What’s Your Recreation Style?

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.

Weekend_Warrior snowboarding

Week­end Warrior
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.


Hiker in New Zealand

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.


Daily_Trainer jogging

Dai­ly Trainer
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.


3_day_tripper camping

3‑Day Trip­per
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.