Minimalism and Your Money

The intersection of a minimalist lifestyle & personal finance

Reflecting on 100 Hours Outside

Last month, I set a goal to get outside for 100 hours and encouraged other readers to join. You can read about the challenge itself as well as my original reasons for doing it here.

I tracked my hours through the old pen and paper method, and posted frequently to Twitter and Instagram with updates and to check in on how others were doing.

I was joined by about 15-20 bloggers and non-bloggers including:

Overcoming the Weather

I ended the month of May with 103.5 hours!

To be honest, I thought this challenge was going to be easier than it ended up being. I envisioned lots of days with beautiful weather, where our family would want to be outside. We would have lots of dinners out on our back deck and we would be outside with all of the other families from the neighborhood. Instead, a dismal April was followed by a pretty ugly May, particularly for the first half. It was cold and rainy throughout most of early May.

In fact, by May 14th I was wondering what I had gotten myself into. At that point, I noted that only two out of the fourteen days had been rain-free! What happened to all of those beautiful days in the 70-degree sunshine that I had imagined? Instead, it was raw and rainy.

Fortunately, the second half of May was much warmer and brighter, including a beautiful Memorial Day weekend. It was during this time that I really tacked on the bulk of my outdoor hours.

Accomplishments

I logged 10 days within the month where I was outside for at least four hours. Looking back on it, those days were absolutely the best. I don’t know if it’s the vitamin D or the fresh air, but I always feel so much better after a day spent outside.

The view during my morning walk

There was only one day when I didn’t get outside at all. May 28th was a rainy and gross day. The fact that it was so late in May and I realized I was going reach my goal of 100 hours outside helped make staying inside an easier decision. Every other day, I made it outside for at least an hour.

C and B have both gotten really good on their bikes. C is now speeding around the block without training wheels and B is not far behind. It’s amazing how within a few weeks, kids can make a difficult task look so easy.

Highlights

Hiking

I managed to go on one nice, really long hike through a state forest near our house. As you can see from the picture, it was a beautiful day. Especially since it was sandwiched between a bunch of rainy days in the 50s, this hike in the woods felt great.

Deck Staining

I got to double up on this one. Not only was I outside for a few days, but I was also making a few dollars on the side. I stained this deck over the course of a few days, and the weather was gorgeous.

Ogunquit

We had a great time exploring Ogunquit, ME. If you’ve never been along the coast of Maine, it’s a beautiful spot to explore. There are lots of ocean towns with small shops and great restaurants. The highlights for the kids were the food from Nancy’s Cafe and skipping rocks along the water. For Ashley and I, we enjoyed the walk along Marginal Way and getting some uninterrupted time together as a family.

Landscaping

With tons of help from my brother-in-law, we were able to finish up the front of the house. Originally, we had some beat up, half-dead bushes out front along with a crumbling brick staircase. Last fall, we built the pictured deck and installed the walkway. Then, in early May, we replaced all of the shrubs and flowers in the front bed and reseeded.

Family Time

The greatest thing about this outdoor challenge was that it let me spend a lot more time with Ashley and the kids. We were outside having fun instead of sitting inside in front of a television or mindlessly scrolling through our phones. As I’ve written about before, we really value time with our family and our friends, so it was nice to really spend quality time with them. For us, it’s all about living in the moment, and enjoying what we have. We played a ton of baseball, spent some time with neighborhood friends, played outside during Mother’s Day, and ate quite a few s’mores.

100 Hours Outside

The 100 hours outside challenge was great. I really enjoyed it and would happily do it again. Obviously, the nicer the weather, the more time we will spend outdoors, so this goal is much easier in the summer months in New England. I estimate that I will spend anywhere from 150-200 hours outside in June, July and August. I’m curious to possibly challenge myself to an outdoor challenge in the winter. 100 hours outside would be too lofty a goal, but maybe 50 or 60 could be accomplished.

How about all of you? How did you do for the month? What strategies and tips do you have to get outside more for our readers?

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2 Comments

  1. Congratulations!! May was a rainy one for us too. We logged 85 hours total and loved every minute of it. We always thought we were outdoorsy types because we love to hike and paddle but we never realized until this challenge how many other opportunities we were missing out on. To get some outdoor time in for the challenge, we started having lunch outside every day and on Wednesdays, we took a breakfast picnic to the park and went for a morning hike. These things have now become part of our weekly routine and we really look forward to them. One thing that helped us in the beginning was to make a list of outdoor activities (including just chillin’ on the patio) that we might want to do during the month. We didn’t get to them all but it was great to have the list for those times when we wanted to do something outside but didn’t quite know what. Thanks again for letting us play along!

  2. I absolutely loved this challenge! It really did make me mindful of rearranging my day to prioritize being outside. And holy cow it was a gross May! There were multiple days I didn’t get outside.

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