I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t really enjoy hiking or camping. Even when I attended a camp for young women 6 years in a row, most of those years were spent in cabins, sometimes with air conditioning! To quote Jim Gaffigan, “I’m what you’d call indoorsy.” How then, can I possibly enjoy a living in a place where the outdoors is the main source of entertainment?
Where to Go
Many local business have free maps and brochures for your area. I also recommend checking the internet or asking the locals, no matter how long you’ve lived there. We are still finding new places to explore after almost 8 years!
Going on Drives
The county where I live is HUGE, geographically. Many of the “must-see” sites include fairly long drives with places to see on the way. Since many of those drives don’t include cell or radio service, we make sure to have something to listen to in the car, whether it’s a book, podcast, or fun playlist. We also bring our nice camera, snacks (or a picnic), and a bucket for the child who gets carsick on winding roads.
Hiking in Season
Though hiking is thought of as a summer activity, my vote is to do it in the spring or fall unless you live in a more temperate area. Here in northeastern Utah, temperatures reach 100 during July and August, and there is often no shade. Though I mentioned not enjoying hiking much, I’ll do it if the trail isn’t too hard for my 3-year-old. The 1-year-old rides in a hiking backpack with Dad. Even in the less hot months, we make sure to take plenty of water, bug spray, and sunscreen. And snacks. Don’t ever forget the snacks!
There’s no rule that says you have to stay the night to enjoy a meal cooked over the fire. Many campsites have fire pits that anyone can use. We load everything into a cooler and make sure to bring a pack of baby wipes for cleanup, especially when roasting marshmallows. Even in the middle of summer, we bring a hoodie for every person, even if we don’t use them. Temperatures at higher altitudes can be pretty chilly at any time of year.
Remembering Our Adventures
Whether it’s with the nice camera or just a phone, we make sure to get at least a few pictures, especially when it’s a new place. I also have extra map to mark off places we’ve explored with pushpins. It’s fun to see all the places we’ve been over the past 8 years. We’re not done exploring yet, either!
If you don’t like camping or hiking, don’t let that stop you from enjoying the great outdoors. There are so many interesting places to go. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of knowing where to look.