The Discipline to Get Outdoors
It’s not always easy to get up and get outside. Especially before the sunrise. But that’s usually when the magic happens. There’s something special about the sunrise, where everything comes alive in front of you. After exploring different adventures while Full Time RVing I’ve learned quite a bit about setting myself up to experience those “special” moments. Here’s a few tips on how we maximize our outdoor adventures.
Packing the Night Before
This is critical. If you’re waking up and have to head out well before the sun comes up, having everything ready to go is key to getting out on time. I’ve learned the hard way that when I’m not packed and fully prepared to head out right away in the morning, that I drag my feet and ultimately miss the best light.
When the Alarm Goes Off
I usually have 1 of 2 initial responses.
- I’m so excited about this adventure that I couldn’t fall back asleep if I wanted to anyways. Then I jump out of bed.
After I snooze the first time, I lay there and think about how awesome the adventure is going to be and how grateful I am to be able to experience it. Then it’s a lot easier to get up and get the day going. Coffee helps a lot.
It’s all About the Light
You probably have heard of “The Magic Hour” by photographers. Lighting is best, sometimes magical, within an hour of the sunrise and sunset. Places that normally look ordinary and plain, burst with an artistic edge.
If you want to be already engaged in the hike/adventure during the best light, you’d better think about what time to start and where you’ll be when it hits. One time I hiked Angles Landing in Zion before sunrise and got to enjoy the beauty of it coming up all by myself on the peak.
It was 22 degrees when I started the hike
With temps like that, odds are that nobody else is going to be out on the trail. That means you’ll need a good amount of discipline to force yourself to get out, but it also means you’ll have the place to yourself.
Alone with Your Thoughts
Spending time alone with your thoughts is usually something we neglect. Yet, it’s one of the most powerful things we can do in our lives towards our happiness. The trails are usually pretty empty early in the morning. The vast majority of the time that I’ve been to the most scenic areas of the country for sunrise, I’ve been alone.
Get Some Accountability
It’s easier for most people to bail on themselves and stay in bed than when they have a commitment to others. Setting up activities/events with friends ensures you’re going to show up and step up. If your friends bail, at least you’re up and ready so you can still take the day by the horns.
If you have a significant other and can get a commitment from them to join you, make sure you have clear communication on a timeline to get up and moving. Typically, there is one person in the relationship who is more gung-ho about heading out so make it as easy as possible for the other one to enjoy themselves so they’ll want to continue joining you (even if that means you need to tow them).
Bring the Kids Along
It’s great for them and it’s great for you. Get your kids outdoors as often as you can. They shouldn’t be an excuse why you didn’t get outdoors, but a reason to hit the trails. I was afraid when we had Ella that my crazy hikes would go away. I’ve made sure to do the intense trails for sunrise before the family wakes up, and then do the rest of my adventures with the family along. Do your research, there’s countless trails that are fantastic for kids and especially if you have them in a carrier.
I Don’t Have the Time
We all have 24 hours. It’s all about priorities. It might take more plotting and preparation strung out over time in the evenings to plan an excursion. It might mean that you may have to budget and a bit of delayed gratification, but we can create the time.
If you don’t have the time off of work to take a vacation, look into hikes you can do around your area. You’d be surprised the great hikes you can find virtually anywhere if you look hard enough. Hikes that you could do for sunrise and show up for work by 9.People often talk about not having the time when they talk about business and entrepreneurship. There’s so much opportunity to create the life you want but you have to turn down time suckers like TV and movies. Don’t get me wrong, we have times in our lives where we binge watch our favorite shows; but usually when Danielle puts in a movie, I plan our next adventure.
Grit it Out
Sometimes, it’s just going to suck to get outdoors. It’ll be bitter cold, rainy, you’ll get lost… During those moments keep your head up and often things will turn around. In fact you can easily turn a miserable time into a great one by having a change in your attitude. If conditions don’t make a turn for the adventure, who cares. Grit it out. It really is about enjoying the moment in your mind and tuning out the miserable conditions.