “Better With Bikes” for the biking world’s best storytelling, plus this Trek Bikes mountain biking documentary which is 1.) totally free to watch, and 2.) keeping us motivated (and on the edge of our seats).
If it’s not too crowded, the North Shore Channel Trail to Evanston has over six miles and wide lanes (Mayor Lightfoot says to keep it quick). If you just need to be in the saddle, SoulCycle launched audio cycling workouts — any stationary bike will do.
We’re super bummed we can’t go camping in Indiana Dunes State Park or glamping up at Camp Wandawega right now. But you can still keep the spirit alive at home.
Switch things up. Hang up your ENO hammock or pitch a tent in the living room (we suggest strategic placement in front of the TV). Then, pop some popcorn and binge-watch these awesome movies about camping. Reese Witherspoon is incredible in Wild.
Or, unplug and start prepping for your next adventure with these books filled with tips, tricks, and essential camping knowledge. Who says you can’t campfire cook at home? Grab some foil and whip up some delicious camping-style cuisine. Hello, mango habanero glazed skewers.
Everyone’s stir-crazy, and climbers gonna climb. With some imagination, you can ascend your bookcase and your kitchen can become your boulders. Though, it’s these ill-advised balcony and rappelling setups that led to Climbing Magazine’s “Search and Rescue” April Fools’ joke.
Local climbing mecca Brooklyn Boulders has live fitness classes, skill sessions, and expert Q&A on IG Live to make sure you’re in peak condition for send season. And if you want a safe challenge for the dining room, they want to see your attempt at the #homeclimbchallenge.
Meredith O'Connor, Em Bennett, and Ryan Deer contributed to writing this list.
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