1000 Hours Outside


1000 Hours Outside Have you heard of the 1,000 Hours Outside idea where you spend more time outdoors with your family? I’ve seen social media friends highlight their year with their kids outdoors using the mission of the creators “…to reclaim childhood, reconnect families, and live a fuller life.” Looks like my friends had a lot of fun being outside, but I had to quit scrolling as not getting outside as much in 2023 is a sore spot for me.

Not to jump on the comparison train, but I had to pause and think: “Is this something that will be good for our family?” My husband has already said one thing he wants to do this year is be more outdoorsy. I feel the most like myself when I’m hiking, riding a bike, or in a body of water of any kind. It’s something we both put on the back-burner dealing with some heavy things in 2023. For sure my kids are happier outdoors!

I’m a believer that even (and especially) during cold days, we can benefit from fresh air!

Thinking through how to execute this, a stumbling block/excuse I’ve used is that my kids are at an age where playgrounds aren’t really their thing collectively. My oldest son is 15 and my two daughters are 11 and 10. It’s a new territory parenting a teenager, pre-teen, and one in elementary school. I’m shifting my ideas from “Let’s go to a playground!” to new ideas that we all enjoy. They also all enjoy sports, so those are some easy hours to get outdoors.

Living in Chattanooga, there are tons of hiking trails. I usually find these on the All Trails app, and then I make notes on my phone when someone shares a good hike I want to do or that we have done. We will have no problem continuing hiking! There are biking trails all around as well, but I would need to get a bike. I think my kids’ Target bikes will be fine for now. (See that Mom brain kicking in and chasing a rabbit down the trail as I make a new goal?)

From what I’m seeing, 1,000 Hours Outside doesn’t have to be elaborate and no one needs to adopt a new hobby. Going on a walk down our street after dinner is an easy way to be outdoors! Working in the yard together will be something we could do as well. My Dad recently reminded me that it takes three times as long to finish a task when you have your child helping you, but then you have taught them something and they have a good memory of your presence.

This might be something you’re already doing, but have you noticed pickleball being mentioned more? Fort Oglethorpe is closest to us and has new courts. I know the Little Debbie Park is a popular place to go play as well. Maybe we will start a new hobby with that!

I know we will focus more on being outside in the spring and summer. However, someone shared that there is no bad weather, just bad clothing. Did you know that Chattanooga has secondhand outdoor shops? The Gear Closet and Four Bridges are two I shop at. You don’t have to have new and name brand clothing to enjoy the outdoors. Usually, the things my kids wear to get dirty and play are thrifted or something we would have discarded because of stains and tears. I try to buy a good pair of shoes for each season that won’t tear up easily, then we resell or pass them down to someone when they outgrow them.

Last thing to think about is tracking one’s time outdoors. I do not know if we will track our hours so much as make it a frame of mind to be outdoors more. My kids are old enough to make it a goal to track our time together, so maybe I’ll let them do that. Browsing the 1000 Hours Outside website, I noticed they have a lot of trackers that can be colored in that other followers have created. There is also an app to track — seems easy enough!

Okay, I’ve talked myself into doing the challenge! I’m excited to find creative ways to make the outdoors fun and an easy part of our rhythm of life.

Are you going to join me in #1000hoursoutside? Follow me on Instagram to see some past hikes we have done! I would love to see your outdoor time too!


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