Want to enjoy nature, but you’re stuck at home? Here are some of our favorite nature staycation ideas to enjoy the great outdoors from home.
This is for you, my fellow adventurers.
It’s for everyone who loves the wind in their face, the dirt under their feet, and the adrenaline that comes when you climb a mountain.
If you spent months and months planning a thru-hike, a backpacking trip, or another adventure, and now you can’t go, I want you to know that you are not alone.
This is for the vacation plans that went awry, the spur of the moment hikes that will have to wait.
No matter why you’re stuck at home, whether it’s injury, family emergencies, natural disasters, or because the world was told to pause and rest inside, know that it’s okay to take some time to mourn the adventure that was put on pause.
But once you’ve taken a moment to be sad, start looking for a way to bring your adventurous spirit closer to home.
This post is a collection of my favorite nature staycation ideas. It’s how I’ve been spending my time at home while I wait for my next chance to go exploring.
Nature Staycation: Start a Garden or Buy a Flower
Since you love the great outdoors, this is the perfect time to bring more plants into your life with a garden.
Watching a plant come to life always brings a smile to my face.
If you’ve never grown anything in your life, start small! I recommend container gardening, especially for beginner gardeners, because it’s less of a commitment and less work.
In the spring and fall, my favorite container plants are leafy greens like kale and spinach. In the summer, try an herb garden!
I highly recommend the book Container Gardening Complete for tips on all kinds of container gardening. I reference this book throughout the year with my own garden!
Are you convinced you have no gardening skills? Buy a flower or houseplant!
My favorite houseplants are orchids and succulents, because both are extremely low maintenance.
Both like diffused sunlight. I water my orchids with one ice cube once a week, and water my succulents about once a month.
Adventure(ish) Staycation: Play a Themed Board Game
One of our favorite things to do at home is play board games. I especially love games that are nature-themed or that make me feel like I’m on an adventure.
Here are a few of our favorites.
Trekking the National Parks
2-5 players, ages 10+, 30-60 minute games
This is one of my new favorite games! If you’ve played Ticket to Ride, the game-play is similar, but still different enough to feel like an entirely different game.
The pieces are well-made, and so cute. I love that the player tokens are hikers, and that there are little tents you can use to claim parks. My favorite game piece is the brown bear!
1-5 players, Ages 10+, 40-70 minute games
We played this game with friends before I bought it, and I fell in love immediately. The watercolor-style paintings of birds on each card are exquisite, and the game itself is challenging without being cut-throat.
And yes, you can play wingspan by yourself! (And I have!)
2-4 players, Ages 8+, 30-60 minute games
This game is gorgeous, and includes cardboard trees for each season. Each player chooses a season, and then tries to build a forest. The game-play is very strategic (similar to chess) and I enjoyed it even with only two players.
If you love strategy games, you’ll love this one!
Ticket to Ride
2-5 players, 30-60 minute games
Manufacturer recommends 14+, I think this game is just as easy to play (if not easier) than the two 10+ age games above.
We’ve been playing this game for years, and it’s still one of my favorite adventure-themed board games. And while it might not be about “nature,” it does help you learn basic geography!
We own the original Ticket to Ride game (and the 1910 expansion pack), but we also enjoyed other versions of the game (like the Norway and India/Switzerland versions).
Imagination Staycation: Read a Book
Remember all those books you’ve accumulated over the past few years? The ones getting dusty on your bookshelf, or sitting unread in your Kindle app?
This is a perfect time to read them. Bonus points if they’ll take your brain on a nature-filled adventure.
I’ve been reading John Muir and dreaming of my next getaway.
Nature Staycation to Nature Vacation: Plan Your Next Getaway
This too shall pass.
And when it does, you can strap on your hiking boots and hit the trail once again.
In the meantime, this is a great time to plan your next trip.
If your goal is to do a backpacking or backcountry trip, start looking into permits.
A lot of locations, especially National Parks, have a limited supply of permits, and you need to apply months in advance to snag one. Use this time to begin gathering information.
If, however, you want to go backpacking in Yosemite, you’ll apply 168 days before you begin hiking. To camp overnight inside the Grand Canyon, you’ll need to apply on the first day of the fourth month before your hike begins.
Train for the Trail
If you’re used to an active lifestyle, being stuck inside all day can seem like it’s the end of the world. Believe me, I relate.
While you wait, train for your next adventure. Get in shape. Use a treadmill, find Zumba classes on YouTube, or go for a walk.
When you’re finally able to hit the trail again, you’ll be fit and ready to go.
Before you know it, time will pass and you’ll be back out on an adventure once again!