We are currently living through unprecedented and uncertain times. The world is changing before our eyes and no one is sure what’s coming next.
But despite the many challenges presented by Covid-19, including loss of human life, incredible public health challenges, and a mounting economic toll, it’s important we all stay sane and as positive as possible while social distancing, self-isolating, and sheltering in place.
Because it’s so important to stay at home as much as possible right now, even in areas without official shelter-in-place orders, I’ve compiled a few of my favorite ways to bring a touch of the outdoors into my own home.
While there’s no substitute for the real thing, we hope this list will help you at least somewhat satisfy your nature-fix until things are “back to normal.”
Go Camping at Home
Although winter camping is completely possible, the first day of spring is what really starts my camping itch!
With the current necessity to stay at home, going camping might not feel possible. In fact, many public and private campgrounds are shutdown. Even though it might seem harmless to go camping (lots of space for social distancing, right?), not only is everyone urged to stay at home, but the small communities near many popular outdoor destinations are especially vulnerable right now. Another factor is the potential for auto accidents which could distract already overtaxed first responders.
Luckily, camping at home is a great alternative! Of course, there’s always backyard camping if you have enough outdoor space to do so safely and responsibly, but pitching your tent indoors can be just as fun. Pile in plenty of blankets, turn off the lights and use lanterns, tell campfire stories, and make indoor s’mores for a fun family camping experience without leaving your living room!
Set Up Your Hammock Indoors
I’ve spent a whole lot of time hanging out in my Mock ONE Hammock over the past few weeks.
Mine is currently set up in the corner of my office. It’s been the perfect place to kick back and relax while taking a break from working at home. And, in the evenings, I’ll lay in my hammock and read a book or watch TV before bed.
The Mock ONE is a great indoor hammock thanks to its built-in stand and portable design. But you can pretty much use any hammock indoors with a little know-how. Hang from the ceiling, walls, or a hammock stand to bring one of your favorite outdoor activities indoors.
Virtual Tours of National Parks
A wide variety of virtual tours are available online to help transport you outside of your home.
Those from the National Park Service (partnered with Google Earth) are perhaps the best for lovers of the great outdoors. These virtual tours enable you to explore the natural wonders at many of the country’s most beautiful national parks all from the comfort of your own home.
For example, take the Yellowstone National Park virtual tour to visit Grand Prismatic Spring, Old Faithful Geyser, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and more. It’s certainly a far cry from the real thing, but it's still a great way to appease your appetite for the outdoors while stuck at home.
Train for Your Favorite Outdoor Activities
Can’t get enough hiking, mountain biking, or paddling?
Then use your time inside to train for your favorite outdoor activities. Hop on that stair climber to imitate hiking, peddle away on an exercise bike to simulate mountain biking, or pull on your rowing machine to train for your next kayaking trip.
Don’t have exercise equipment at home? No problem! There are plenty of other ways to stay in shape for your favorite outdoor activities. Bodyweight exercises are a great place to start. There are also hundreds, if not thousands, of awesome home workout videos available online.
Bring the Outdoors Inside
When stuck inside for days or weeks on end, adding every extra touch of nature to your life is more than worth it, no matter how small.
A few of my favorite ways to bring nature inside the house include maintaining an indoor garden (a herb garden is an easy place to start), opening the windows to let fresh air inside, and hanging up photos of your favorite nature scenes (even just changing your desktop background helps).
Sorting through my backlog of outdoor photos is also a favorite task. It allows me to revisit my favorite family camping trips, even making me feel more connected with family members I’m not able to see right now.
Stay Active and Get Outside When Possible
Even in the era of social distancing, self-isolation, and sheltering in place, nothing beats getting outside for some fresh air.
Although heading out for a hike is tempting (and currently still allowed in some areas), we strongly encourage you to stay as close to home as possible for now. Take a walk around your neighborhood and hike only on trails that are located within walking distance. Even just stepping outside for a few moments or sitting on your porch can help curb the cabin fever.
Most important is to stay safe. Not only by observing proper social distancing (always follow the six-foot rule) and avoiding touching public surfaces, but also to prevent accidental injury. Any injury suffered outside while hiking or exercising has the potential to stress an already extremely overstressed healthcare system.
It’s essential to stay mentally and physically healthy despite the current state of the world.
We hope our tips can help nature lovers remain connected to the outdoors and their favorite outdoor activities in a time of social distancing and self-isolation.
Remember, the better we all are at social distancing, self-isolating, and following any stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders, the sooner we will all get back to normal.
Let’s continue to look for silver linings in these uncertain times.