• Wis Outdoor Explorer

The First Step is the Toughest

Updated: Oct 9, 2018

5 Ways to Taking that First Step to Outdoor Exploring

I think when most people think about exploring the outdoors, they think they need to travel somewhere exotic or to place that very few people have gone or want to go.  But let’s be honest, getting to those places can be expensive and taking off a month from your current job is usually unrealistic.  I know it would be difficult for me.  I’m only allotted so much vacation time a year and with my kids getting older and starting to be involved in more activities, it keeps me pretty busy already.  Most of my getaways consist of day trips or weekend events.  But why does getting out and exploring have to be something that takes up all your vacation day or your whole weekend?  It doesn’t.  In fact, outdoor exploring can be as easy as stepping out into your backyard.  Here are 5 easy ways for you to start your outdoor exploring adventure by just walking out your backdoor.

Plant a flower garden.

Plant a garden

A great way for you to get outside is plant a garden.  This is one of my favorite activities to do because it gets you outside for three out of the four seasons we experience in Wisconsin.  In the spring you till the garden and plant the seeds.  During the summer you harvest early crops, weed, water and even plant more produce for later development.  Then fall rolls around and you harvest the rest of your crops and then just before winter, you remove the dead plant and till the garden one last time.  It an activity with many benefits.  Not only are you getting out get some fresh air, but you also get to enjoy everything you grow all year long.  But there’s more to the garden than just plants.  You’ll attract bees and butterflies and even some unwanted guests like rabbits.  I find there is always something new to discover in your garden each time I'm out there working in it.    

If you don’t have room for a large garden, plant some vegetable in some pots and keep them on your porch or around the house.  Anything you plant and care for outside is going to get you to take that first step into getting outdoors.

Feed the Birds

Don’t have a green thumb?  How about bird watching?  Another thing that I love doings is caring for our bird feeders.  Feeding the birds in our backyard has proved to be very rewarding.  We feed the birds all year long and enjoy the comings and goings of the different varieties throughout the year.  Winter is always the slowest time of year and that means the feeders stay filled up longer.  The first sign of spring is seeing the first Red Wing Black Birds appear and then others show up as spring keeps warming up.  We have many different varieties that show up and feast and use a number of different feeders.  It’s a fun hobby and I enjoy keeping our birds happy.  Feeding birds is a great way for you get outside.  You need to go out and keep the feeders full and you can sit outside on a nice day and watch them interact with each other.  A bonus is you can also sit in your home on rainy days and still enjoy watching your new feathered friends.

The competition can be fierce!

Go for a Walk

Ok, I know this one is pretty simple, but that’s the point of taking that first step.  Exploring the outdoors doesn’t have to complicated.  Going for a walk around the block or down a country road can be very rewarding.  You really never know what you’ll come across as you’re out and about.  You don’t have to walk far or fast, just walk.  If it gets you outside, then you know you’re doing it right.

My walking partner!

Visit a Local Park

One of the great things about living in Wisconsin is the number of parks that our communities offer.  Some are small and simple and other are large enough you can spend a whole day exploring.  No matter where you live, there is usually a park that’s close by and that’s what really makes them great.  They are easy to get to and almost always free.  Some offer incredible walking trails and others are by rivers or small lakes.  Parks are an easy and great way to get out and explore outdoors.

Devil's Lake State Park

Take up a Hobby

Do like to read or paint?  Why not move outside and enjoy your hobby?  I enjoy sitting out on my porch and writing.  I’ll take my laptop outside towards the end of the day and just sit and write.  I don’t listen to music or podcasts.  The only device is my laptop.  I love sitting outside listening to the birds, frogs and crickets.  It’ clears my head and keeps me connected to the world around me.  So, take your hobby outside.  You may be surprised how much you enjoy the peace and quiet and you may discover something that even inspires you.

The point is getting outside can be as simple or as complicated as you make it. 

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