When it comes to planning a family outing, it pays to be creative. With the right mindset, any window of time is big enough for an adventure. Check out our complete guide to family-friendly adventure or read on to learn how to maximize your family's outdoor fun, whether you're fitting it in after school or heading out for an epic road trip.
A Few Hours
If you only have a few hours of free time—say, after work midweek, or in the morning before other activities on a weekend—keep it simple. Choose one activity and location close to your home. Fishing is a great way to unwind after a day at the home office. A family bike ride on a local greenway, or even through your neighborhood can be the highlight of the week. Plan a short hike for a weekend morning, packing a daypack with the essentials and a lunch the night before so you can leave first thing in the morning. Keep drive time to a minimum by picking an easy trail close to home. If you’re truly ambitious, opt for a sunrise hike on a familiar trail.
This is your chance for a big adventure. You have two options: choose a basecamp with multiple activities close by to satisfy the whole family, or dedicate a weekend to a single pursuit, like backpacking for three days or exploring several mountain bike trails in a single section of national forest or state park. Either way, keep it relatively local so you’re spending more time in the wild than on the road. The Talon will help you get the most out of your 72 hours of freedom by making even the furthest corners of the state park or national forest tract accessible.
A weekend in the woods is great, but, just when you’re getting into the groove of a wilderness escape, Monday rears its ugly head and you have to get back to work and school. Carve out several days for a prolonged wilderness experience to give your family a full reset before digging back into our “new normal.” In a week, you can knock out an extended paddling trip, canoeing and camping your way down a given river, or you can set up an extensive base camp and devote yourself to several days of multisport adventure.
Plan a variety of activities (paddling one day, hiking the next …), but don’t go overboard. Part of the joy of camping or an outdoor adventure is the downtime at camp or in a cabin, where kids can explore nearby creeks and climb trees, and parents can nap in hammocks. And if you bring your Talon and base yourself near networks of OHV roads, you’re bound to discover new places to savor, be it an alpine meadow, a secluded canyon, or a beaver dam on a quiet creek. This is your chance to go a little further from home and spend time exploring a dramatic landscape. And remember: the rewards of spending time together outdoors are always worth the effort. You might burn the marshmallows or get lost on the trail, but you’ll also gaze up at the stars and laugh around the campfire, and all of those memories you create together will last a lifetime.