I was very excited when we met our goal of 1000 hours outside last year! It was an audacious goal and well worth it.
The 1000 Hours Outside movement really spoke to me and they have many great resources:
While getting outside can look different for everyone I wanted to share what we did in 2021 that helped up reach our goal:
- We were intentional about getting outside even when the weather wasn’t great. To be honest the pandemic helped with this as well. In years past we would just visit museums, pools or indoor playgrounds during the winter and while that is great a lot of that wasn’t always available to us. We adopted the There’s No Such Thing As Bad Weather attitude and got outside.
2. We traveled a lot (for us). We spent over 70 nights away from home in 2021, at least 55 of those in our RV. When we are traveling we spend most of the day outside exploring where ever we are visiting. I am not sure that we will be able to keep up this level of travel, but I hope so, we love experiencing the world with our kids.
3. We counted everything! Dinner in the backyard, trips to the playground, a day in Disneyland, time at walking to school….all of it. It didn’t have to be a long hike in nature to count. In the summer we spent almost every morning in our back yard while it was still cool.
4. We allowed for seasonal shifts.
If we broke down the year evenly we would have needed at least 84 hours outside each month. In January 2021 we only logged 42 hours. I wasn’t worried about the deficit knowing that spring, summer and fall would be much easier to be outside. Our month with the most time outside was September with 158 hours outside followed by May with 129 hours. Even summer can be difficult to be outside all day when it’s blazing hot in the afternoon. The shoulder seasons and trips banked us the most outdoor hours.
5. We tracked our time but didn’t sweat the details.
I logged our time outside on a simple spreadsheet and just did my best to be accurate(ish) I didn’t use a timer and mostly rounded to whole numbers. I didn’t subtract 5 minutes here or there for bathroom trips inside or add outside time for walking into a store. We didn’t count time in the car driving to places we would spend time outside or camping sites. Our total could truly be hours less or more but that’s not important to me it was just a fun thing to work towards together.
The 1000 Hours Outside website has other ways to track your time outside if spreadsheets aren’t your jam.
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