All travel plans until June are cancelled, I have been working in my home office for three weeks now and the date with my partner from California has been postponed for an undetermined time. Since three weeks Berlin and the whole world is in Corona shock. And now? Make new plans? Sure! Plan A, Plan B and Plan C. You never can be sure... But one thing is for sure: I want to use the time at home as good as possible and prepare for my next trekking tour. Luxury problem? Yes, maybe, somehow - but I think one should try to make even difficult situations as nice as possible. For this purpose, I have collected some tips and ideas on how to create some outdoor feeling at home during the Corona crisis and at the same time prepare your next outdoor adventure. Let's go!
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For July - or September - or whenever - I plan a trekking tour of several days. Depending on when travelling is possible again, it might go to Vancouver Island, California or maybe to New Zealand. Plan A, B and C. But in any case a trekking tour with backpack, tent and everything that goes with it. There is a lot to prepare. How good that much of it can be done from home:
- Care & repair of existing outdoor equipment
- Purchase lacking equipment or replace worn-out equipment
- Practice or learn necessary outdoor skills
- last but not least - get fit for the tour
I live in the middle of Berlin. I miss being outside, nature and the wind that messes up my hair. But with the following tips, you can bring some outdoor feeling home even during the Corona time. And that feels damn good! If new ideas come to my mind in the course of time, I will add to the list accordingly. So check back from time to time.
Care & repair of existing outdoor equipment
Only equipment that is well cared-for will last a long time and can perform its function as desired. But although one knows all this, the care of the equipment is often neglected. Now you have the opportunity to get everything in shape.
- Wash your sleeping bag or Down Jacket , e.g. with Fibertec Down Wash*. You can find instructions and suitable detergent at REI.
- Wash & waterproof functional clothing e.g. with Nikwax*
- Hiking boots: Clean and re-grease your boots, e.g. with SnoSeal*
- Thermal mat check for leakage and mend if necessary
- Zelt Check the tent for repair requirements. Are there enough pegs left?
- Clean the cooker & remove soot & clean the nozzles of the multi-fuel cooker. If it is a Primus, you can read all about operation, maintenance and troubleshooting here .
- Update the firmware for the camera & lenses
Tip - Tent camp at home with guaranteed outdoor feeling
How about a camp at home? Why don't you set up your equipment, so you can see what needs some care. And a night in a tent in your own four walls will give you outdoor feeling - guaranteed! Do you have kids? They will love it.
Acquisition of new Outdoor Equipment including Market Research
Is your outdoor equipment for the trekking tour already complete or do you still need one or the other part? Or maybe you need to replace a worn out item? Good that today most / all (?) outdoor outfitters have their online shop! There you can get a lot of information about the products you are looking for, you can compare different articles easily and you can also see the reviews of other buyers.
On my shopping list, for example, there is a new multi-fuel cooker incl. outdoor cooking pot and a water filter. In the next time I will search the internet and read test results and reviews. And of course I will share my insights and experiences with you...
Outdoor Skills - What you can practice / learn at Home
Sure, to train outdoor skills, you have to go outdoors. But there is a bit of theory that you can learn or practice at home. And that gives you an outdoor feeling at home also in Corona quarantine.
- Navigation with map and compass: What is shown on a hiking map and how to read it correctly? How does one actually make a position-finding with cross bearing? Many helpful tips for orientation with map and compass can be found on the page of Compass.
- The functions of your GPS device (e.g. when you go shopping) On YouTube there are a lot of instructions and tips for different devices.
- Try outdoor recipes at home - but use only one hotplate, one pot and one pan ;-). And spaghetti with ketchup does not count! On the page of Trekking Chile you can find some simple recipes. In the book Outdoor-Recipes for Vegans & Vegetarians* (in German) (german) the recipes are a bit more complex, but with some modification they can be made suitable for backpacking.
- Refresh first aid course. You can refresh your basic knowledge online on the Red Cross website. Further knowledge can be found in the book First Aid Outdoor: Fit for Emergencies in the great Outdoors* (in German).
- Learn the most important vocabulary for your next destination - a free language learning app is for example Duolingo.
- Take an online photo course - from my own experience I can recommend the course from 22places.
- Learn Photoshop, Lightroom or DXO Photolab with the help of the tutorials
- How many birdcalls do you know? Wouldn't it be great to know who's singing right now? Then try the Birdcalls Basic Course* (in German). It's fun and you almost feel like being outside!
- Get to know eatable wild plants. Dandelion, chickweed and sorrel provide variety in the camping kitchen, supply vitamins and minerals and are not so difficult to spot. And there are many more eatable plants in nature. You can find out which ones they are, for example, in the book Eatable Wild Plants* (in German) .
Tip: Picnic in the living room
Who says you can only picnic outside in the country? Why don't you spread out your picnic blanket in the living room... it's (almost) just as good there.
Training for Body - Mind - and Soul
It is still allowed to do sports outside in Berlin. A city park is usually not very far away and jogging is always possible. My gym is currently closed. But it has several online courses and even live courses that I can do from home. And my meditation group has also joined Zoom. It's kind of great, you're at home but still connected to your outside world. On some days it even seemed to me that I suddenly felt more connected to my conversation partners in isolation ... strange, isn't it?
- Online sports courses from e.g. Gymondo or Fitnessraum
- Various training videos on YouTube
- The outdoor outfitter REI also has training programmes, for example this one for Backpacking.
- Online meditation courses, such as 8-week MBSR courses from the Mindfulness Online Academy. Here is a free introduction to get to know MBSR
- Various meditation instructions on YouTube
- Does your health insurance company possibly offer free online courses?
What if things get boring at Home? More Tips for long Evenings
- Mucking out is always possible... what's your cellar like?
- Missing a challenge? How about cleaning out your hard drive and backing up your files?
- Why don't you invite your friends for a beer after work, for example via the video conferencing program Zoom
- Now is a good time to sell some stuff. For example on Ebay, Booklooker or Momox.
- Or just an evening with a good book? Then browse through my article with my Favourite Books on the Arctic and Antarctic (German only).
I hope you and your loved ones stay healthy! And that you can use your time at home well for the preparation of your next trip. Because it will definitely come! Do you have any remarks or further tips on how to get an outdoor feeling at home? If so, I would be happy about your comment!