Simply Adventuring with Scout Collective Founders, Laura Lisowski & Ken Rakestraw
Simply Adventuring is really just that: Simple! We are a project engineer for a major construction company and a Sales Executive for one of the top stock exchanges, and yet we still find it relatively easy and effortless to build travel and adventure into our busy lives. Being that we make time for exploring the outdoors at least 3-4 days a week despite having busy and demanding jobs, many of our friends ask us, how do we do it? The good news is: it’s really easy. You just have to read and adhere to the below, and you’ll be on your way. Here are our quick tips for making the most of your days and getting outside to adventure as much as possible:
1) Plan your days. This sounds so obvious but often isn’t. We’ve all had those days where you wake up and laze around and before you know it, it’s 3pm and you’re lying in your pajamas watching the 5th episode in a row of the Kardashians or our personal favorite, reruns of Duck Dynasty. It’s easy to sink into the abyss of the couch and never leave the house. The key for us is planning the next day the night before… whether that be a weekday or a weekend. You can anticipate what might come up the following day and build in an extra hour to get outside for a morning, afternoon or evening hike. It just takes the foresight to think through it.
2) Drink less. Some of you will hate this advice, and believe me, we hear you because we love a good IPA or bottle of red wine just as much as the next guy. But we also know how easy it is to fall victim to turning off the alarm on a Tuesday morning and skipping the planned hike, or to opt for pizza and the view of the mountain range canvas on your wall, rather than the crawling vistas of your local park. Don’t let it happen to you. Go out with people, hit the party, hit the bar, whatever your thing is… but try to limit yourself to a few drinks and you’ll feel so much more ready for adventure the next day.
3) Keep your car well stocked. For us, a passerby would probably think that we were living in our car. At all times, you can find extra running or hiking shoes/clothing/equipment, a few packs, a number of high protein/calorie energy bars, nuts/seeds, a spare car charger, camera, and occasionally even a tent/sleeping bag. The more you carry with you for on-the-fly adventures, the less you have to worry about packing for a spontaneous trip. Just make sure to put it all in a crate or invest in one of those back seat covers so nobody gets any bright ideas about taking all of your gear (recently happened to us, no bueno).
4) Become a weekend warrior. When we post on Instagram non-stop, our friends constantly ask, “don’t you have a day job?” … “how do you travel ALL the time?” … “do you ever work?” Name the sarcastic question and we’ve probably heard it. The reality is that we have just found the way to work the 9 – 5 but also enjoy the 5 – 9, particularly the 5pm on Friday to the 9am on Monday. The fun part is that if you get out enough after work and take full advantage of every hour of your weekend, your friends will actually *think* you’re traveling all the time, when really, you’re filling out expense reports and humoring your boss’ prodding about your projects. Latergram your photos online and you’re a nomad in everyone else’s eyes. Point being: don’t lose a single hour between the time you walk out of the office on Friday (early, if you’re lucky) and when you walk back in on Monday morning.
5) Sleep. No, really. SLEEP. This is a catch 22 because we’re often torn between sacrificing sleep for adventures, or getting that extra shuteye to regroup from the last week / prepare for the next week. I think it’s a balance. You gotta get enough sleep that you are adequately rested and actually feeling somewhat yourself, or else you’re only going to chip away at that sleep bank (and believe us, that sleep bank does not automatically replenish itself) and your energy and enthusiasm for adventure will diminish to the point where you are useless. Just give yourself a break, turn off the TV before the late night shows come on, and get your shuteye. You will thank yourself for the clear eyes and peppy attitude early in the morning.
6) Use your resources. We have a few favorites that are involved in almost every adventure – whether it be a quick evening jaunt or a long weekend getaway. Without fail, Yelp and Google get involved in the process. Yelp is a great way of finding a hike by length and distance from your house, and provides reviews, so you know whether or not to pack lots of mosquito spray, or prepare for lots of hills and a sore behind the next day. Our other favorite tool is Instagram. Whenever we are curious what to expect of a new place, we search the hashtag of that location… In the Bay Area, we regularly search “#bigsur,” “#twinpeaks” and “#marinheadlands” just to check the current conditions before heading out on an outing. If we’re roadtripping and considering checking out an unfamiliar spot, we do the same. It usually gives us a pretty good sense as to what we are getting ourselves into, or guides us away and towards another more appealing destination. We also pre-purchase travel guides and maps for any new location we plan on going to, so we have them on hand and review them for a week or two before, so that we can actually enjoy the location once we arrive and don’t have to spend all of our time reviewing the maps. Again, preparation and anticipation makes all the difference.
7) Resources Part II; Ask Others and Be Nimble. It’s amazing how many of the most epic adventures we’ve found just by talking to our friends or the locals of the town we are visiting. More often than not we go into an adventure with one expectation, run into a local, and change the whole trip entirely. We remain nimble and stay up for the challenge and if a local tells us we need to check out a particular spot because it’s the best they’ve ever seen, then we damn well commit to getting to that spot rain, snow, sun, or borderline hypothermia, and we make it happen. And every single time, it has always been completely worth it. 8) Have fun!