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Creative ways to get outdoors while social distancing

With warmer weather approaching, the itch to get outside is growing stronger, bu COVID-19 is presenting challenges. Break those blues by camping in your backyard, bringing inside things outside when possible and finding that perfect time to be outdoors for you.
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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — After more than a month of staying at home due to COVID-19, feeling antsy is understandable but not unavoidable. As long as one practices social distancing, stays close to home and is low-risk, getting outdoors and into nature is healthy and hugely helpful in making it through the safer-at-home era.

We brainstormed some ideas of how to make your time outdoors more exciting, creative and fresh. 

Timing

Get outdoors during less crowded times of the day. You’ll miss crowds and get to see a familiar landscape in a whole new light.

  • Plan a sunrise bike ride
  • Take a midnight walk

Microadventures

  • Go camping in the backyard or living room
  • Take a walk in a neighborhood you haven’t explored
  • Find a new favorite hammock spot

Learn about local nature

  • Figure out the species of the birds that fly by your windows
  • Go cloud-watching and learn about cloud types
  • Brush up on your wildflower identification skills
  • Learn about constellations in the night sky

Bring indoor activities outside

Art

  • Make a chalk masterpiece on the sidewalk: encouraging messages to passersby, a grand mural or a hopscotch obstacle course
  • Bring a notebook and pens or paints outside and try your hand at plein air art
  • Create a sculpture with leaves, sticks, pebbles and dirt you find, Andy Goldsworthy-style

Food

  • Bring your breakfast or dinner outside
  • Bring your morning coffee on a neighborhood walk
  • Bring your Zoom happy hour outside
  • Have a socially distant picnic and make sure to adhere to the double BYOPB — Bring Your Own Picnic Basket and Bring Your Own Picnic Blanket.

Entertainment

  • Have a movie night under the stars
  • Find a new favorite reading spot under a tree
  • Have an outdoor game night, whether with cards, board games or cornhole

It’s important to remember to keep at least 6 feet apart from people outside your household — 12 if you’re running, biking or breathing hard. And don’t forget your mask, avoid touching unnecessary surfaces and objects, bring hand sanitizer if you have it and avoid crowded areas.

Julia Ben-Asher is a contributing writer for Steamboat Pilot & Today.


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