The weather is warming, the days are longer, and summer feels just around the corner. Considering the current global situation littered with lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, we’re all itching to get outside. With parks and recreation spaces starting to open up, the season looks hopeful—although, the country will, most likely, still have to keep social distancing when in public.
But as officials continue to confirm, spending time outside can do wonders for your mental health during this global crisis. As we all start our preparation for this unique summer season, let’s look at five ways to get outside.
Camping is a beloved American past time that accommodates all interests, skill levels, and comfortability. You can enjoy campsites in the luxury of an RV or at 11,000 feet on the side of a mountain. And with 62 national parks and over 10,000 state parks—not to mention the many other recreational and wilderness areas—there are plenty of places to enjoy camping.
Don’t forget your layers when camping, as temperatures can differ from day to night. Fleece-lined pants can keep you warm around a campfire, and vests are an excellent way to protect your core from the cold.
There are over 1,000 designated hiking trails within protected parks and recreational areas in the US. Altogether, these trails total tens of thousands of miles of hiking opportunities, from sandy beaches to tropical rainforests to high-alpine desert. Whether you’re looking for a stroll or an adrenaline-infused route, you’re covered.
For those looking forward to some outdoor recreation and solitude from the crowds, then hunting is for you. The sport requires a lot of patience, waiting, and quiet navigation. It can take you through open fields and up high into the alpine country in search of deer, elk, boars, and more. Hunting is a great way to enjoy time outside, practice your skills, bond with family or friends, and it pairs easily with other activities like camping and hiking.
Fishing is also a trademark of American culture, and an excellent way to spend time outside. The sport allows you plenty of calm, quiet moments out in nature, whether you’re waist-deep in a river at dawn or sharing coffee with your buddy as you float on a lake. It’s a form of outdoor recreation that gets you outside enjoying nature at its finest.
The United States is home to nearly 100,000 miles of shoreline, meaning that swimming outside is possible in every state. Taking a dip in a natural lake or pools formed by rivers, or even in the surf of the beach, is a great way to feel connected with nature and invigorated by the outdoors.