Yesterday my husband and I celebrated our anniversary.

It was a big one. 10 years to be exact. A whole decade. Almost 1/3rd of my life. I suddenly feel old.

Our marriage really wasn’t supposed to last. You see, I married my ex-boyfriend. It just felt like the right thing to do at the time. There was no engagement, no big party, no rings. Nothing but us in front of a hippie/massage therapist/minister outside of a dentist office, underneath a tree on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. One day he was my ex, the next day he was my husband. But he was (and still is) my best friend.

Naturally there’s a lot more to the story, about 2 hours worth that would make a great Lifetime television special (joking…gak!) Someday I might tell you, or I might just leave it here.

Anyway, this blog post isn’t about me. It’s about you because there comes a time in every person’s life when we’re either trying to navigate the dating world to find our adventure soul-mate or bogged down with kids and work and responsibilities trying to keep the spark alive in our relationship.

So what’s an outdoor girl to do if you’re looking for a partner or just trying to spend a little bit more time with your partner?

I’m hardly an expert on relationships, but I do know the importance of spending quality one-on-one time together no matter what stage of life the relationship is in. That means it’s time to plan a date.

Here are 7 ideas for awesome outdoor dates.

  • Head to a remote backcountry cabin for the weekend. Choose a cabin that doesn’t have any electricity and leave anything with a screen at home or in the car. Bring books to read, games to play together, delicious food that you can cook together and a bottle of wine. Something amazing happens when couples spend a whole weekend talking to each other instead of looking at a screen.
  • Take a night hike. Without headlamps! Yep, strike out a dusk and hike in the dark together (safely, of course). Stop for dinner or drinks and spend the entire time listening to the silent night air or talking about anything that comes to mind.
  • Take an outdoor class together. Sure, maybe that bike clinic at the REI isn’t super sexy or learning how to read a map and use a compass isn’t what most couples would call romantic. But you’re gonna wanna partner who sees the value in outdoor education and let’s be honest, it’s fun to learn new skills. Maybe make the class a little bit less nerdy by combining it with a fancy dinner, coffee or drinks. Or how about a picnic?
  • Plan a crazy outdoor adventure together (and then go on that adventure.) Add a little bit of body text If you’re in a long-distance relationship this one’s for you! My husband and I were both in the military spent a good chunk of the first 6 years of our marriage on opposite deployment cycles to Iraq. During one of these long geographic separations, we bought the same guidebook and spent the entire year planning a trip to Ireland. We would write letters and send email back and forth with itineraries, page numbers to check out and lists of things to do. It was the best trip ever with lots of outdoor adventure because we’d spent over a year planning it together and it kept us close during that deployment.
  • Ski or snowshoe into a yurt. I don’t know what it is about yurts, but I think that they are super romantic. Maybe it’s the structure or the big skylights perfect for star gazing on a cold night. Spending a weekend in a yurt together, especially one that you have to work a little bit to get into is another sure-fire way to increase communication and have some fun.
  • Find a geocache. Grab that GPS or just download the geocache app and strike out on an adventure to find geocaches. You never know what you’re going to find or where you’re going to end up. Geocaching is s blast, even if you’re not on a date.
  • Go full moon skiing, or snowshoeing. In the winter, we love to go skiing or snowshoeing on nights when there’s a full moon. Usually, we combine it with dinner at a random middle-of-nowhere restaurant or bar or we pack along the stove and heat up leftovers at the trailhead…how’s that for exciting?


What is the most awesome outdoor date that you’ve ever been on?


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