Everyone has a different outdoor style, a different way of getting out and enjoying the backcountry. Your style can say a lot about you, but it can also have some downsides. Check out this list of four common approaches to outdoor recreation and see where you fit in.
Your weeks are busy, but you make up for the lost time by packing as much as possible into the weekend. Depending on where you live, this could mean any number of things. Maybe you start the day with a run and then pack in as many pitches as possible at the local crag. On Sunday, perhaps you spend the day laying tracks in the fresh powder or cranking out a century on your road bike. Either way, by the time Monday rolls around, you’re ready for the relative relaxation of work.
The Weekend Warrior is a tried and true way to recreate, but some people get so involved with the pattern that they get irritated when something infringes on their weekend time. If you find yourself falling into this category, consider some creative ways to make space for other weekend activities with your less outdoorsy friends. One way to do this is to plan ahead and add some activity into your week.
Maybe you get out on the weekends, or during the week, but it just isn’t enough; you yearn for an uninterrupted block of time to really achieve your goals. Whether it’s climbing in Patagonia, mountaineering in the Himalayas, or completing a long trail (AT, PCT, CDT, etc.), your plans are big and require a lot of planning, saving, and commitment. If your work schedule allows for lengthy vacation time, expeditions are a great option, especially if you’re able to commit to a plan and see it through. If you’re not great at delaying satisfaction, saving money, or logistics, this may not be the best model for you. The trick to pulling this off is to maintain your fitness level (or increase it) in the weeks and months leading up to the big event.
You just need to get out, even if it means waking up extra early or following a day at work with a couple of hours skiing/running/cycling/climbing/etc. Missing a day is not an option. This can be a great way to train or maintain your sanity. If you’re not careful, it can also be a great way to get burnt out or injured. Listen to your body and try to add some diversity to your regimen, whether it means learning a new sport, or taking some slow days.
If you have a hard time slowing down, consider teaching a friend how to do your favorite sport. Teaching is an effective way to tune your technique and focus on the form because it forces you to consider the minutiae of your movements. Skiing, climbing, and running are a few sports that lend themselves to this option because you can move slowly enough for your friend to keep up.
It’s not enough to get out on the weekend–you want to have at least one full day in the backcountry, just one day with no cars, no internet, no Starbucks. This means you’re willing to wait for that long weekend or for your vacation time to add up enough to make the trip worth your while. Dreaming about your next trip keeps you going during the months when taking a break isn’t an option, and when you return, you return refreshed. While this strategy works well for some people, it can also be an excuse for long bouts of inactivity. Make sure you’re still getting out between long trips, otherwise you risk being worn out only a few miles down the trail or on your first powder run. If you’re hoping to make the most of your long weekend (most pitches, most turns, most miles), look into training programs that will help get you into shape before the big event. This is a good way to stay motivated because you have an obvious, and very tangible, goal.