Author Topic: Spending Time in The Great Outdoors  (Read 1129 times)

FallenTimber

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Spending Time in The Great Outdoors
« on: August 07, 2018, 10:37:26 AM »
My wife and I recently read a book by the name of "There's No Such Thing as Bad Weather: A Scandinavian Mom's Secrets for Raising Healthy, Resilient, and Confident Kids" which was nothing short of fascinating and has inspired our family to spend as much time outdoors as possible. Scandinavian babies take naps outdoors in weather below freezing! They even have "forest schools" where the pre-k and kindergarten learning is done outdoors instead of a classroom. So cool.

We have a 7 month old son who loves being outside, so the concept was especially intriguing for us. But even without kids, there are countless benefits to spending time outdoors, in all types of weather.

This year, we have our home rented out on AirBnB, which in 3 months has paid the mortgage for the next 15 months. Since we have 43 acres and a teardrop camper, we've spent the entire summer camping on a portion of our ranch, or traveling. The teardrop camper has a bed, an air conditioner, a radio, and an outdoor kitchen. Essentially there are 3 of us plus 2 large dogs living and sleeping in a 40 square foot camper. But the outdoors is our new living room. Our "office" is a 10x10 ez-up shade canopy from Walmart, where we bring our laptops and a mobile hot spot to work while our son and dogs play to their heart's content, eating pine cones and getting covered in dirt. It's been the best summer of our lives.

The Challenge:

Find ways to get outside. Come up with a list of challenges for yourself and your family and post them here to inspire others. It doesn't have to be a 10-mile hike up a mountain (although more power to you if you combine the challenge with physical exertion). It can simply be eating your breakfast out on the front porch instead of the dining room. It can be taking the laptop outside and finding a shade tree to work under instead of sitting in your sterile, climate-controlled office. It can be reading this forum at a local park, the backyard, the beach--anywhere in the fresh air, instead of wherever you may be reading this right now.

If the weather isn't ideal, consider it an extra challenge.

Anyone on board?

MasterStache

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Re: Spending Time in The Great Outdoors
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2018, 11:06:55 AM »
That's awesome! Kudos to you. I am desperately trying to get my family on board for a multi-week trip out west in the next year or 2. And I have made it a point to do a considerable amount of hiking/camping this year. We do have constraints though that put a damper on much of this. I love hearing stories about folks "roughing it" though.

Serendip

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Re: Spending Time in The Great Outdoors
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2018, 02:58:33 PM »
Great challenge.
 I am on board. Have been going for daily swims since April 1st (started in a snowstorm (!) and we go regardless of weather) and been in lakes & outside hiking more this summer than I have in years. It feels great. Also bought an e-bike a few years back,  so zipping around has been a lot more pleasant, even in hot weather.

We hiked in a hailstorm last week (unintentional but we were prepared).
 
I like the idea of simple moments outside versus always an activity (reading/drinking tea), but currently it's awfully hot in the middle of the day so I do hide from peak-sunshine.



clarkai

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Re: Spending Time in The Great Outdoors
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2018, 03:10:42 PM »
Sounds like my kind of challenge!

We already go running in the mornings, and take a fair number of walks, so we'll expand beyond that.

My goals:

- 1 hour per day outside gardening.
- Go to a park at least once a week.
- Do a hike around town once a week.
- Eat 5 meals a week on the porch.

Vasilisa

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Re: Spending Time in The Great Outdoors
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2018, 03:16:25 PM »
@FallenTimber thanks for the book recommendation and the challenge! I'm in!

I already garden quite a bit but have been thinking of ways to increase my "living" space outside around my house as well. I'm going to check out the book (library has it!) and think on it further. Thanks!

SeaKayEl

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Re: Spending Time in The Great Outdoors
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2018, 05:20:43 AM »
This is awesome!

Added that book to my reading list (although I don’t have kids, I imagine I will take away a bunch of new ideas and perspective).

The outdoors makes me happy without a doubt.

What I currently do:

-Bike Commute year round
-Spend 30 mins during the week exercising my dog either at the park (playing fetch) or taking her swimming (also playing fetch ).  The weekends tend to be longer or multiple play sessions for her.  This happens all year long-with the exception of swimming in the winter.
-I am in pursuit of a goal of summiting all 50 states high points (11 down!)

What I want to do:

-Bike or walk to do more of my errands (i.e. grocery shopping, library, etc.)
-Spend more time outside when I’m at home (for reading, drawing, eating)



wordnerd

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Re: Spending Time in The Great Outdoors
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2018, 06:02:29 AM »
I love this! I requested the book from the library. I'm newly FIREd with two kids, and one of my favorite things so far is that I/we spend a lot more time outside, but we could do more. We usually do a long morning outing, so I'm going to make my goal to play outside in the afternoon everyday too.

Schmidty

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Re: Spending Time in The Great Outdoors
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2018, 06:26:43 AM »
I'm game!!

We're about to move into the country, on undeveloped land.  Will have over 5 acres to explore, hunt, and I get to try my hand at gardening.  Putting our free mobile home out there, it's small, so we are going to be adding outdoor living space that opens to a bunch of trees.  Want to be outside more.  The place is about 10 miles from town, so the only sounds will be wildlife around us.  It will feel like permanent camping.  Heck, my parents have threatened to bring their camper out there for getaways, haha.

nkt0

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Re: Spending Time in The Great Outdoors
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2018, 06:47:01 AM »
Sounds like an amazing life choice! I spent a lot of time outside as a kid and i think (hope) i'm better for it. I'm even typing this message from a picnic table!

But the real intrigue is: How did you make a year's mortgage payments in 3 months of AirBnB?!?

FallenTimber

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Re: Spending Time in The Great Outdoors
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2018, 05:25:31 PM »
I love all the ideas so far. My wife and I decided to take our bicycles into town (and a bicycle trailer for our son) this week. We made the rule that we had to have three different courses at three different restaurants all over town (appetizer, main course, dessert) and that we couldn’t bail because of weather. We ended up riding through the pouring rain for lobster and crab queso, followed by splitting a burger and fries, and ended with splitting a milkshake. There was thunder, lightning, and crazy rain as we pedaled as fast as we could. It ended up costing less than $25 for the date night and made for an unforgettable night. So much fun!

FallenTimber

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Re: Spending Time in The Great Outdoors
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2018, 05:29:57 PM »
Sounds like an amazing life choice! I spent a lot of time outside as a kid and i think (hope) i'm better for it. I'm even typing this message from a picnic table!

But the real intrigue is: How did you make a year's mortgage payments in 3 months of AirBnB?!?
We’re fortunate enough to live on a ranch near two tourist towns (rafting, kayaking, fishing, hiking, mountain biking). We listed our small 1,100 square foot home and the bookings took off. We’ve been making $5,000 - $7,000 per month, and with our mortgage only being $1,200 per month, it’s been crazy to have the house pay for itself! The rentals will fall off during the winter months, which is fine by us since our teardrop camper doesn’t have a furnace!

We also started renting out our travel trailer, which has been bringing in an additional $2,000 per month.

Since we’re sacrificing many comforts living in a 40 square foot teardrop, we allow ourselves an increased budget for cheap, but more frequent, date nights (like the bicycle date).

wordnerd

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Re: Spending Time in The Great Outdoors
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2018, 07:09:01 AM »
I'm about 100 pages into the book and loving it. Today, I took the kids to the lake by our house. Instead of going inside when we got home, we stayed outside while the baby slept in his stroller. I feel more Swedish already ;)

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Spending Time in The Great Outdoors
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2018, 10:11:14 AM »
I so, deeply, need to do this. I grew up more outdoors than in, on plenty of land. Even as an adult, I've spent a lot of time camping and hiking and so on. Lately though, with the exception of gardening and taking my dogs for walks, I really haven't gotten any outdoor time. I know it's so important to my mental health though. Thank you for "planting the seed" of this idea!

Another great book in this vein is "The Last Child in the Woods" by Richard Louv.

clarkai

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Re: Spending Time in The Great Outdoors
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2018, 10:24:09 AM »
Today, my hubby and I started off the day with a walk through a nearby chunk of woods that we biked to. As a bonus, we found oyster mushrooms which I'll fry up today, or maybe make into a risotto.

Serendip

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Re: Spending Time in The Great Outdoors
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2018, 12:08:33 PM »
Biked down to my morning swim @7:30--always such a nice way to start the day!

wordnerd

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Re: Spending Time in The Great Outdoors
« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2018, 11:26:55 AM »
Liked the book but felt most of the advice on getting out was more tailored to cold/wet climates (understandably) than hot places. I talked with some family in Arizona last month, and they basically said that they don't get as much activity as they would like because of the heat, which is legitimately dangerous(they're all swimmers but still). Thoughts on how best to apply this to are of extreme heat?

Things I can think of: shifting your schedule as much as you can (though early mornings and nights might not be feasible for kids...), wearing wet towels around your neck, not moving to Arizona?


clarkai

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Re: Spending Time in The Great Outdoors
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2018, 11:35:55 AM »
We don't live in Arizona, but this summer has been very hot for us and neither of us deals well with the heat. In fact, I once gave myself heatstroke when I was younger and dumber, so now I have to very very careful.

We did shift our sleep schedule way later than it was- from 9 to 12. We started making a point of it to make sure we got some exercise when it was hot and we were well-hydrated to help our bodies adjust, and also were outside walking first thing in the morning when it was still a decent temperature. In the past, we've had a bowl of water and a wash-cloth nearby that we'd wipe ourselves down with to make use of evaporative cooling, but that's harder to build into an outdoor setting. I've seen people hiking with squirt bottles for the same purpose.

I think, if possible, the best ideas are staying inside during the hottest part of the day, and doing a lot of water-based activities.

Bayou Dweller

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Re: Spending Time in The Great Outdoors
« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2018, 06:52:08 AM »
Challenge accepted!

I love spending time outdoors and I try to expose my child to the outdoors as much as possible, too. Our climate is the opposite of Norway, but both build character I think.

Mongoose

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Re: Spending Time in The Great Outdoors
« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2018, 01:06:32 PM »
I'm in. We homeschool and I'm trying to incorporate a lot of local ecology into our curriculum year-round. And I'd like to get the kids out for more fishing and canoeing.

Vasilisa

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Re: Spending Time in The Great Outdoors
« Reply #19 on: August 16, 2018, 12:37:35 PM »
I've been enjoying challenging myself when home to get outside more, which has been more gardening, more reading outside, or the other day just enjoying watching the tiny birds and hummingbirds doing their thing in my yard.

I got the book form the library and have been skimming through it (so much could have been edited out in my opinion) but also enjoying her writing. Came across the August issue of "Outside" (also from library) and the cover article "Rewilding the American Child" had some interesting experiences and suggestions from a variety of authors. Would recommend it.

SeaKayEl

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Re: Spending Time in The Great Outdoors
« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2018, 06:01:07 AM »

What I currently do:

-Bike Commute year round
-Spend 30 mins during the week exercising my dog either at the park (playing fetch) or taking her swimming (also playing fetch ).  The weekends tend to be longer or multiple play sessions for her.  This happens all year long-with the exception of swimming in the winter.
-I am in pursuit of a goal of summiting all 50 states high points (11 down!)

What I want to do:

-Bike or walk to do more of my errands (i.e. grocery shopping, library, etc.)
-Spend more time outside when I’m at home (for reading, drawing, eating)

I’ve been more mindful about noticing my indoor to outdoor ratio and something I didn’t even mention in my first post is that I take my lunch break outside.  I started doing this a couple months ago, but want to extend it through the winter.  Instead of hanging outside on a bench or table I’ll bundle up and walk the grounds.

Since my last post I have spent a few more hours outside than normal—mostly at my home: playing with my dog, reading, and eating.  I also did a 58 mile bike ride.

This weekend and week coming up I plan to do any in town errands on my bike (grocery store for sure, possibly the library if I need/want to go), I’ll be doing some maintenance work on my truck and since I don’t have a garage I’ll be outside
And I’ll continue my already established outdoor time along with adding in any additional time I can.

I haven’t picked up the book yet, but it’s on my list!

FallenTimber

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Re: Spending Time in The Great Outdoors
« Reply #21 on: August 21, 2018, 11:47:51 AM »
I got the book form the library and have been skimming through it (so much could have been edited out in my opinion) but also enjoying her writing. Came across the August issue of "Outside" (also from library) and the cover article "Rewilding the American Child" had some interesting experiences and suggestions from a variety of authors. Would recommend it.
I got that issue in the mail as well, it was a great article. It led me to the author's previous Outside article online about unschooling ("We Don't Need No Education") and his book "Home Grown" -- both fascinating.

We're looking at constructing a tipi on our land, along with hanging a few Tree Pods to work / read/ nap in (if you haven't seen them, check them out), to encourage more outside time for us and our AirBnB guests. It will be an investment, but I think quality time spent outdoors is worth it.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Spending Time in The Great Outdoors
« Reply #22 on: August 22, 2018, 03:02:59 AM »
Impressive, living in your camper for 3 months and earning money because of it.

I just spent 4 weeks of summer holidays mostly outdoors, sleeping in a tent for more than 3 weeks. Even the last week we slept in our cabin, but I spent a lot of time in the forest foraging mushrooms.

My daily exercise exists of walking to work (15 kms a day), typically twice a week. In the weekend I often go into the forest picking mushrooms. But this is not always for a long period trip, often 1,5 hour or so.

During the last 2 years and in the spring this year, DH and I often went camping during the weekend. Sometimes just for one night, also in the winter, in the snow. At long weekends we always go as long as possible. At times this was so frequent that it was practically stressing me. This year we have not had extra trips apart from the long weekends and the summer holiday. We have been visiting our cabin (60 sq meters) often, though.

Per next month I will be working only 80% and have Fridays off. The plan is that DH will also start working 80%. Then we will have every weekend as a long weekend. I hope we will take more camping trips during this period. It could be as simple as using the local forest to keep it simple. Maybe we should not do this more often than every other week, so that we have the other weekend to do chores, which stress me out when they don't get done.

My challenge is also that is will soon be autumn and in some time there will be snow. It will be a bit more challenging to walk to work. I need to use a headlight, reflection vest and have spike soles for my shoe and gators. Last winter the snow often got knee deep and I should have used snowshoes on that stretch through the forest. I have many times regretted deeply not bringing them.
I just need to keep doing this twice a week.

About those toddlers sleeping outside at freezing temperatures. Many foreigners in Norway have had to learn not to call the police when they see a toddler sleeping outside at -10C. :-)
« Last Edit: August 22, 2018, 03:04:50 AM by Linda_Norway »

Mongoose

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Re: Spending Time in The Great Outdoors
« Reply #23 on: August 22, 2018, 06:32:16 AM »
Took the kids for a couple of hours messing around in a creek at a local state park. Went trail running in same park yesterday. They are loving being out more. It's quite a ways away so we need to look for local opportunities. With fall approaching, this should be easier. Cold I can handle but heat combined with humidity just makes me miserable.

Vasilisa

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Re: Spending Time in The Great Outdoors
« Reply #24 on: August 22, 2018, 08:55:02 AM »
@FallenTimber glad you got a chance to read the article and let us know what you think of the additional books.

Wow, how have I never heard of tree pods? They look awesome! Could totally imagine lounging around in one!

The author mentioned forest schools in her book and just found out there's one locally- what a neat idea. I wish there was an adult version: forest work? Forest cubicle?? HA. Just work to ER and get out in the forest??