101 outdoor inspired activities to do at home

101 adventure, nature and outdoor inspired activities to do at home | The Girl Outdoors | Sian Lewis

Welcome to the great indoors. Ready to get busy? My list of 101 outdoor and adventure-inspired activities that you can do at home is here to give you daily inspiration, whether you feel like attempting DIY, at-home fitness, cooking up camping-inspired recipes or a spot of sunny gardening (and you can do lots of my garden projects with just a tiny patio or even a windowsill, too).

Let’s stay busy, learn new skills and celebrate our love for the great outdoors while we stay at home.

101 adventure, nature and outdoor inspired activities to do at home

ADVENTURE & SPORTS

1. Learn a new climbing knot
This website has animated climbing knot tying images to help you perfect that alpine butterfly bend.

2. Log your climbing and adventure kit
Gear Log allows you to keep track of your climbing and adventure kit, record inspections and track usage so you can see when you need to replace essential safety kit.

3. Paint your surf board
A lovely project for a sunny day – grab acrylic spray paint and Posca pens and go mad redesigning your surf board. Surfboard painting guide here.

4. Re-waterproof your outdoor kit
Use a waterproofing agent such as Nikwax to rewaterproof your jackets and trousers in the washing machine.

5. Start an adventure diary
Write down snippets from your recent travels and adventures, or make a scrapbook of photos, tickets and other adventure memories.

6. Wash your running trainers
Boring but satisfying. I wash mine by hand in hot soapy water and put my inner soles in the washing machine.

7. Learn to do a handstand
Here’s a free 30 day guide to mastering a handstand.

8. Train to do a pull up
These 17 exercises will get you fit and strong enough to attempt a pull up if you can’t currently manage one.

9. Wash and dry your wetsuit
Salt water isn’t good for neoprene – you should really wash your wetsuit after each dip in the sea, but I myself am far too lazy. Now you’ve got the time, rinse your suit in cold water or use a wetsuit cleaner such as Rip Curl’s Piss Off (hah) and leave to dry on a warm day, away from direct sunlight.

10. Make your own freeze dried meals for camping
This is weirdly addictive to do. MSR have a great guide to mixing dried carbs, proteins and flavourings to make your own dried meals for camping and trekking. Just add water, and they keep for ages.

11. Make waterproof matches
A fun five minute project – make matches waterproof with wax, ideal if you’re camping in rainy Britain later in the year.

12. Get skipping
Are your at-home workouts starting to get old? Buy a skipping rope – you won’t know what’s hit you. A fantastic way to pack a high-intensity workout into a busy day working from home.

13. Tune your bike
Get your bike in tip-top condition and replace brake pads or your chain. If you don’t know how, now is the time to brush up on bike maintenance with YouTube videos.

14. Clean your bike
Cycling Weekly reckon it only takes seven minutes! Get your newly tuned bike clean as a whistle.

15. Clean and treat your leather hiking boots
Clean and condition those leather walking boots you usually use and abuse – you’d be surprised how much life even a cracked old pair have in them with some care.

16. Make DIY fire starters
Make a basket of handy homemade fire starters (here’s how).

17. Make campfire fire starters from egg boxes
Make an easy, light and portable fire-lighting kit out of an egg box, wax and some lint, ready for your next camping trips. You’ll find the full tutorial here.

18. Erect a tent in the garden
Got a new tent? Have a go at erecting it at home – it’ll save lots of time when you go camping for real. Got an old tent? Put it up outside and check if it needs patching, or just give it a good airing. Then you could even camp in it for the night.

19. Do a home yoga class
Even if you’re not a usually a yogi, daily exercise is a big help if you’re staying at home, and yoga is beginner-friendly, requires only a yoga mat and is also a lovely way to stay calm and mindful. Try a free class with Yoga With Adriene or check out my guide to the best yoga resources for climbers, hikers, surfers and skiers to help you improve flexibility for your favourite sport.

20. Practise your navigation skills
If you’re getting outside once a day for a walk, even if it’s just around your city, you can still have a go at improving your navigation skills as you walk. Grab a map of your local area – here are some ideas for skills to brush up on.

21. Wash, dry and patch up your down jackets
Hot sunny day? Stick your smelly old down jackets in the washing machine on a cold wash using a cleaner designed for down, then dry them outside (or tumble dry). Losing stuffing? Here’s how to patch a torn down jacket.

22. Wake up for sunrise
When is the last time you watched the sun rise? It doesn’t matter if you can’t get to a mountain top right now, the golden light of dawn is magical anywhere. Set your alarm, make a cup of coffee and watch the sun rise from your garden or your window. It’s a peaceful and special way to start the day and will make you think of wild camping trips to come.

23. Make natural antibacterial spray for your yoga mat
Spray down your yoga mat after each practise with this homemade tea tree and lavender mat spray, which is naturally antibacterial.

24. Stretch for 10 mins daily
However you’re exercising right now, make a commitment to stretch for just ten minutes a day. Here’s a 10 minute routine from Yoga with Kassandra if you aren’t sure how to stretch.

25. Name all the countries in the world
A fun challenge for travel lovers – can you learn to successfully name or label every country in the world? I suck so hard at naming all of Africa at the moment. Addictive.

26. Build a blanket fort and watch an adventure film
Give yourself time to relax and be a kid.

27. Learn the language of a country you want to visit
Zdravo (that’s hello in Croatian)! Where are you planning to travel to next? Why not spend the next few months brushing up on the basics of the language, so you can chat to the locals when you get there?

28. Make a travel inspiration scrapbook
Dig out all your old travel and outdoor magazines (you know, the ones taking up space and gathering dust), make a scrapbook of all the photos and articles that give you wanderlust and then recycle all the leftovers. More space, and a go-to book of adventure ideas.

29. Make a fire in a tin can
A fun project if you fancy a fire but don’t have much outdoor space. And yes, you can roast marshmallows over it!

30. Make natural mosquito repellent
Hate the smell of Deet? Here’s a make at home recipe for insect repellent using citronella and other natural oils.

31. Wax your snowboard or skis
Get your skis or board ready for next season’s powder by giving them a good wax, my guide is here.

32. Update your map collection
Invest in a fresh set of printed maps for the national parks and corners of the country you’re planning on exploring. If you’ve got a trail in mind, such as Offa’s Dyke, grab a Harvey map and start plotting your route.

33. Try whittling wood
Surely every outdoorswoman or man needs to know how to whittle? Here’s a beginner’s guide.

34. Learn to light a fire with two pieces of wood
Even better than whittling. I don’t think I’ve ever been as impressed as when a friend rubbed together two sticks and lit a fire. Get practising.

35. Start a virtual adventure or travel book club
Whats’App to the rescue. Get a gang together and read the same travel epic or story of adventure. Then you can meet up and talk about it online with wine.

36. Give up single use plastic
Make a list of all the ways you can swap single use plastic for reusable items and invest in a new coffee cup, bottle and straw.

37. Make a Geocache ready to hide
Ever tried Geocaching? It’s basically the world’s biggest treasure hunt. Learn more and then make your own to hide outdoors – it could be anything from a fake rock to a bird house.

38. Make your own DIY camera float
If you’ve got a waterproof camera kicking around, dig it out, check it works and then make this nifty camera float (for a fraction of the price of a bought one) to keep it safe on your next aquatic adventure.

39. Learn how to use your watch as a compass
A quick but potentially life-saving little tip – your analog watch also works as a compass if you know how to read it.

40. Turn yourself into a runner
Keen to get out running but not sure how to start? Marathon runner Josie Cox wrote this blog post for me on how to get into running – and stick with it.

41. Give blood
A simple way to help others right now. And you get free biscuits!

42. Send out old postcards
If you’re like me and you have a stack of old travel postcards, why not dig them out and pop them in the post to brighten up someone else’s day?

43. Make a map of the world with pins
One of my favourite things in our house is a big map covered with pins of where we’ve been. Pinterest has lots of ideas for how to make one.


GET CREATIVE

101 adventure, nature and outdoor inspired activities to do at home | The Girl Outdoors | Sian Lewis

44. Print travel photos from your phone
Do your phone a favour and finally go back and delete a few of the million photos you have saved. As you do, find a few of your favourites from your travels and print them out to frame.

45. Print photo stickers
Or invest in a little Polaroid Zip instant printer and print photos from your phone as stickers – be warned, it’s hard to stop and your house may end up like mine, festooned with adventure stickers.

46. Frame your old passport stamps
A simple but rewarding little craft – find your old passport, cut out the stamps and collage them together in a photo frame. Inspiration here.

47. Make your own eco cleaning products
Save your finished cleaning bottles and sprays and refill them with your own homemade, eco-friendly potions. This guide teaches you to make everything from washing up liquid to window cleaner.

48. Make your own soap and body wash
Get busy making your own soap and body wash bars and stock up, so there’s no need to buy single use plastic in the future. Here’s how to make body wash and here’s my favourite goat milk soap recipe.

49. Hang a vintage travel poster on the wall
Find your dream vintage travel poster and hang it up to brighten a room and remind you of your love of exploring the world.

50. Buy and learn to use a film camera
Step away from your digital camera or your phone and go back to the slow, studied times of film photography. Buy a secondhand film camera (try Oxfam or Ebay) and a roll of film and try shooting the world more carefully. Plus, you get the joy of getting your works of art developed.

51. Paint your favourite mountain
So what if you don’t have an artistic bone in your body? Order a set of paints and have a stab at painting something you love from nature or travel – your favourite UK mountain, a seascape, an island view. If you aren’t very good just call it abstract!

52. Make seaglass jewellery
Make your beach finds into beautiful pendants with these handy guides. Then you can take a little bit of the sea with you everywhere.

53. Knit a bobble hat
Even complete beginners who don’t know how to hold their needles the right way up can easily learn to knit a hat with this guide – perfect for when the weather gets chilly again and you’re out exploring.

54. Take a globe photo
Even if you aren’t venturing far from home you can play with making tiny planet photos – and it’s easier than you think. This tutorial will teach you to do it with an Android panorama photo and this tutorial works if you have a digital camera and Photoshop – test it out in your back garden or on your street.

55. Make a double exposure portrait
Splice your face with your favourite landscape, a woodland or a mountain in Photoshop for a totally unique self portrait. Here’s how and here’s a video guide.

56. Press flowers
If you can make it out on a walk or if you have flowers in your garden, give flower pressing a go. They look gorgeous in glass frames.

57. Make your own candles
Make your own scented candles from soy wax to brighten up your evenings indoors. Here’s how.

58. Try botanical drawing
Find an interesting leaf, flower or plant, bring it home and make it your model for an hour’s drawing. It’s a great way to look more closely at nature (and not at your phone!).

59. Make natural dye from plants
Did you know that you can dye clothes pink using avocado stones? Or that red cabbage gives a gorgeous shade of purple? Plants and veggie scraps are an amazing natural way to dye white clothes Good old Martha Stewart has a great guide and here’s how to use avocado pits.

60. Try working with willow
Pliable willow has been used to make baskets and household items for thousands of years. Get in on the action with these super simple willow stars, which you could keep for next year’s Christmas tree, or you could try this willow fish for a bathroom (I bloody love this YouTube guy – his accent is so calming!). You’ll be making baskets in no time.

61. Make jumper mittens
Make mittens from a much-loved jumper that has gone bobbly or has started to unravel. Washing a jumper at a high temperature will felt the wool, making it thicker and harder. Then you simply cut two mitten shapes from the sides of the jumper, stitch round the shapes and turn inside out. You can sew buttons or even pockets onto the mittens afterwards. This guide shows you how, step by step.

IN THE GARDEN

101 adventure, nature and outdoor inspired activities to do at home | The Girl Outdoors | Sian Lewis

62. Grow a new herb
Whether you have a huge back garden or a windowsill, you can successfully grow herbs – my favourite are hardy types such as rosemary and thyme. Get started here.

63. Grow fruit and veg in a hanging basket
Keep strawberries or cherry tomatoes away from slugs by growing them in hanging baskets, here’s how to start.

64. Paint garden pots
Cheer up a patio by painting terracotta pots in a rainbow of colours.

65. Make a pallet planter
Transformed knackered old wooden pallets into a planter – ideal for growing fruit and veg if you don’t have earth to dig in.

66. Make a pallet swing
One day, I’m going to have a garden big enough for this brilliant DIY pallet swing.

67. Sow seeds for wildlife
Got an unloved corner of the garden going spare? Sow wildflower seeds and plants that bees and butterflies like to encourage wildlife to buzz about in your back yard.

68. Feed the birds
So simple, but so rewarding. Grab a bird feeder and some seed and see which feathered friends come to visit.

69. Make a bird feeder
Craft one of these 13 DIY bird feeders – a great little project for kids.

70. Grow sprouts on the windowsill
Grow microgreens and sprouts on a sunny windowsill – great for adding freshness and crunch to salads.

71. Grow an avocado plant from a pit
One of my favourite little DIYs for plant lovers – try growing an avocado plant from a stone in a jam jar.

72. Build a hedgehog house
Make a home for the critters that visit your garden – this hedgehog house uses old bricks, this one uses plywood.

73. Grow a sunflower
Is there anything more cheerful than a sunshine-yellow sunflower standing tall in your garden? Here’s how to grow and care for sunflower plants.

74. Make a mosaic pot
Transform a plain terra cotta pot into a mosaic masterpiece – a lovely way to use a favourite broken plate or jar, and mosaics make me think of Italian gardens.

75. Learn how to propagate
Propagating is the magical art of turning one plant into many. It’s all about how you separate and grow your baby plants – this guide to propagating plants in water will get you started. A great way to get new plants for free to give to your mates.

76. Build a terrarium
No garden? Create your own green mini world with a terrarium. These low maintenance glass gardens are addictive to make – here’s what you need.

77. Get a mini greenhouse
A small patio or courtyard can still grow veggies and flowers – buy a mini greenhouse such as this gorgeous glass one or this affordable plastic one (and here’s a buyer’s guide). They are especially good for starting plants for seed, but you could even try growing exotics such as orchids in one. Here’s what to try growing in your mini greenhouse.

78. Make rose spray for your face
If you have a rose bush blooming in your garden (or a bunch of flowers you want to do something with), make this rosewater from the petals – it’s a great natural face toner.

79. Make flower bed markers
Make flower and plant markers from clay, wood or pebbles to mark out what you’ve sown in the garden.

80. Make lemon balm salve
Lemon balm is one of the easiest herbs to grow (mine takes a lot of abuse), smells delicious and makes a lovely instant herb tea. If you have it growing in your garden, try making this all-natural balm, which makes a great lip salve.

81. Make tin can planters
No pots? Root through your recycling – tin cans make great planters, and are easy to hang up if space is tight.

FOODIE IDEAS

101 adventure, nature and outdoor inspired activities to do at home | The Girl Outdoors | Sian Lewis

82. Cook on a fire pit
Invest in a big fire pit, grab a skillet pan or a grill and get cooking outside. I usually make up a fire and wait until it’s burned long enough for there to be some glowing embers and enough heat that I can’t put my hand near the fire. Last week we cooked tuna steaks in a skillet pan and roasted potatoes wrapped in foil among the embers, or you could try lighting a fire first thing and heating up a pot of coffee and pastries.

83. Make energy balls for running and yoga
I love grab-and-go energy balls for a quick energy hit after a long run or a workout session. These no-bake balls are a doddle to whip up, and are endlessly customisable.

84. Learn to gut a fish
Want to feel like a proper hardy outdoors type? Practise the art of gutting a fish at home – then show off your skills by cooking a whole fish up on a fire pit or barbeque come summer.

85. Make the perfect adventure cereal bars
Perfect your own customised snack bars at home – they keep for ages and are perfect for hiking and travelling. I use this BBC Good Food recipe as a base and then experiment.

86. Go meat free
If you’re spending more time at home, use it as an opportunity to get creative with vegetarian recipes and see if you can cut down or cut out meat from your diet.

87. Make your own herb tea
Whether you grow your own herbs or just want to make your own blend, DIY herb tea is a lovely way to use up things you grow (or bits from your cupboard).

88. Make dandelion cookies
A fun little recipe for foraging beginners – look for dandelions on your next walk and make these delicious little biscuits.

89. Make nettle soup
Don’t be scared of nettles – they are easy to identify and once cooked, lose their sting (but retain a ton of nutritional goodness). Here’s my nettle soup recipe to warm your cockles on a cold day.

90. Learn to make campfire bread twists
‘Bannock’ bread has been delighting many a scout for decades. This easy dough can be rolled around sticks and cooked over a fire – it tastes amazing with butter and jam, a lovely outdoorsy weekend breakfast. I use this National Trust recipe.

91. Make your own fire pit
Got a spare corner of the garden? How about building your own fire pit to sit around and toast marshmallows over? Here’s my how-to guide to building a fire pit. You’ll need to have some DIY experience and the right materials, but this is a great bigger project if you’re stuck at home and want to transform your garden.

92. Make your own beeswax wraps
This is an easy but satisfying eco-friendly DIY – grab some scraps of cotton cloth and some beeswax and make your own washable and reusable food wraps. Ideal for packed lunches on hiking trips. I like Good Housekeeping’s easy guide to homemade beeswax wraps.

93. Make s’mores over the fire
S’mores are always, always a good idea. This all-American (and all-calorific) campfire delight involves toasting a marshmallow and then sandwiching it between chocolate slabs and biscuits. And yes, you can make s’mores in the oven if you have to.

94. Make food inspired by your favourite country
Think back to your favourite jaw-droppingly delicious meals on your travels and recreate them using an online recipe. Swedish cinnamon buns? Nova Scotian chowder? The world is your culinary oyster.

95. Home-made trail mix
The awesome Jake Thompsett (check out his expeditions if you’re after a wild camping and trekking adventure) taught me this trick. Instead of buying pricey trail mix in teeny portions, buy raisins, dried fruit and nuts in bulk and mix them yourself in zip-lock bags. Voila! Instant, cheap and easily packable trail mix. Add jelly babies for a sugary energy hit and a handful of chocolate buttons.

96. Make mint cake
Classic Kendal mint cake is brilliant for a sugar hit on hiking and biking adventures, and it keeps forever, so this is a good one to try making now. If it was good enough for the 1953 Everest expedition, it’s good enough for me!

97. Making a camping cooking set
Get ready for summer adventures under canvas by assembling the ultimate camping cooking set now. Buy and learn to use a good stove (have a go in the garden), then make a kit of herbs, spices and oils in mini containers plus plastic cutlery, plates and washing up kit (here are some essentials). Store it all in a container ready to pop in the car and go.

98. Make my Mexican camping hot chocolate
Mix 400g cocoa powder, 200g sugar, a teaspoon of cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon of chilli powder, four cinnamon sticks and half a bar of hot chocolate, broken into pieces, and pop in a Ziploc bag ready to take camping and stir into hot milk. Serves four.

99. Learn to use a skillet pan
A cast iron skillet pan is one of the best bits of camping cooking kit you can own, ideal for making one-pot camping meals and for cooking over an open fire or on a grill. Buy one now and get practising at home. Here’s how to use and clean a skillet pan.

100. Make a cooking tripod
If you’ve got enough space to have a campfire or a fire pit fire at home, have a go at making your own cooking tripod. This Countryfile guide using branches is great.

101. Share a cuppa with someone you love
These are tough times, and right now we need all the fresh air and social contact we can get – so make a thermos of coffee or tea, go outside on a little walk or into the garden with someone you love (or video call) and share a cup of something warming in the sunshine. We’ve got this.

Follow:

1 Comment

  1. Karren Baddeley
    April 3, 2020 / 4:24 am

    Totally inspired by ALL of these, so much so I don’t know what to do first – chronologically I suppose! Thank you so much. Just what we need right now to keep us sane. Well done x

Leave a Reply