The 1,000 Hours Outside Challenge

The 1,000 Hour Outside Challenge is the best thing we’ve found all year (we did not invent this)! It’s free, it’s simple and straightforward, and it works! You don’t need to register or sign up–simply join the Facebook Group (if you want–you don’t have to) to get some amazing ideas and get your family outside!

1,000 hours divides up ROUGHLY into 84 hours/month or 2-3 hours per day outside. That is a lot in a New England winter. But don’t lose sight of the real goal: more time outside than usual. So even if you fail to reach the goal, you’ve still won. And that’s a rare situation to be in these days!

So far, we’ve logged some decent outdoor time this winter. We’ve fallen short of the monthly goals so far, but since my brother and I are both teachers and home with our families in the summer, we feel pretty sure we can make up for lost ground. And, again, so what if we don’t make it? In February we spend 7 hours outside on some days, even with the cold!

So what are we doing outside all that time? Mostly socializing with friends! 😉 That is where the pandemic helps. But we’ve realized you can actually be outside in almost all weather and be comfortable–if you’re prepared. Here are some of the things we have done repeatedly all winter long with friends:

  1. Lit a fire in the fire pit so adults can socialize
  2. Cooked dinner and eaten outside. Used your grill or a griddle, like this one. We love this griddle so much! (Breakfast for dinner, anyone?!)
  3. Made forts in the woods
  4. Sledded
  5. Hiked
  6. Snow shoed (you can often find used pairs at yard sales)
  7. Fought Nerf gun battles
  8. Used climbing domes and playgrounds (at home and in town)
  9. Gone running/training
  10. Built Legos and Lincoln Log houses on the porch
  11. Watched webinars and meetings outside by the fire

To keep warm outside, we simply keep moving, use long underwear (it makes such a difference! COSTCO sells them for the whole family at a great price), and bundle up! Another great discovery has been the Comfy–don’t knock it until you try it!

With a little inspiration and encouragement, time outdoors with your family is not only possible, it’s enjoyable! Recruit like-minded friends and get outside!

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