The summer of 2020 might be a little different from all the summers that came before it, but it is still the summer all the same. Even in the coronavirus era, we’re still bound to feel the outdoors calling our names. We’re still going to want to get out there and be active in the fresh summertime air. We just need to be conscious of enjoying the summer months safely. Social distancing and hygiene are going to have to remain priorities. So how can you get outside while staying safe this summer? These six outdoor activities minimize the risk of contagion while supplying all the joys of summertime fun.
Getting out and hitting the trails is an activity practically made for the social distancing era. While you might occasionally pass a fellow hiker, you will spend the vast majority of the time with large swaths of nature between your group and the nearest people. The benefits of hiking are well documented. The walking involved is good physical exercise, while being out in nature is so good for mental health that “forest bathing” has become a bonafide phenomenon.
Going for a Walk
If “hiking” sounds a bit too extreme, how about simply going for a walk? Despite its many benefits, this simplest of activities is often overlooked. Just getting outside and moving your legs is great for your physical and mental health. You’ll ward off cabin fever while seeing a bit more of your corner of the world. Walking has been proven to boost creativity and well-being, so you might well return from your walks feeling sharper and greatly refreshed. It’s also a great way to meet your neighbors, with whom you can chat from a safe distance.
Rock and Rope Courses
While this activity is a bit more social, it still provides ample opportunity for social distancing. It’s easy to stand apart from other users before beginning the rock or rope course, and once you’re up there you’ll be a long way from the nearest person. These courses are great exercise, testing all sorts of muscles in new and challenging ways. They can also build self-esteem, since completing a course feels like an excellent accomplishment.
Hemingway’s famous novel “The Old Man and the Sea” tells the story of a single man in a skiff, laboring away in his effort to catch a fish. While your fishing experience doesn’t have to be quite so solitary, it will still provide plenty of social distance. Part of what makes fishing so special is the chance to leave human society behind and commune with nature. It’s an excellent option for people who like goal-driven entertainment, since it’s a bit like hiking, but with the added purpose of catching a fish.
Social Distancing Games
If you’re normally into team sports, a summer of social distancing might be hard on you. Soccer, basketball, and roller hockey leagues are a no-go, as they bring too many people into physical contact. Luckily, there are plenty of games that you can still play while social distancing. Horseshoes, Kan Jam, cornhole, and many more games don’t require you to get anywhere near your teammates or opponents. Just be careful to wash your hands before and after playing (since the equipment will be touched by all) and you should be all set.
Have a Picnic
Eating is often a social act. What many people miss most about the pre-corona world is the opportunity to meet friends and family at a restaurant. But even in the social distancing era, it is still possible to make meals social, especially if you’re willing to eat outside. Picnics are fun, giving a more laid-back feel to the communal dining experience. They also make it easy to stay six feet apart. After a picnic or two, you might wonder what was ever so great about restaurants in the first place.