Ever wondered if you have the suff it takes to be a weekend warrior? Living in a state of constant motion isn’t easy, but with focus and determination is attainable. Life has many priorities that keep us preoccupied- family, friends, pets, work, school, homeownership, and other pursuits, but outdoor adventure is always near the top. Willow is a single mom (Shoutout to Grandma and Grandpa for watching the kiddo!) and DD is a small business owner, so we are always refining our weekend warrior skills because our attention is divided many directions. Here are our favorite tips and tricks for making this lifestyle a possibility.
Monday through Friday Logistics
We feel strongly that weekends are meant for play, not for chores. You have to pay serious attention to the things that most folks do on the weekend. You also have to be exceptional at multitasking and maximizing all available time. To live your weekend to the fullest, you have to buckle down and do chores during the week.
This means laundry after dinner, mowing the lawn and home maintenance after work, car maintenance on your lunch break- you get the idea. You’ll also need to devote time to meal planning so you have food in the house and meals that are easy to coordinate or plan on ordering out. Add on top of all of these tasks, any work that you have to do outside of your regular work hours, kids and volunteer commitments and it becomes more interesting. Use a task management application like Wunderlist to keep track of your priorities and ensure you don’t forget a thing. Making the logistics of the weekday work often means going to bed early so you can be guarantee to be well rested to tackle the next day.
When you play every weekend, whatever the sport, you need gear. That gear requires cleaning, tuning and organization so that you are ready to hit the road once Friday rolls around. The best strategy that we have found is to have a gear room (are lucky enough?) or dedicated space for your gear. Totes, wall hooks, and shelving are a great way to organize your gear.
Motivate yourself to have the discipline to unpack as soon as you get home while the state of your pack and other gear are fresh in your mind. Everything will be ready to go when the weekend rolls around again and if you need to pick anything up, you can add that to your errand list for the week. Your task management tool is a great place to maintain packing lists that can be shared and re-used and make packing easy so you don’t forget anything important.
Monitoring the Weather
Of all of your planning for the week, this is the one that we wish we had more control over. Being a weekend warrior means having a plan for every occasion. We decide on our preferred activity for the weekend and start monitoring the weather on Tuesday and watch as it develops.
Bookmark the forecast for all of your favorite locations and elevations and check it daily. As the weekend gets closer, maximize your preparation by using the hourly forecasts, wind speeds, cloud ceiling height, cloud cover, precipitation, and tides to find the best location for your activity of choice. We like the National Weather Service because it lets you pick a specific spot on the map which gives you a really accurate picture for the elevation you are heading to.
Your preparation for the weekend also requires communication with your adventure companions. We use Facebook messenger, Facebook groups and events, Instagram groups and good old fashioned text messages to communicate throughout the week and refine plans. While coordinating for a weekend with your friends, it is critical to understand everyone’s preferences, time constraints and deal breakers. For example, are your friends okay with an outing if there’s a little rain or low temps, do they need to get home by a certain time or is there a place they absolutely do not want to go? Working with a group requires a little extra care in order to plan an outing that everyone is happy with.
We mentioned meal planning earlier in the context of feeding you and your family during the week. While that is a priority, what we’re talking about here is what you are going to fuel yourself with over the weekend. A healthy, high protein meal is super important to charge you up for a weekend of play and you’ll want to have a plan for meals while you are on the road. Having a plan in advance keeps you on budget, and prevents you from picking up fast food or gas station fare in desperation. With some creativity and forethought, you can eat really well on the road and on the trail or at the beach, without skipping a beat. Pro tip: Don’t forget the craft beer and nips. You can also assign each person to bring some portion of the meal.
As all weekend warriors know, your vehicle is the most essential piece of gear. You are going to put a lot of miles on your trusty steed. Because of this, you need to keep your car well maintained at all times- you do not want to be surprised when you are 100 miles from home with something that could have been prevented with basic maintenance and care. Use your Monday through Friday to change your oil, rotate your tires, fill your fluids, conduct other maintenance, and keep your car clean and stocked. We also recommend spending the extra money on really good all-season tires for Spring, Summer and Fall and studded snow tires for winter. Would you buy cheap hiking boots? Then don’t skimp on your car either.
Use totes and coolers to keep contents of your car organized and easily accessible, these also make bringing gear to and from your car easy. Another tip is to try to split trips with friends and alternate who’s car you take each weekend. Finally, don’t forget the playlists and podcasts. Having a variety of material to listen to will make the early mornings, late nights and long drives more enjoyable.
Keeping your body well-hydrated is critical. Not only does hydration keep you moving during your activity, but it also aids in your recovery after the weekend. Stay hydrated all week long and then plan accordingly for the weekend. Whatever your beverage of choice, get them prepped in advance and have them ready in the adventuremobile. We like a combination of water, iced tea, and iced coffee to keep us going. Keep your drinks in the cooler and you’ll have refreshments when you get back to your car. Don’t forget the post-activity craft beer either!
Know the Route
You all know how Google Maps loves to get us to our destination as quickly as possible, well…the fastest isn’t always the best. After all of the hydration you are doing en route, you don’t want to be left in the lurch. We always plan our route around multiple bathroom stops. These routes are typically better maintained in winter months as well.
Familiarity of the route also means knowing where the best restaurants, pubs, and watering holes are. You are going to be glad that you know where the good eats are located after a long day outside.
The best laid plans can often unravel. Sometimes the weather deteriorates or adult responsibilities get in the way. Don’t let that stop you. Have a solid backup plan in the event that things don’t pan out. This is where communicating with your friends and following the forecast come in handy. Maybe you were hoping for a day in the mountains, but a day at the beach makes more sense. Check out a film festival, craft beer tour, new restaurant or concert. Sometimes there isn’t time for a road trip, hit the local trails and hills for something closer to home.
With a life of constant motion, it is essential to keep your body in tip top shape. Walk, strength train, stretch, foam roll and repeat. Find an excellent massage therapist who can work out the kinks in your body as much as you can afford. During the work week, fit in walking meetings and get up and move as much as possible.
Every now and then, you’re going to need some downtime from the constant drum beat of adventure. While it doesn’t happen too often for us, find the best ways to take it easy. These days are not only restful for your body, but are also restful for your mind. Stay in and read a good book or lay by the pool. A day at home is a great way to reflect and refresh.
What are your tips for being a weekend warrior? We’d love to hear them.
Wishing you safe travels and blue skies!
- Willow & DD