Like a bear coming out of hibernation, you’re emerging from months of quarantine. You’re ready to get back out there in the sunshine. Depending on your local regulations, you may be doing it with a mask on, but you’re definitely not staying indoors during the sunniest time of the year.
If you’re feeling like a sun-dazzled butterfly crawling out from a dark chrysalis, you’re not alone. And although your summer plans may have changed (goodbye, international travel, hello ultimate backyarding), there’s no reason not to make 2020 a summer to remember.
Here’s a few ideas for fun summer activities to get your adventurous side in gear:
Backpacking: Our Favorite Summer Activity
At the tip-top of our summer activities list is backpacking. In our minds, the bliss of getting away from it all and having an alpine lake completely to ourselves far outweighs the convenience of car camping. Car camping is nice, but just wait until you’re watching the setting sun reflect off the granite peaks in a fiery alpine glow, setting the tranquil lake aglow in a blaze of glory while the first evening stars begin to twinkle overhead. After going for a quick skinny dip, you swap adventure stories around the campfire and reminisce about the amazing canyon views on the hike earlier that day.
Whether you’re a diehard 20-mile-a-day trekker, or you prefer to hike just a mile or two to the nearest body of water, backpacking is for everyone. It’s the perfect way to escape the chaos of the city (or the campground) and find serenity in nature. If you’re a novice backpacker, plan your first adventure with help from your local REI or backpacking club, or send us an email. See you on the trail!
Canoe Camping: Our Dream Summer Activity
Live out your childhood Huckleberry Finn fantasies with a canoe camping trip. Imagine yourself drifting around the bend of a lazy river, scouting for the perfect campsite along the banks. Once you find it, hang your hammock between two trees and build a fort out of downed wood. Cast a fishing line into the water and see what’s for dinner. Build a campfire and kick back for a relaxing evening beneath the stars.
In case you can’t tell, canoe camping is definitely on our 2020 Summer Activities list.
The time-honored tradition of canoe camping is alive and well in 2020. All you need is your sense of adventure, some camping gear… and a canoe. There are rental companies that can help with all the logistics, or there’s always Craigslist. Just make sure the canoe you bought on Craigslist for 50 bucks from that guy named Tony is actually watertight. To pull it off in style, canoe camping takes a bit of planning and research (get a permit and confirm that you’re camping on public land), but it’s entirely do-able with a little forethought.
Floatopia: Our Laziest Summer Activity
Beat the summer heat by rounding up a flotilla of inflatable pool toys, inner tubes or even the ultimate party raft. Grab your household and head out to the nearest body of water to bask in the sunshine while dipping your toes in the refreshing lake, river or ocean. When it comes to fun summer activities, Floatopia definitely makes our list. Pack a picnic and don’t forget the essential floating cooler and waterproof speaker. Remember to wear a hat, slather yourself in sunscreen and stay hydrated. Oh, and don’t forget those polarized sunglasses!
Geocaching: Our Most Adventurous Summer Activity
If an epic quest for buried treasure is right up your alley, then geocaching is for you. Geocaching is the sport of finding a hidden cache at a particular GPS coordinate. Sound easy? Trust us, it’s actually pretty challenging. Caches can be found in cities and out in nature, and are often filled with fun goodies. (Of course, in the age of covid, you may want to think twice before taking anything home—but do bring something to leave for the next finder). Grab a GPS/smartphone and your friend with the best sense of direction, then channel your inner Goonie and go have some fun. Remember, Goonies never say die!
Multi-Sport Adventure: Our Wackiest Summer Activity
This is a fun one, and it’s as wacky as you want to make it. In our book, a multi-sport adventure is just that—an adventure day or weekend involving multiple sports daisy chained together in creative ways. If you want to go by the book, this might be a triathlon (swim-bike-run). But we say a multi-sport adventure is whatever you choose. Love stand up paddle boarding? Throw that in the mix. Does your family enjoy peak-bagging? Add summiting a peak to your hit-list. Or give bike-packing a try, a hybrid of backpacking and mountain biking which is definitely as radical as it sounds. Stay comfortable on the trail with a pair of our polarized sport sunglasses.
Your multi-sport adventure doesn’t have to be all physical, either. Does making s’mores bring out your competitive side? Maybe the Ultimate S’Mores Campfire Cook Off is the premier event, after the Inflatable Flamingo Lake Regatta and the Campground Kickball Tournament. The kids will love it—just remember to bring their polarized kids sunglasses! However you do it, the Multi-Sport Adventure is guaranteed to be a fun day in the sun.