I’m starting off the new years resolution early this year with a solid challenge that will help all of us feel better and make a deeper connection with nature. How does a 30 Day Outdoor Challenge sound?
What’s an Outdoor challenge you might be thinking?
Here’s what we are talking about – You just need to do at least one outdoor activity each day for 30 days.
Doable? Yeah, I think so and the group will be here to help keep you accountable.
If this sounds like a good idea, I’d like to hear back from you. Click this link if you would be interested in joining the community and joining the challenge.
Here’s the plan – I’ll send an email each day with a different tip or resource that will help you get outside and help remind you each day as you go. It can be as simple as a walk in the park or as extreme as a paragliding trip across the mountains.
The important thing is to get outdoors. I’d like you to post in our facebook group at I love the Outdoors. Just head over there, say hi and post at lease one photo from an outdoor activity each week. At the end of 30 days go ahead and post a celebration.
I know how busy life can be and getting exercise can be one of those things that gets put on the back burner.
If you have any questions you can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear what your favorite outdoor activity is so connect with the group and let’s get this thing going.
If you take your fitness and running seriously then you probably spend a serious amount on your running shoes. It’s all too easy to neglect looking after running shoes, so don’t worry you’re not the first person to do so.
But it’s not difficult to give your shoes a little TLC. Not only will you extend the life of your shoes, they will be a lot more comfortable, and you’re going to save a few bucks in the long run. So, do you really need any more convincing?
Here are a few steps to follow to look after your shoes and extend their life expectancy:
Store Your Shoes Properly
After a long run the last thing you are probably thinking about is storing your shoes somewhere safe. You’re exhausted and are probably thinking you will do it later. Later often means other shoes get thrown on top of them, people walk on them, they aren’t being aired out property, etc.
You need a well-ventilated place to keep your shoes that’s safe from other items being placed on top of them. Not matter how tired you are, place your shoes away safely after a run. Think about how many other items you own that are this expensive and important to you, how do you treat those items?
Dealing with Bad Odors
Possibly the number one complaint about shoes is that they smell pretty bad. Spraying deodorizer inside after every use is only going to mask the smell for so long. There are a few other things you can do, I recommend:
Caring for your shoes in this way and keeping smells at bay are going to increase the life of your shoes. Not to mention having fresh smelling shoes is going to make everyone happy!
Cleaning off Mud and Dirt
You should always clean off mud and dirt after every run. Leaving mud to harden is going to cause damage to the fabric of your shoes and diminish how they perform. Good quality running shoes have a lot of breathable fabric to keep your feet cool, dirt build-up clogs up this material leading to hotter, sweatier feet.
Throwing your shoes in the washing machine is not the best idea. Use an old toothbrush or similar soft bristle brush to gently brush off all the surface dirt. Use some warm water and a little grease removing soap too if you’re dealing with some stubborn mud. Carefully air your shoes after and don’t wear again until they are completely dry.
Drying Your Shoes Safely
It’s worth covering how to safely dry running shoes in ways that will not cause them damage or to age prematurely. The golden rule here is to never use artificial heat. Placing your shoes on a radiator, or blow drying them (yes, some people do this) will cause the seams to loosen and the fabric stretch or lose its elasticity.
To dry soggy shoes after a run in wet conditions follow this simple three step process:
If it’s going to take a long time due to cold conditions and extremely soggy shoes then soak up some of the moisture with kitchen roll or an absorbent cloth of some kind. Don’t wipe, ring out, press, or handle your shoes in any way to try and force the moisture out. Allow your shoes to dry naturally and they will be just fine.
If you follow all the guidance above and take the best possible care of your shoes they will take good care of you and your feet. You can expect to get several hundred miles out of a good pair of running shoes. You also minimize the risk of injury by keeping your shoes in good condition, as well as improving your best performance on the road. So if you’re one of the many people guilty of neglecting your shoes, it’s never too late to start.
If you enjoy outdoor activities and don’t yet own a hydration bladder, you’re missing out! Hydration bladders were first seen in mass use by cyclists and other endurance athletes in need of a drink while moving.
But now they a must have item for anyone interesting in camping, hiking, or other outdoors activities. They enable you to keep fluid coming via a tube from the bladder in your backpack. It’s easy, convenient, and helps you keep hydrated without having to stop and take a drink from a bottle.
Not only do they enable you to drink water hands-free. They are affordable, easy to use, and incredibly useful, it’s no wonder they are becoming incredibly popular. I certainly won’t leave home without mine, and neither will you once you have one.
This doesn’t mean you can just buy the first or cheapest one you find though. There are a few different types on the market, and finding the right one is like a perfect fitting glove. It feels right, and makes your life a lot easier.
What Size Hydration Bladder Do I Need?
There are some different size bladders on the market. But the 3 Liter capacity is by far the most useful and popular size. The 3L bladder is a manageable weight, and it’s large enough that you will not have to fill it often. At least it’s very unlikely you will need to stop and refill it before you reach your destination.
Most backpacks with built in compartments for bladders are designed for the 3 L size. So I recommend you buy a 3 L. They don’t weigh a lot empty anyway, so it’s better to have a larger bladder than one too small. You don’t have to fill it up all the way if you don’t need to.
Comparing Hydration Bladders and Water Bottles
Firstly, I am going to say right off the bat – hydration bladders are a much more convenient and easy way to take on fluids while hiking, backpacking, or doing any other outdoor activities.
This isn’t to say there aren’t some pro points to using a standard plastic water bottle for some people. But if you’re serious about outdoors activities, you need a hydration bladder. Once you’ve used one, you will certainly never go back to bottled water.
Hydration bladders allow you to drink without having to stop what you’re doing. Think about this, to drink from a bottle you need to take the bottle out of your backpack, remove the lid, and take a sip. This may not sound like a lot of effort, and it’s normal practice for a lot of people reading this.
However, compare that to using a hydration bladder. You can be hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, or jogging. It doesn’t matter, you can still sip water from your bladder. You have a tube connected to the water and thread through to near your mouth. All you need to do is take a sip on the tube and you’re drinking.
This means you don’t have to spend so much time thinking about when you last had a drink. How much you have been drinking throughout the day, and when is a good time to stop. You can sip away from the tube on the bladder whenever you want.
So, in summary;
Pros of Hydration Bladders
Pros of Water Bottles
What Is the Difference between Pressurized and Non-Pressurized Hydration Bladders?
Pressurized hydration bladders have two compartments. One compartment is for the water, and the other is for air. They come with a small hand pump so you can pump the water out of the nozzle without having to suck.
There isn’t a huge advantage to having a pressurized bladder, it’s more of a personal choice. For the sake of simplicity and taking up less space I prefer non-pressurized bladders. The pressurized models are heavier and not as easy to use while running or cycling.
Do you live in the northern climates? Are you a die hard hiker but struggle at times to battle the weather? Do you have kids that make it even harder to get out and go for it?
We live in the Pacific Northwest which can offer some of the nastiest weather known to man. Have you spent a winter in 35 degree Fahrenheit with rain? That’s where we live and it can feel a heck of a lot colder that 15 degrees with no precipitation.
It’s bone chilling baby!
So, do we stay tucked inside the house during the winter? Hell no! We just make sure to have the best gear and stay as comfortable as possible while we are out. But, for us with 2 young kids, they are the big challenge. How to we make sure they can have a good day on the trail.
I really just wanted to get you thinking about this today, and I’ll be following up with you soon. Here’s how I usually gear up: polypropolene bottoms with light pants over the top. light socks with good medium hiking boots. Polypropolene lightweight top with a hoodie. A down vest of medium fill and a light rain coat if needed. Add a stocking cap and fingerless wood gloves and I’m good to go.
How about you? What’s your favorite piece of gear? Leave a comment below if you have a chance.