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We're living in uncertain times. Many of us can’t leave our homes except for the essentials, and those of us in cities can’t escape as easily to the trails and mountains. Our ski resorts are closed. The trails that we would frequent are too crowded to practice safe social distancing. We’re all trying to figure out our “new normal” and many of us still want to feel connected to the outdoors. So, we’ve put together a list of what we’re listening to, reading, and watching to get our outdoor time without leaving the safety of our homes. Stay safe, stay healthy – we’re all in this together.

 

Google Treks 

Need a break in your day? How about climbing Europe’s highest peak. With snowy landscapes, natural spires, and mountain views you can only dream about, exploring Mont Blanc will make you feel as though you went on an exploration.

Dreaming of warmer climates? Take a dive in Australia’s great barrier reef. Swim with the fish, study corral you’ve never seen before.

With 20+ explorations, you can take a break from life to go on your next great adventure – from the comfort of your house. A  great activity to do with kids as well!

Virtually explore National Parks on Google Earth

Did you know that you could explore some of the most magical landscapes on our planet via Google Earth? We didn’t either. But now that we know, we’re not looking back. Check out the snow-covered peaks in Grand Teton National Park. Did you watch Free Solo and now have an intense desire to visit Yosemite? Now you can. Google Earth offers tons of visual imagery in a choose-your-own-adventure style. There’s truly something there for everyone. We have a feeling some of you will be inspired to plan a trip to one of these incredible parks when the storm has passed. This is also a great activity to do with the whole family. Kids will love that they can choose a variety of places to visit, and once there, where exactly they go! They can take the reigns on this family adventure (and no one gets hurt...or lost, sunburnt, hangry, etc.).

We've seen a lot of people on social media setting up "camp" in their living room. Looking to make things interesting at home? Simply pick a national park to explore, and follow these steps to transport you and your family there in just a few minutes:

1. Make your living room into your camp site! If you have kids, encourage them to make a tent (or blanket fort). Or if it's you and a roommate or partner, consider actually setting up the tent!

2. Pull out the sleeping bags. Make it feel like the real deal.

3. S'mores. This will feel like a treat, and something you wouldn't typically do on a normal night at home.

4. Tell stories and unplug (especially from the news). After all, when you're exploring parks and mountains, you most likely don't have cell service! Choose your favorite scenic background from whichever park you explored, find a campfire or nature soundtrack (we like this one - 8 hours of fireside goodness), and put those phones down and share stories with one another.

    (P.S. Google Earth has a whole “nature” category. Within, you can find more parks to visit, quizzes, mountain treks, views from space, and much more.)

     

    Livecams

    We’ve been really into the Explore collection of livecam footage of critters from around the world. You can watch penguins sunbathe, catch newborn pups taking a snooze, and observe majestic eagles perched in their nests. So much to offer and is sure to give you a sense of calm and peace during these difficult times. (Seriously, penguins sunbathing. You can’t go wrong.) This can serve as great background noise when you're working from home, doing projects around the house, or even for your kids to have on in the background when they're doing school work.

     

    Podcasts

    She Explores: “A Podcast for and about women who are inspired by time spent outside.”

    Outside Podcast: “Adventures in audio”

    JUMP with Traveling Jackie: “Explore travel, adventure, and lifestyle in ways meant to motivate YOU to move and get out and see the world.”

     

     

    Wintry Mix: “Skiing’s variety show since 2015. CO, VT and beyond. Produced by AK former dirt ski bum and resort exec.”

    Low Pressure Podcast: “Real conversations with real people who love and dedicate their lives to skiing.”

    Dirtbag Diaries: “Dedicated to the sometimes serious, often humorous stories from wild places.”

    (Note: They recently released an episode titled The Great Indoors. 10/10 would recommend.)

     Kid friendly: Earth Rangers & Wow in the World

     

    Books

     

    The Sun Is a Compass: A 4,000-Mile Journey into the Alaskan Wilds 

    Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

    Higher Love: Skiing the Seven Summits: 

    Thirst: 2600 Miles to Home 

    Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster  

    Kid friendly - Will You Believe in Me? A Story About Skiing and Friendship
    Hike it Baby: 100 Awesome Outdoor Adventures with Babies and Toddlers Hike It Baby book for hiking with babies and toddlers