By: Desiree Hester
Summer is in full swing and it’s the perfect time to plan your next weekend getaway in the great outdoors. If the thought of hurried past adventures has you feeling a bit flustered, then fret not! These tips are sure to help you have your most carefree, enjoyable weekend adventure yet.
To make impromptu trips less stressful and more manageable, take stock of your outdoor gear, replace whatever needs replacing and organize your gear in a way that makes sense for you. After few too many chaotic packing mishaps my husband and I revamped our outdoor equipment and organized our gear for easy access. Now, equipment is stored in one place and divided up by activity into large storage containers, allowing us to be packed and out the door in no time.
Keeping extra firewood and an extra bag of ice stored in your freezer can further prevent unnecessary hassle when heading out for the weekend. In addition to having your gear at the ready, simplify your cooking time by doing some simple meal preparations in advance. Dicing up things like fruits and veggies and storing them in your cooler before heading out on your trip will reduce the amount of time needed for cooking and clean-up at your camp site.
Find Hidden Gems Close to Home
In order to optimize your time spent having fun, consider finding hidden gems that are close to home. The less time spent traveling to a destination the less rushed and more enjoyable the adventure will be. One of the greatest resources we’ve found for keeping our nearby travels fresh and exciting is by studying a Road and Recreation Atlas of our state. Though a quick Google search will likely pull up the major tourist spots in your area, a recreation atlas is highly detailed- mapping out trails, campgrounds, historic sites and monuments, scenic highways and more. In the past year we have planned numerous weekend getaways to off the beaten path places we might never have discovered otherwise. Apart from the time saved traveling, your appreciation for your own locale will increase.
Sometimes, the drive is the adventure. If you’re keen on covering as much ground as possible, consider mapping out a road trip along a scenic highway. The more notably scenic the roadway, the more likely you are to encounter fantastic overlooks, trails and potential lodging/camping spots along the way.
Reserve in Advance
Any preparation that can be done in advance to eliminate stress and unforeseen obstacles will pay off in a more relaxed getaway. If you’re traveling during peak season or to a popular spot, consider reserving sites and permits in advance on Reserve America ( especially useful for stays at state and private parks) or the National Park Service recreation site ( particularly great for anything related to the National Park System). Not only does reserving in advance provide some ease of mind but you can also find unique accommodations like yurts and cabins for rent that you might not discover if you wait until you arrive to an area. Some of our most fun memories throughout our travels have been the places where we have stayed.
In your ever busy life, it can be so easy to postpone travel plans-especially quick weekend getaways that may seem insignificant. Without placing travel time as a priority, it will likely continue to be pushed to the wayside. Instead of adding to the list of places you’ll visit someday set a date and block out the time on your calendar. If you find that you struggle with keeping your commitments to get out adventuring, then find some way to be accountable. Having accountability can be as simple as booking the first night’s camping site or inviting friends or family who will be relying on you to make the trip happen.
Though we all have likely experienced moments of wishing we hadn’t passed up on a great adventure, I can’t think of a time that I have ever regretted going out on an adventure and creating memories. Even an unassuming quick getaway could end up being the makings of your greatest adventure yet! So, commit to the trip and let the adventure begin.
About the Author:
Desiree is a photographer, blogger, world traveler and creator of The Wayfarer Journeys travel website. Through her words and photos she aims to inspire others to dedicate more time to being in nature and to add outdoor adventure into every trip that is taken. Desiree believes that anyone can benefit from travel and time spent in the great outdoors- no matter their skill level. Whether in her beautiful home state of Utah or while traveling abroad, she can be found hiking, back packing, camping, snow shoeing, cooking a mean dutch oven meal or out on the lake with her wonderful husband and fearless adventure pup, Waldo. You can follow Desiree on Instagram at @thewayfarerjourneys