After a 40 hour week spent within dull, lifeless walls, many of us crave fresh air and a dose of adventure on the weekends. Wouldn’t you love to take in a beautiful sunset from a mountain vista or float down a lazy river with the warmth of the summer sun during those precious 48 hours away from harsh lighting and the glow of a computer screen? Maximizing your weekends is something that we all desire to do but most of us have a hard time putting into action. Errands, obligations, and the never-ending to-do list can cripple you from actually enjoying your time away from the office.
So how can you realistically get outside this weekend?
We sat down with our resident QALO outdoors expert, David, to get the scoop on how he spends most weekends off the grid.
(This is David at Cucamonga Peak. How cool is he?!)
Here are 5 tips to make getting outside seem like a summer breeze:
1. Think Local
For me, I try to not to let my mind get carried away with far off destinations and instead look at areas that you can make it to before sunset on a Friday night. The extra hours of sunlight that the summer affords you is just more opportunity to go further. The idea is to be able to wake up at your destination Saturday morning so you’ve got the full day to adventure.
2. Plan ahead
Planning your weekend should start no later than the Wednesday leading up to your weekend. Wednesday is your planning day and Thursday your packing day. You should be able to leave work Friday and drive straight to your destination. This helps you not waste time and beat others headed to the same location.
3. Plan right
Getting the right information is key. There’s nothing worse than planning a killer weekend just to show up and have your campground full or your wilderness area closed. Resources like Hipcamp.com and local outdoor adventure bloggers (I like to check ModernHiker.com for local hikes) can be a wealth of information. Consulting others (think forums) and recent weather patterns is also helpful in knowing what you need to bring. Going to be windy? Bring your windbreaker. No wind? Bring bug spray. Another great source are the specialists at your local REI. They’re always helpful and full of great ideas.
4. Warp time
Okay, I’m talking about time perception here so bare with me.
As you’ve gotten older, haven’t you felt like the days just fly by? Does time seem to be moving faster to you now? This is your “time perception”, or what David Eagleman, American writer and neuroscientist, calls “brain time”.
Simply put, “time perception” is changing the way you experience something and making it seem like your experience of it has taken longer or shorter than it really has. What’s actually going on is your brain is processing a ton of information and sorting through it before it is handing it off to you in a form that you are familiar with. The longer that process takes, the longer it lasts. However, experiences you’ve already had will fly by. Seen it, done it or heard it before? Time will move faster. Remember that first kiss? What about your first job? Time slowed down, right? That’s your brain sorting through all the new information.
So, if you want to make the most out of your weekend (or your life for that matter) seek out new experiences. Learn something new, visit new places, meet new people, try something new and be spontaneous. You’ll be able to make the weekends longer and the workdays shorter.
5. Fill it with good people
This should be obvious, but always worth a mention. Bad company can always put a damper on a trip, so be sure to fill your most valuable time with your most valuable people and keep energy high. You don’t want your weekend to be work, so stop bringing the people who make it feel like it. Fill your time and space with good people and the good times will follow.
There you have it people. Grab your loved ones, throw on your QALO (if you don’t have it on already), and get outside!