10 Time Wasters for the Outdoors

Photo credit: Gideon Haden ChomphosyPastimes are things you do to pass time. Is that the same as wasting time? Waste implies that there is no value in doing something to pass the time. Sometimes when you’re camping or hiking, you might just have a stretch of time you’re planning to spend resting or waiting for the sun to come up so you can continue on your hike. If you pass that time pleasantly, are you really wasting the time?

Sure, twiddling your thumbs is a time waster in the truest sense, but not all time wasters are actually a waste of time. Many of these time wasters can eat up time while still being worthwhile. Here are a few ways to pass the time outdoors.

Know your knots

Being able to tie knots is a useful skill and a great way to practice patience. With a few good knots, you can securely fasten gear, build shelters, or make a number of different items. Some knots are simple and can be learned in a matter of minutes, while other knots are more elaborate and can take days to truly get down.

Whittling

Whittling is a campfire classic and a great way to pass the time outdoors. Grab a knife and a good looking stick, and get to work.

Writing

You don’t need to be William Wordsworth to write about your time spent in nature. Jot down your thoughts or descriptions of what you’ve seen and done throughout the day. Or shoot for the next great American novel.

Identify flora and fauna

You can identify animals by tracks and birds by songs. Know what poisonous snakes look like. Learn to distinguish between different types of trees, bushes, and flowers. This is a good way to waste some time, and it can help you avoid dangerous plants or animals.

Gear maintenance

Sharpen your knives, clean your hiking boots, patch your sleeping pad, or mend that hole in your tent. If you’re looking for things to do while camping, you might as well do something worthwhile.

Packing and organizing

This might seem like a pointless and trivial task, but it can actually be very worthwhile. The more you practice packing, the better you get at it. With practice, you will be able to pack faster and make more efficient use of the space. This can also help you remember where you put everything, making it easier to find items in the future.

Build and tend a fire

Leave the lighter fluid and starter logs at home. Building a fire with as little technology as possible is a challenging and rewarding way to pass the time outdoors. But regardless of how you start a fire, tending that fire is a full-time job.

Practice your party tricks

Moon walk, pistol squats, card tricks, illusions, yo-yo skills, or whatever your jam is, hone your skills and wow your friends.

Play with rocks

Stack them, skip them, toss them. Rocks are abundant and provide a good source of entertainment.

Appreciate nature

There’s a difference in sitting outside and truly enjoying nature. Pay attention to all the sights, sounds, and smells, and embrace everything the great outdoors have to offer.

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