By: Jayme Bryson
With the uncertainty surrounding what’s next and what is allowed during the management of COVID-19, lots of folks have found themselves with extra downtime and feeling at a loss for activities they can do. Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton has recommended we get outside and participate in outdoor activities like hiking, walking our dogs, and playing in the backyard to combat the negative feelings associated with social distancing. We wanted to provide some suggestions for easy and fun ways to occupy your free time outdoors during the peak of COVID-19.
- Lay out in a hammock and read a good book
There’s nothing better than curling up in a hammock on a sunny day with a book or headphones. Make it extra cozy with a pillow and light blanket. Slow things down and just relax.
- Go on a long day hike
We have so many options in our area for longer day hikes, whether you hike sections of the Buckeye Trail or take a trip to Hocking Hills State Park. Bring a daypack with snacks, lots of water, and light layers for all types of weather.
- Take an overnight camping trip
Go solo or take the family with you on an overnight camping trip. Customize your sleep and tent system, cook system, and footwear system based on your needs. Lots of travel plans were cancelled because of COVID-19, so make the most of your time off and get creative!
- Play backyard games with your family
You don’t have to leave your backyard to have fun! We have a wide selection of ultralight backyard games for kids and adults of all ages to enjoy.
- Challenge yourself to completing all the trails in your local park
While there are many hiking series that already exist in the area, make your own! Set goals for yourself as to how many trails you want to complete during spring break and hike somewhere new.
- Rock climb at Whipps Ledges
Whipps Ledges in Hinckley Reservation has designated climbing areas for climbers to get outside and go from gym to crag. You may see some gym regulars there!
- Paddle your kayak in a nearby waterway
Gear up for warm weather paddling season. Whether it’s a lake, river, or canal, there is lots of fun to be had on the water. Make sure you have all the safety items required in your boat based on which waterway you are paddling.
- Do some backyard grilling
Take in the sun and the tasty smells of the grill in your backyard. Hate cooking? Boil some water and make one of the backpacker’s meals you or a friend stocked up on. :P
Our main takeaway, look for the positives in the situation. When was the last time you had this kind of time to slow down and enjoy some quality time outdoors? While each one of us have unique and varying stresses going on in our lives right now, there are activities we can distract ourselves with to get through this uncomfortable time okay.