April 08, 2020 3 min read

Words by Laci McGee

The current situation sucks. There is no reason to sugar coat it. We are all in a bad way but things won’t stay like this forever. With this down time we can do things one of two ways. One, we can be lazy, we can binge and eat badly. A little bit of that may not be all bad but it should not be everything. Two, we can use this time to better ourselves and prep for when the world is open again. Here are some things you can do to be ready for that next adventure.


One: Workout

I know working out is on all the list of things to do while sheltering-in-place but it is probably the most important. Staying active keeps the mind sharp and the body in shape. There are tons of workout videos online and a lot of them are free right now. While your city is still allowing you to get out and go for a run around the neighborhood - do it. Take that lunchtime walk with your dog, partner, or kids. Or maybe go by yourself to get a moment of quiet. Make sure to get up and stretch during the day - maybe dare yourself to start a push-up challenge. Stay active or that next day hike might be tougher than it should be. 


Two: Take Care of Your Gear

Depending on what your preferred outdoor activities are we all probably have a lot of gear. Now is the time to go through it; to organize, fix, and find out what can be gotten rid of - maybe given to someone else. Check your hydro-packs, how are those o-rings looking? Make sure there is no rust on your camp stoves from those camping trips where it sat out and was covered in dew the next morning. Are the first-aid kits full or do you need to replace something? Even something as simple as ensuring that all your flashlights have good batteries is a good plan. Do you have old gear? Donate it if it is still in good shape, there is always someone who needs it - maybe to that person that is just getting started. 


Three: Upgrade Your Gear

After going through all of your current equipment you may realize that there are some things that you need or things that need to be replaced. If you are in a position to buy them this is the time to do so. Many small outdoor companies need the support and are running sales or are offering free shipping. My fiance and I only had one set of trekking poles and so I took advantage of Hiker Hunger’s sale and bought myself my own set. Again, this option may not be for everyone but is a way to get good gear at a price that won’t break the bank. 


Four: Plan Your Trip

This pandemic will end and we will all want to go outside. When it does end, have the trip planned that you want. Plan a year in advance if you have to to create the adventure you need: the right trails, the right camping spots, the best places to watch the sunrise. Make your dreams a reality. Now is the time to research, to read up on all those unknown things about the places you have always wanted to go. It may be difficult to book right now but do it if you can. Let those businesses know that you support them - from state parks to b&b’s. Look to the future.


Please feel free to post any comments or questions below. We would love to know where you plan to travel once the world is open once more. Until then, stay safe and thank you to those on the front lines.


To read more from Laci McGee, visit her blog - McGeeTravelTales.com 

Customer Service
Customer Service

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Tales From The Trail & Other Stories

The Long Walk I Continue
The Long Walk I Continue

May 28, 2020 7 min read 2 Comments

The trail threw everything it had at me from the start. Freezing rain fell viciously from the sky for the first few days.  At night, my tent did little to insulate me when the temperature dropped below freezing.  When the weather wasn’t something to contend with itself, the climbs made my back and knees scream with agony. I passed through the Green Tunnel in Virginia, 500 miles of the same deep wilderness whose monotony made me feel like I was living in groundhog day. Pennsylvania was covered in rock, and the pounding my feet took made it hard to remove my sneakers at the end of the day due to the swelling. The summer season brought simmering heat, blood sucking mosquitos, and wildlife that looked cute in children’s books but that you wanted to avoid in the wilderness--especially black bears. 
Walking Through the White Sands
Walking Through the White Sands

May 20, 2020 3 min read 1 Comment

It’s hard to refer to Alkali Flat as a “trail”. The only way to know you are navigating in the right direction is by keeping your eyes open for red-tipped stakes sticking out of the sand every four hundred feet or so. When the winds are blowing, footprints left by fellow hikers disappear as quickly as they are made. In every direction you look you feel you are being engulfed in a crashing sea storm of sand. It’s like nothing I’ve ever felt or seen in the thousands of miles I’ve hiked throughout America. 
Sequoia National Park
Sequoia National Park

May 20, 2020 4 min read

We started off at the visitors center with no particular destination in mind and charted off into the woods. While not the wilderness, per say, being in the depths of skyrocketing trees bursting with warmly shaded colored leaves was just as good. As we were turning corners with glimpses of sun streams coming through the Sequoia trees we were stopped in our tracks by a baby black bear walking on the trail coming our way. A few heart racing moments with eyes locking with the bear, the two parties assumed best to turn the other way and we both retreated.