This compilation of resources for the Outdoor Action community contains various ideas for ways to stay connected to the natural world when your usual outlets may not be available. Spending time in nature has huge positive health benefits (NatureRx) and we encourage you to take advantage of these recommendations while also adhering to the current health policies for your local region. You can begin to experience the benefits of being outdoors with just 20 minutes per day!
Redefine how you perceive “the wilderness” by celebrating the natural resources in close proximity to your location. Public health officials recommend recreating in your local region (generally within a few miles of where you are living) in order to reduce transmission and avoid straining the health care systems in remote nature destinations. Use this time to instead celebrate the hidden gems within your own city or town, visiting old favorites and exploring new regions.
- For a local list of trails to discover, visit hikingproject.com, a crowd-sourced trail guide sponsored by REI
- If you are still in the Princeton area, visit this section of the OA website for trail suggestions
- Op-Ed: Finding Nature and Each Other
Get Outside… Virtually!
If you aren’t able to get outside directly, you can still experience the beauty and awe of nature. Below are our favorite resources for virtually exploring different parks and regions across the globe
- National Parks via Google:
- ProArtInc’s Virtual Hikes via the 4K Virtual Outdoor Hikes Playlist on YouTube
- Immerse yourself in a trail for several hours, listening to the sounds of nature as the camera moves along a hiking trail at walking speed. For added inspiration, pair with a personal workout such as jogging in place/around the room.
- Brooklyn Botanical Garden: Stroll through the Japanese Garden in Bloom
Nature-inspired Indoor Activities
Below is a collection of recommendations for experiencing a sense of adventure from someone else’s perspective or taking action to protect the natural world. When you’re tired of staring at your computer screen all day, take a break by listening to a podcast or audiobook.
- Engage with Earth Month through these 30 daily activities to learn, connect, and share
- Banff Film Festival: typically these award-winning films are brought to campus each April for 2 nights of action-packed footage. The full line-up of films is not available online, but here are some highlights that will surely capture your attention. Each link include several full-length short films (2-12 minutes).
- ROTPUNKT: full-length film about German climber Alex Megos produced by Patagonia
- 100 Outdoor Films you can Stream for Free
- Book, Movie and Podcast recommendations from the REI blog
Caring for Yourself
- NoBarriers Alchemy PodCast + TipSheet
- How to Build a "Psychological First Aid Kit" from Laura McGladrey, NOLS Instructor & nurse practitioner who specializes in emergency medicine and psychiatry
Continue to check-back as we add new ways to connect with other members of the OA community! We’re currently planning for TED talk-style talks by OA Seniors, scavenger hunt competitions, and meditative nature walks. If you want to be involved in the planning of any of these events, or have other ideas for supporting the OA community, please email Caroline Stone.
Within your own living space, consider how you can build community and strengthen your relationships by utilizing various lessons from the OA world, especially Expedition Behavior (EB). Here astronaut Anne McClain shares how she relied on good EB while living in the close quarters of the International Space Station. For a more comical take on EB, read Howard Tomb's unspoken rules of expedition behavior.