The past two weeks have been crazy around here!

Moms Who Hike is up and running and taking off. A few big opportunities landed on my lap in September. I was asked to teach online outdoor education classes and am knee deep in preparing curriculum and shooting video.

I’ve also been asked to represent an awesome outdoor company, stay tuned for the big announcement and I’m crazy busy with a few other work projects.

My alarm clock has been going off at 4 am for the past two months so I can get it all done.  It feels like I’ve spent more time behind my computer than outside on my favorite trails. While it’s work that needs to get done and work that I enjoy doing I still need to be hiking more and I’ve hard a hard time getting outside.

The thing is, I think that I’m not the only one out there who is juggling a million projects and trying to schedule outdoor time and determine priorities.

I’m going to spend the next few weeks trying to be really deliberate about turning off my computer and getting outdoors. Will you join me?

Here are a few things that are keeping me (and probably some of us) inside and what we can do about it.

Our busy schedules.

I’m willing to bet that your “to-do” list looks just like mine. Who has time for outdoor adventures when you’re just trying to find time to balance the dirty laundry with your job and family?

Solution– Schedule outdoor time, put it on your calendar and then protect that time. If hikes aren’t on my calendar, they simply don’t happen.


It doesn’t matter if it’s your i-pad, computer screen or television, it’s so easy to turn on a screen and plop down on the couch. Sometimes we just want to veg out and binge-watch whatever’s new on Netflix.

Solution– Buy or build a backyard fire pit. No, I’m serious. I watch plenty of television, but a few months ago we nabbed a backyard fire pit on sale and it’s made my family want to retreat to the backyard after dinner instead of to the couch. My kids play in the backyard, my husband and I talk, or we read stories to the kids. It’s been really good for us to ditch the screen and sit by the fire instead. On really busy days this might be the only real outdoor time we get.

The weather.

Here in Wyoming summer is short and winter is long. It’s a lot easier to stay inside with a mug of tea than it is to layer up, gather skis, snowshoes or skates and venture out into the cold, wind, snow, ice, and frigid temperatures.

Solution- There’s the old Scandinavian saying, “there’s no bad weather, only bad clothing”…winter is coming so it’s time to look at our winter clothing and gear and see what we need to stay warm, dry and comfortable.

We want to have positive and fun experiences in the outdoors. We simply can not do that if we’re cold, wet and miserable. I budget a lot of money every winter for warm clothing, because getting outside to play regardless of the temperature is important.

We don’t have anyone to hike with.

If you like to hike with friends it’s easy to avoid hitting the trails if you don’t have the perfect hiking partner.

Solution– Make some outdoor friends. Or start a hiking group. Or learn to love the solo adventure.

We don’t have the perfect gear.

Sometimes it feels like we need to look like we just walked out of an REI. We see perfect pictures of perfect people with the perfect equipment and gear on Instagram and it makes us feel like our thrift store daypack is inadequate when in reality it does a great job for us.

Solution- There’s no such things as perfect gear, and don’t go into debt to buy what you think is the perfect gear. Use what you have, what you can borrow, what you can liberate (with permission) from a dusty garage, attic or storage unit. Figure out what you can swap with a friend, or shop used gear shops and consignment sales.

We don’t know where to go.

One of the reasons that my husband and I started  Just Trails was because we were so busy with our jobs that it felt like we spent our weekends researching new trails to explore instead of out actually exploring. It was frustrating, and if you move frequently you can probably relate.

Solution– Find a favorite local outdoor blog and read what areas they are writing about. You can also make friends with people who work at a local gear shop and get the local scoop on trails. Or you can get involved in the outdoor community. Those are all great but sometimes the best way to learn where to go is simply to lace up your boots, fill up your pack, hop in your car and find the nearest unexplored trailhead.

Our kids.

If you’re in that crazy season of life where you’re juggling your kid’s schooling with sports and music then you know how hard it is to get dinner on the table, let alone plan a family campout. Sometimes knowing that I’ll be shuffling my kids in and out of their snowsuits 2-3 times per day all winter is enough to make me want to move to the tropics.

Solution– Find creative ways to sneak outdoor time into your day. Maybe you ride your bikes to school, or even pull them out of school to play outside (yep, I won’t tell on you, I promise). Accept the fact that it’s hard work adventuring with children. It’s important to realize that our children need to get outside just as much, if not more than we do

What’s keeping you inside and off the trails? What are you doing to get more trail time? Let us know in the comments below.


4 comments on “7 Things Keeping Us Inside (and what we can do about them)

  1. I agree very much with all that is said here; it’s a useful post. I would, however, say that sometimes there are more difficulties that are not so easy to overcome. A simple lack of public land systems is a huge deterrent for me. What public land exists in certain parts of the country (for me, central Nebraska) is in the form of tiny, isolated fragments in a sea of agricultural fields and private land. Private land owners can be conservationists just like public agencies can, but it is a lot harder to have open access to private lands in your area, even if you’ve lived there for a long time. Sometimes, even in rural regions, you can be almost as isolated as someone in a huge urban setting is from any kind of cohesive, roaming natural landscape that has room to breathe and room to heal.

    Even other forms of outdoor exercise such as running or biking can be a struggle in certain areas, due to unsafe regional road and driving conditions. I’m not saying there can’t still be enjoyment of the outdoors in places like this, but I think sometimes it’s not so easy as just “finding another way to enjoy the outdoors”. Sometimes, there just isn’t that much left to enjoy without driving long distances that not everyone has the time to attempt.

  2. I’ve started setting an alarm on my phone for one hour after I sit down at the computer with my coffee in the morning to let me know it’s time to get up and get started with my day, otherwise I would literally waste my entire day off on the computer.

  3. Awesome article! I’m definitely finding it’s important to schedule time to get outside. Otherwise I don’t stop due to my “tunnel vision”. Before I know it, the day is gone! Thanks for this. 🙂

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