Back to Nature, Back to You: Bringing the Great Outdoors Inside

Birds chirping, snow falling, rivers running, the wind blowing in your hair, spending time outside in nature is a daily ritual many of us need to feel happy, healthy, and back to ourselves. Sometimes family commitments, adulting, and paying those bills can get in the way of this need. We are also facing colder temps and early sundowns. So, while getting outside is always the goal, if you find the day has slipped away and you need a nature fix, try out these six easy ways for some natural daily inspiration.  

1. Headwaters Kayak

The brainchild of long-time kayak shop owner Dan Arbuckle and outdoor videographer Seth West, Headwaters Kayak is a YouTube channel that constantly produces new, hilarious, and charming videos on the many nuances of kayaking. Screen this while cooking dinner, or play a few episodes after work to shake off the day and start dreaming of the weekend paddling on the water. Be prepared to learn a lot while laughing vicariously through Dan and Seth.

2. Our Universe

Our Universe, narrated by Morgan Freeman, tells the remarkable tale of the Universe in which we live. Hearing how our Universe came to form over billions of years and seeing its link to us and all life on Earth is awe-inspiring and uplifting. This is a multi-episode series, so it’s excellent for smaller bites or a fun binge session.

3. A River Runs Through It

A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean is recognized as one of the great works of the 20th century, and rightfully so. Maclean’s clever and thought-provoking description of a simpler time and place in America, the bond between brothers, and the overwhelming desire to spend time and energy on a river fly-fishing for trout are both intoxicating and relaxing. For a next-level experience, read excerpts aloud outdoors around a firepit with loved ones.

4. Nature

A benchmark of American natural history and nature programming, Nature is an award-winning PBS series now available at no cost on YouTube. Scroll through the content and choose from full hour-long episodes based on your favorite animals worldwide. Santa’s Wild Home and Ocelot are two episodes that come highly recommended.

5. Song Sleuth

Described as elegantly designed and user-friendly, this Song Slueth stands out among other bird song ID apps. In particular, users enjoy seeing the spectrogram of the different bird songs, frequencies, or sound prints. Download this app and keep it handy in your pocket for walks amongst avian friends, record their songs, identify them, and listen to the recordings later in the privacy of your own home or in stereo on long road trips. For other bird app ideas, see this comprehensive round-up and review by BirdWatching.

6. Wilderness First Aid

Prepping for a safe time in the outdoors is always a priority. Check out Survival Meds offerings for a streamlined online course in Wilderness First Aid or more complete and exhaustive training for a Wilderness First Responder. Their programs provide podcasts, webinars, and interactive opportunities to record and upload curricula for review and feedback. Learn and get certified comfortably on the couch mid-winter, and feel ready for your next outdoor adventure.

About the Author

KM Collins
Hailing from the Oregon Territory, K.M. Collins is a geologist-gone-writer. Five generations deep in PNW hydrology, her Grandmothers were daughters of the White Salmon, Clackamas, and Willamette Rivers. Though rowing is her favorite whitewater pastime, she doesn’t discriminate when it comes to paddle sports. Roller skating, snowboarding, and shuttling by bike rank among her favorite land-based activities.

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