This is a hard time for all of us right now, especially us outdoor adventurers.
Although we’d rather be outside baggin’ peaks and hiking in the wilderness, there are some fun and useful things hikers can do at home to get ready, organized, and inspired for their next big adventure.
Also, be sure to check out Leave No Trace’s recommendations for getting outside during COVID-19.
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Do Some Exercises For Hikers
Just because you aren’t out on the trails putting in those miles, doesn’t mean you have to let your body get out of hiking shape!
Here’s a 20 minute bodyweight exercise routine that hikers can do at home to stay in shape for the mountains.
Strength training is super important for fitness and injury prevention. So grab some weights (or some heavy stuff laying around the house), and make strength training a part of your daily routine.
Read An Inspiring Adventure Book For Hikers
Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart: An Adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail by Carrot Quinn
After confronting her fears that she’s become addicted to the internet, Carrot decides she needs change– big change. She’s having trouble connecting with others and needs to break away from living in the city that’s making her numb.
She’s queer. She’s unexperienced. She’s honest as all heck. And she’s hiking 2,660 miles from Mexico to Canada (with hopes to get there before it starts snowing-yikes).
What fans are saying about Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart…
“For anyone who has undertaken an epic journey this book brings to life the memories of the beginning, describes the simplicity of it’s universe, the highs and lows of the physical endeavour, and the relationships formed in an uncomplicated environment. The emptiness of the end and realisation that the “real” world is still out there. It brings to life a an experience that only someone who was there will ever truly understand. For those who are yet to take that journey it shows you that the most ordinary people can do the most extraordinary things….by taking one step at a time.”
In Rising, Wood describes the seventy days she spent on Mount Everest as she made the first ascent as an American woman on top of the world’s most famous mountain.
The pressures and challenges of being a woman in the Himalayan mountains were heightened by presence of her past mentor/lover with his new girlfriend on the American team climbing who just so happened to be on the same side of the mountain.
With the media framing the two women as rivals, both striving to become the first North American woman to reach the summit of the highest mountain in the world.
“Wood rose to all these challenges, finding camaraderie and inspiration among her teammates, particularly in the expedition cook, a strong woman whose perspectives were essential to the team’s remarkable esprit de corps, as well as with “the other woman,” her so-called American rival.”
Organize Your Hiking Gear
Save this one for a day you’re feeling really spunky because this can be quite the project- but so worth it!
Here are some tips for organizing all of your hiking gear at home:
- Hang up backpacks by size.
- Shift your most used gear towards the front and shuffle the off-season gear behind it.
- Display your most used gear (or most inspiring gear pieces) as decor. Share your adventurous spirit with your guests and get inspired to get out there by seeing it everyday.
- Store smaller gear inside of backpacks to maximize your space.
- Clearly label your boxes/bins so you know exactly what type of gear is in there.
- Peg boards are a cheap, easy, and aesthetically pleasing solution to organizing and accessing your adventure gear.
- If you‘re feeling up to it and want to jump right into extreme organizing, create a spreadsheet with all your gear by activity or season and it’s location.
Clean and Repair Your Hiking Gear
When was the last time you washed those soft shell pants? Or checked the expiration dates of the medications in your first aid kit?
Take this opportunity to go through your gear, take inventory of what needs to be replaced, sew up those holes in your hiking socks or backpack, and love your gear so it can last you a long time.
With great gear comes great responsibility… or something like that.
Plan your Next Hiking or Backpacking Adventure
Here are some questions to ask yourself when planning for your next epic adventure:
- Where do you want to go?
- When is the best time of year to visit?
- Do you need permits? If so, how do you get one?
- Who do you want to invite on your adventure?
- Do you have the proper clothing and all the gear you’ll need?
You can also research trails, buy a map, and learn more about that particular national park or wild land.
Print Pictures From Your Favorite Hikes
So I’m sure we all have some fun pictures of us and our friends playing outdoors and of course, the classic summit selfies.
Don’t let them just live in digital pixel land- print them out so you can remember good times with your peeps every single day.
Pro Tip: Back up the photos from your phone onto a hard drive or cloud storage. Last year, I accidentally left my phone in a taxi in Bangkok (hey, I was super freaking excited to get to the husky cafe!) and lost multiple years worth of photos. 💔 I had so many photos from over the years of hiking, backpacking, camping, and climbing outdoors with my friends that I straight up lost. Don’t make the same mistake I did and back up your photos.
Here are 10 creative and cheap ideas for photo projects.
Watch A Hiking Movie or Outdoor Documentary
- A Walk In The Woods – Based off of an iconic trail book, this adventure comedy follows two friends after they decide to thru-hike the 2,190 mile long Appalachian trail.
- Into The Wild – The story of a privileged, young man who walks into the wild in search of adventure after graduating college.
- The Way – A grieving father hikes the entirety of the Camino in Spain in search of healing after losing his son.
- Wild – Based off of the true life story of Cheryl Strayed, an unexperienced woman sets out to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail in an attempt to find herself after losing her mother and going through a divorce.
- Mile, Mile and A Half – Five friends document their thru-hike on the John Muir trail, a 210 mile long trail through the wilderness of California. Available on Netflix.
- Tell It On The Mountain – A handful of hikers share their journey thru hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, a 2,650 mile long trail stretching from Mexico to Canada.
- The Long Journey To The Start – Documentary of a couple on the Appalachian Trail.
- Only The Essential: Pacific Crest Trail Documentary – This is the story of a 2668 mile thru-hike on America’s premiere long distance footpath, the Pacific Crest Trail.
Create Some Outdoor Inspired Art
Don’t think you can draw? Think again, my mountain-lovin’ friend.
Follow along with these step-by-step tutorials and soon you’ll be drawing mountains like a pro..
Discover a New Trail Lunch or Snack
Check out these healthy vegan meal ideas below. 👇
More plant based meal ideas for the trail + some strategy tips for food resupplying for you aspiring thru-hikers out there. 👇
Check out the video below for keto-friendly hiking snacks. 👇
Study A Specific Outdoor Skill
Here are some ideas of outdoor skills hikers can study at home:
- how to start a primitive fire
- how to properly use a compass; navigation
- edible plants
- tying knots
- signaling rescuers
Do A DIY Project For Hikers
DIY Paper Soap
DIY Fire Starters
DIY Pot Cozy & Cook Pouch For Backpacking Meals
Learn About Your Local Flora and Fauna
Impress your friends the next time you’re out on a hike and drop some knowledge about the native plants, invasive species, and local wildlife that beautify the trails.
For example, “Do you know how to distinguish a grizzly bear from a black bear? Grizzly bears have a hump on their back. It’s actually a big mass of muscles that they use for digging. Also, they can eat up to 90 pounds of food in a day!”
Pretty fun, right?
Learn Some Great Yoga Stretches For Hikers
Give Back To The Outdoor Community
- Become a member of Leave No Trace to help fund the foundation that provides education, training, and outreach to help keep our wild spaces wild.
- Donate to the National Parks Foundation to help preserve our 400 National Parks. 💛
- Sign up for a stewardship project with your local conservancy.
- Organize your own trail stewardship or costal clean-up in your community.
To summarize, there are tons of awesome things hikers can do at home to get inspired, give back to the outdoor community, and prepare for your next outdoor adventure!
Do you have any tips or ideas for things hikers can do at home? Drop a comment below, I’d love to hear about them.