If you look around the Internet with keywords like ‘outdoor’ and ‘adventure’, you’re likely to find photos of vans converted into tiny living spaces, digital nomads taking their life on the road to roam. There are beautiful photos in epic, remote locations and it’s easy to get swept up and think that if you can’t find that level of adventure, it’s not a real adventure.
But I beg to differ. Weekend adventures can be just as exciting, just as inspiring, just as impactful and bonus! at the end of the trip, there’s a warm bed to return home to.
Sure, planning weekend adventures takes extra effort – there’s limited time so how best can you maximize it? – but it makes the payoff that much sweeter. Some of my best weekends have been when I’ve packed my gear and loaded the car on a Thursday night, carpooled out to a trailhead Friday at 5p and spend the next 40+ hours breathing the wild air around me. On those weekends, I’ve climbed pitches that scared the crap out of me, I’ve slept under the stars, I’ve trekked through downpours, I’ve summited mountains and paddle boarded on alpine lakes. I’ve found myself on remote trails and less-than-remote trails but I’ve found myself outside all the same. And on Sunday nights, I return home, smelling like an awful mix of campfire, sweat and exhaustion, ready for a shower and to snuggle into my real bed with a dopey smile on my face as I gear up for the work week ahead.
To me, what’s really inspiring about weekend warriors is the drive to fit outdoor adventure into a life full of competing priorities. Balancing a busy job, a spouse and family, pets, friends, things that need to be done around the house with finding time to hit the trail, recharge is so hard to do but is oh so worth it. A good friend plans to hike the Colorado Trail – on her weekends before her 30th birthday. Nearly 500 miles of hiking! No matter how you slice it, this will be one badass weekend accomplishment. Inspiring? Heck, yes!
Regardless of the size, we should celebrate the adventure of getting outside all the same. Maybe it’s a 3 mile hike a few miles from home, maybe it’s learning to cross-country ski, maybe it’s winter camping or maybe it’s a mountain summit; however you spend your weekend, let’s celebrate that we formed a plan, executed on that plan and made it home in time for dinner Sunday night, ready to tackle Monday like a true weekend warrior.