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Keeping the focus on the outdoors while stuck indoors – #GREATINDOORSIRL

So the event is postponed, the trip is cancelled and we are being encouraged to stay in our houses and only make essential trips out. Now, you could binge watch Netflix and forget about your love for the great outdoors, saying that though, there’s some great stuff on there, or, to keep your mind on the prize, you could engage your adventure brain with some other distractions.

We have compiled a list of things that we outdoorsy people can do indoors while we stay home to both stay involved in the outdoors

Clean your gear.

As outdoor enthusiasts it is rare that our boots aren’t being used for a few weeks at a time so why not take this opportunity to wash and treat your boots?

Same goes for your waterproofs and other gear. We’ve recently uploaded this video talking you through all the steps to ensure your jacket is good as new for when you get caught in those freak summer downpours when we get back in the hills.

Regarding down insulated products, our friends and brand ambassadors Tough Soles, have made a great video on how to best wash them, click here to see it.

Organize your gear

If you’re the type of wandering spirit where your outdoor gear has always been all over the house in various drawers, cupboards, shelves and corners in the attic or garage, perhaps take this opportunity to reorganize your freshly cleaned gear into a system that makes more sense.
Tough Soles have another great video where Ellie talks all about hiking gear and gear organisation and relays some of the wisdom that they have picked up from their frequent trips around as they walked all of Ireland’s Way Marked Trails. Click here to see that one.

Come back stronger

As outdoor enthusiasts, an improvement on any aspect of our fitness is bound to be beneficial when we get back on the water or in the mountains or on the trails. Even if you’ve never tried it before, yoga is a brilliant, low impact, easy way to improve flexibility as well as strength and stability which is beneficial regardless of your preferred outdoor activity. There’s also plenty of positive elements of mindfulness to be gleaned from participating in yoga, the benefits of which far outweigh the physical stuff for some. Our very own clothing expert, Conrad recommends Yogahub online, he says it “has classes suitable for beginners and experienced yogis, to balance the body and mind while releasing stress and tension. Namaste 🙏”. Former staff member Mary has also branched out with her own holistic website, with great articles on yoga, meditation and more and it’s well worth a look.

There are also some training tools out there that are tailored to specific sports but can also work for you in lots of other ways.

Gripmaster shop

We may not be able to go to the local crag or gym, however training tools such as the gripmaster are brilliant low risk, easy ways of keeping the forearm muscles working, and keep you strong for when you get back to your project. Keep it on your desk and make a point of using it throughout the day, very good at helping avoid a repetitive strain injury incurred from working at home. We’ve other training equipment from Powerball to keep you in tip top condition too.

Hangboards are also a great thing to have and there are hundreds of workouts available on how to use yours the best. There is an app by the name of Crimpd that is particularly good or if you’re a fan of Moon clothing, their Moonboard app is great too.

Just because we are limited in the whereabouts of our exercising does not mean we need to stop exercising altogether, indeed, there’s many effective things you can do at home without specialist equipment. In fact, many of our athletes have been sharing how they are continuing to train in these restricted conditions.

Our friend and FlyeFit PT, Andrew Moore aka @thefitnessgoose has shared some great workouts to do from home. Click here or here to see what we’re talking about. Doesn’t he make it look so easy?

Our other good friend, Heather Gordon, #plantpoweredadventure is also staying fit through all of this, mainly by adapting housework to suit her needs.


Watch, Read, Listen

Ok, so we said that you don’t need to binge watch Netflix but there are so many awesome outdoor films available online.
The Banff Mountain Film Festival have made many of their tour selection films available free online. If you are looking for your fix of outdoor adventure vibes look no further. Watch “The Boys from the Back of Beyond” it is a big favourite here.

Brand ambassador John O’Regan’s podcast “No Finish Line” podcast is a great listen for when you are organizing your gear or to have on in the background as you work from home. John has some awesome guests on his podcast, definitely worth a listen!

If you’d prefer that personal touch, you can reach out to John directly on Twitter with the hashtag #johnanswersquestions, he’s more than happy to help you with training advice and insights, he’s been all around the world racing and knows his stuff.

Into reading? There’s tons of great content online to keep you informed and up to date, whether you read them on your kindle, phone or PC, you will always find good and interesting stuff, for instance, Mountaineering Ireland have made their latest issue of the Mountain Log free online and there’s plenty of Q & A sections on their site to pick up some killer tips.

Stuck for ideas? We have a full range of outdoor, adventure and fitness books that will keep you out of mischief!

Plan your next adventure

As no adventures are currently happening, why not take some time to plan your next one? Using a guide book or the internet to plan out what trips you would like to get done when we can travel safely once again. Try our selection of Cicerone guides if you’re looking for inspiration.
If you have any questions regarding specific trips, destinations or routes why not send us a message? We are always happy to help.

Share your knowledge

There’s also the chance now to use your own time off as a platform to share your knowledge! Reach out to your outdoor community and share your experiences. There’s plenty of great content doing the rounds on social media to distract you from what’s going on and to bring the focus back to adventure. We’ve hosted some Instagram Live stuff ourselves and you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to use a GoPro Hero camera to get you online and interacting live from the comfort of your own armchair. If you are going live, let us know, we’d love to watch and share your stuff!

(not) Just for the kids

Back garden picnic
Have a back garden picnic, it’s incredible how much better food tastes outside, that’s a fact. Great excuse to practise your camping stove skills.

Set up a navigational challenge, a mini orienteering course using the space available to you, draw up a simple map and encourage some friendly competition. This can work indoors as well as outdoors. Click here and check out these resources from the Irish Orienteering Association.

Back Yard camping or just camp-in
Set up the tent in the front room and have a “camp-in”, pitch it in the back yard and hear those early morning neighbourhood sounds that you normally wouldn’t from the bedroom. Maybe even make some smores on the stove? Or try some camp meals?

Use technology
Take the family on a virtual safari, the google search app has a feature where you can place life sized animals in your house through the use of the phones camera and augmented reality, a great way to get up close and personal with “nature”.

Give it a try! You might not see an elephant in the room but you definitely wouldn’t miss a giant panda in your kitchen!

Friendly competition ideas
See who can pitch the tent the fastest? (we ran a similar competition in-store a few years back)
Who can make the best smores?
Timed sleeping bag to stuff sack race.
Race around the garden in mam or dad’s adventure equipment works best without crampons or ice axes, just for safety.

And Finally

We really do understand that it is hard to stay inside, especially when the weather is so nice.
However it is very important that we stay home, keep to government guidelines and keep safe so that we can get back outdoors as soon as possible. We’re looking forward to getting it all back up and running as soon as we can but in the meantime, stay safe, stay healthy, stay home!


This blog post was created and editted by Matthew McConnell and Paul O'Neill

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