At Home for Spring Break?Posted by Whole Earth | 03.08.2021
At Home for Spring Break?
While we all would like to get out of town during Spring Break, heading off to the beach, the mountains or one of our very favorite places, at times it’s just not possible. If you’ll be spending the break at home this year and are looking for activities for the family or yourself, here are a few ideas for your 2020 Spring Break staycation.
Visiting new places is the heart of a fun vacation whether you’re traveling or staying close to home. We have a few suggestions for exploring your home territory. If you live in a city or large town, there may be trails and playgrounds you’ve never visited before. Take a look at your city or county’s parks and recreation website for a list of trails and playgrounds in your area, choose some likely candidates, and you’re off!
And don’t forget to include nearby state parks in your search for new trails and playgrounds. How about a day trip to one of your favorite Texas State Parks or exploring a park that’s new to you? Or pay a visit to Recreation.gov to find National Parks, National Forests and other public sites near you maintained by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Land Management and other federal agencies.
UPGRADE YOUR OUTDOOR SKILLS
Even though you may be stuck at home during break, you can work on honing skills that will make your experience in camp and on the trail even better later this year.
Upgrade your camp cooking chops by finding new recipes and trying them out in the backyard or picnicking in the park. You could start with a favorite recipe that needs some streamlining to be more camp friendly, ask your friends to share some of their favorites, or you could search for new recipes that look tasty in camp cooking cookbooks and websites. Make a list of potential recipes and ingredients and then designate one day during break for making breakfast, another for lunch and several for dinners. Trying out recipes ahead of time can help you build a collection of five star camp recipes and help you weed out the ones that just don’t work well.
When camping or backpacking, many decisions hinge on the daily weather forecast. There are apps that can help you make good decisions, but what if you’re in an area with no coverage? That’s when a knowledge of clouds, winds and weather signs can be very helpful in understanding what may be headed your way. You can start upgrading your weather watcher skills by identifying cloud formations and what they may signify using guides to clouds and the atmosphere. There are other weather signs to be found in nature as well as weather wisdom that has been passed down through the generations. Having a good understanding of the weather cycle not only can help keep you safe in the wild, but can increase your appreciation of the wind and moisture that surround us every day.
Get to Know Your Feathered Neighbors
It’s always a thrill to identify a bird by sight or by call. But there’s so much more to know about birds than just their names. If you have a birdfeeder you may already have noticed some bird behavior. Chickadees and Black Tufted Titmice move in groups making the rounds several times a day to neighborhood birdfeeders. Other birds prefer to feed on the ground, scavenging fallen seeds. Why? Reading about birds’ life histories and behavior can answer many such questions. Start with one of your favorites, a Cardinal or Chickadee perhaps, and learn more about their lives and behaviors. Understanding how our feathered neighbors carry on their lives among us can help us provide the food, water and shelter they need to thrive, and help us expand our knowledge of the interconnected world just outside our door.
If your Spring Break includes indulging in some serious binge watching, we have a few suggestions.
The National Parks: America’s Best Idea is a six episode series by Ken Burns that tells the story of the creation of the parks from dream to reality. It’s truly an epic story and one to make you appreciate our parks even more than you may already. The series is currently streaming on PBS.
Big Bend the Wild Frontier of Texas is another offering from PBS, this time on Nature. Feast your eyes on one of our favorite national parks. The focus in this episode, which premiered in February, is on the animals and birds who call Big Bend home. And while you’re on the Nature website, check out other episodes you may have missed.
Looking for some pointers for your backyard barbecue? Cue up Netflix’ Chef’s Table: BBQ for a tour of some of the world’s best barbecue joints in the United States, Mexico and Australia and visits with the pitmasters who make the magic. Watch, learn and visit!
The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour is a Whole Earth favorite. For many years we’ve brought the Tour to Austin for shows at the Paramount Theatre. The pandemic put a temporary halt to the physical Tour, but Banff has created a virtual World Tour with four separate programs so you can now share the Banff experience at home!
However you’ll be spending Spring Break, we hope you’ll take some time for exploration, honing your outdoor skills and inspiration for future fun and adventure.