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Outdoors are Closer than you Think

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Spring and summer are the perfect times to enjoy the outdoors. However, after planned vacations, it can be hard to find the time for another trip. Instead of longing for a weekend away, be creative with what you have. Adventure may be as close as the other side of your back door.

Turn your backyard into an outdoor escape with these fun activities to set up anywhere, but preferably your own backyard.

Make it Personal

The most epic backyard adventure I’ve ever been a part of was my wedding. With the help of friends and family the backyard was transformed into an event venue. Lights were strung across the whole yard, and every tree trunk became a chair. It was truly magical, but what I loved the most was how relaxed everyone was. After the wedding was over and I was long gone, our family and friends stayed out by the camp fire until the early hours of the morning.

While you certainly do not need to host a whole event to enjoy your backyard, there are ways to step outside and enjoy the outdoors without really leaving home. The key is to make it personal to you.

Test Gear

camping at nightMy cousin loves hammock camping, and he will set up his winter hammock camping gear on any random night just to be outside and in the elements. You too can make the most of your outdoor gear by using it in your backyard. While fishing may be out of the question, you could certainly cook over your camp stove, sleep outside in your warm jacket, or set up your tent if you know rain is on its way.  Fun fact, kids love this too! It’s quite relaxing to sit in a dry tent with the rain coming down.  Just be sure to wear your rain jacket and hiking boots for the walk across the yard.

Camp

Camping and adventure go hand in hand. A simple tent can transform a backyard into a fun evening “out.”  Bring games, snacks, and music, but leave your phone and TV inside. You have to believe you are far away from home to really appreciate camping in your backyard.

Of course you will want to check to see if your neighborhood has any rules against setting up campfires in the backyard before you do so.

Campfire Foods

Everyone likes a good BBQ, but even more so than that is the human nature to compete! Harness the fun power of friendly competition with friends and neighbors via a campfire cookout competition. There can be many variations of the competition such as appetizers, main courses, or simply a S’mores style challenge. Be creative and get everyone involved. Most of all, make sure its camping themed!

camping foil

Using foil to cook meals also works as a plate.

Get Creative with Nature

Arts and crafts are not just for kids. Pull out a water color set or a coloring book and soak in the nature around you. If you would rather, sit and enjoy a good book. Whatever your means of relaxation is, turn to your backyard to find a peaceful place to be creative and let your mind wander.

Obstacle Course

Cross-fit is still as popular as ever and its clear to see why. Not only are people getting fit, they are having fun in the process. While most of us do not have the time to commit to classes, we could easily host a backyard CrossFit session and invite others over to join in on the fun. Look up a workout that seems doable and host it in your backyard. Go through each of the activities and walk away feeling accomplished. If you are feeling extra motivated, build an obstacle course and challenge your friends to certain tasks. If you are an avid backpacker consider throwing your pack into the mix. See how many pull ups, box jumps, or lunges you can do with your gear. That will really get you more than ready for any trail.

Invite Others

One of the best parts of backyard adventures is the convenience. You are closely located to bathrooms, running water, and controlled temperatures (if you choose to use any of these luxuries). Those friends that never want to join you in your backpacking or camping trips may be up for S’mores and sleeping under the stars in your backyard. Use the security and convenience of your home as a way of convincing others to join you outdoors.

outdoor lights

Remember the Day

While I am not a scrapbooker, it is fun to reminisce on a fun days shared outdoors.  If you take the opportunity to host a backyard adventure, be sure to make some sort of memorabilia of the day. For example, those lights are still beautifully hung in my dad’s backyard, four years after the big backyard wedding. They stand as a fun way to remember the special day.  Bury a time capsule, plant something just for the backyard occasion, or leave up tasteful decorations as a sweet reminder of your special day outside.

 

So much life can take place in the backyard, especially if we plan for it. What backyard adventures do you enjoy? Share in the comments below!

About the author

Mariah Swigart

Mariah Swigart

Mariah Swigart is often found camping, climbing, hiking, and kayaking in her home state of Arizona. She loves exploring new locations for her outdoor hobbies, and believes each trip is an opportunity to try a new piece of outdoor gear. Check out SwigartOutdoors.com to read about her most recent adventures.

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