Stop Wasting Weekends Presents:
Outdoor Adventure Journal Challenge! – Day One
First off, I am SO GLAD you are here! This is going to be really amazing, and legit exciting! I promise! The concept of this isn’t anything I had seen ANYWHERE! It’s not exactly a field notebook, and it’s not exactly a bullet journal. It’s something really UNIQUE. And, sharing it with you, makes me hope that it will become something that you learn to love, and grows with you as well!
We live in a fast paced, technologically driven world. Facebook, Text Messages, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest……our attention is constantly being lured into these distractions that leave us with little peace, comfort, and satisfaction. Many people turn to nature for rest, relaxation, and reflection. However, given our modern world, most people who consider hiking (or camping) find the silence a bit overwhelming at times, and the lack of distraction, uncomfortable.
Instead of feeling discouraged at these emotions, I’ve created a SOMETHING COMPLETELY NEW! A new idea that combines several different forms of rest, relaxation, and reflection into one unique place – the Outdoor Adventure Journal.
After learning this completely new way to see the world outdoors, and record your time in nature, you will be able to plan, dream, record, study, draw, sketch, paint, and reflect on your experiences in a completely new way. Let me just say that this is NOT just a field notebook. A field notebook is amazing, and can also be creative, however, it was limiting what I really wanted to do! While this does have aspects of a field notebook, it has other creative aspects as well…..but, I’m getting ahead of myself (it’s because I’m SO EXCITED!)
At the end of the day, most people think they don’t have the time, ability, or stamina to go on a hiking or camping adventure, or even take a hike outside.
This will be the first post of a 5 day challenge that will show you exactly how you can specifically plan and create opportunities to have adventures, and then record those experiences in unique ways that last forever.
This journey is going to be amazing.
First things first – Visit Nature Once in a While!
Before we get into the Outdoor Adventure Journal, you should know WHY it’s even important to get out into nature in the first place!
A published study found depression was reduced in 71% of participants after just taking a walk in nature. 71%!!!! What is interesting is that, when compared to walking around a shopping center, (get this) 22% of participants were more depressed than before the walk. 94% of the participants said that nature walks benefited their mental health. This is not shocking, right? There is even a complete study now on forest bathing, and you can read about the complete and amazing statistics of it!
Interested in something funny? Of course you are! Here are some spoofed advertisements for prescription strength nature. They are hilarious. Totally worth watching!
Next things next – Let’s Talk About Journaling
Journaling Improves Your Quality of Life
Yah, I said it. But, even more importantly, mental health professionals say it too!
You might be thinking, hey this is just writing down stuff on paper. Nope, its much more than that. Overall, journaling/expressive writing has been found to:
- Boost your mood/affect
- Enhance your sense of well-being
- Reduce symptoms of depression before an important event (like an exam)
- Reduce intrusion and avoidance symptoms post-trauma
- Improve your working memory
Even more, experts say that journaling, “requires the application of the analytical, rational left side of the brain; while your left hemisphere is occupied, your right hemisphere (the creative, touchy-feely side) is given the freedom to wander and play…! Allowing your creativity to flourish and expand can be cathartic and make a big difference in your daily well-being.”
So, what exists out there now to do this?
Traditional Field Notebook
Many people have heard of a traditional field notebook – a place where scientists recorded a permanent record of what they observed in nature, and the natural world. Part diary, part scientific record, scientists recorded data, such as plants, animals, weather, and geography. Scientists would be able to predict when certain animals would return to certain geographic locations, or when plants would bloom.
Through my adventures, keeping a field notebook alone seemed too restrictive for what I truly wanted to do. (I’m a bit more dramatic than that, right?) I wanted to expand past just drawing around nature. Perhaps I wanted to journal about my favorite Bible verse, or dream of places I wanted to visit. I just wanted something…..more.
And just in case that comes off sounding harsh, I want to let you know that I fully admire those who do traditional field notebooks. They are amazing, incredible and very creative! In case you are interested in only doing field drawings and journaling, I’ve included the following video. It’s a fantastic overview of typical field notebooks – now, granted its over an hour long, but it will give you everything you need to understand traditional field notebooks, if you might be into that!
According to experts, such as Kim Alvarez of Tiny Ray of Sunshine, “The Bullet Journal is an analog system created by Ryder Carroll, a Designer based in New York. In his words, the Bullet Journal will, “…help you track the past, organize the present, and plan for the future.” It’s an amazing system that keeps a record of everything you could ever want to toss at it. It can be your task manager, sketchbook, journal, idea catcher, and much more! The Bullet Journal is a organizational system in a notebook that keeps track of anything you would like to write down in an coherent way.”
These journals are unique to each individual and SUPER, CRAZY CREATIVE! There can be pages for books you’ve read, the weather, trips you’ve taken, moods, water intake, exercise, calendars, to do lists, cleaning schedules, pretty much anything you can think of!
And I love the idea of this – BUT, I want to be able to also include field notebook material, because, well, it’s supposed to be ultimately to STOP WASTING WEEKENDS, and get out there and have adventures.
So, I got to thinking – I love to spend time on the trail hiking and walking. But I like to stop as well, and I would like to have something to DO while I’m stopped. I know, I’m supposed to just meditate, but as a type A personality, I always like to use my time well. (Can I get an Amen?) And since field notebooks alone seemed very restrictive in what they contained, I thought…..
What if I could create a field notebook that would include a calendar, a planner for my future adventures, a bucket list, campground highlights, reviews of gear I’ve tried or trails visited, watercolor paintings of the sunsets, budget calculators for future trips, listings of all the trails I’ve already visited, meal planning, and even reflections on Scripture as I sat among God’s creation.
Part journal, part field notebook, part planner, this was a unique vision! And…..I couldn’t find it anywhere.
I needed something that would hold a record of what I had observed while in nature, but also my thoughts and feelings while I was there. A place that would be with me on my journeys, as well as at home while I planned them.
They say if something doesn’t exist, you should just create it.
Thus, the Outdoor Adventure Journal was born.
I wanted it to be a field notebook, yes. But I wanted it to be a bit more. A place where you could also write down places you want to go, or have already gone. Somewhere you can be a bit creative, and inspires you to write in it, maybe even when its a cold, rainy, snowy, horrible type day where you just want to stay inside by the fire. You can still have your Outdoor Adventure Journal and a map and dream about where you want to go, or plan out your year, or write down dreams and goals.
It really is like if a Field Notebook and a Bullet Journal had a baby. A totally awesome baby.
Ultimately, an Outdoor Adventure Journal is a place to memorialize the past, organize your present, and dream about your future.
It can make sure you get things accomplished, memorialize those accomplishments, relax and be creative, and even dream about the future. Your Outdoor Adventure Journal will be unique to you, reflecting your personal style. And while this challenge may help you, make certain to know that there is no one way to keep a Outdoor Adventure Journal, know that it will end up being very personal.
You may go through many stages, and trials and errors (nah, not errors, just ways you don’t want to do it anymore!), before you decide on the way that works best for you. But here’s the best part. This Outdoor Adventure Journal can constantly change and adapt. Even in the middle of a month, a year, or a page. You’ll see what I mean soon! (So all of you out there who are perfectionists need not worry! This Outdoor Adventure Journal will be PERFECT for you!)
If you keep an Outdoor Adventure Journal for a month, a year, or even many years through many journals, you will see that you have a diary, a scrapbook, and a history of what you saw and what happened to you. In this digital age of lightening speed technology, this will be a tangible way for you to hold your memories and future dreams (quite literally) in your hands.
Benefits to Keeping a Outdoor Adventure Journal
The main benefit is that it gets you outside, and gets you THINKING about going outside. And if you need a reminder why you should go outside in nature for adventures, go back and read the beginning, First Things First 🙂 But there are many,many more benefits than that! Here are a few ways you can use an Outdoor Adventure Journal!
- Create a calendar that organizes your life, so that you can Stop Wasting Weekends, and find ways to make sure you get outside for those adventures (or do those things that bring you joy and fulfillment!)
- Bring focus and mindfulness to your outdoor adventures. Questions will start to surface you never thought to ask before – is the Bluebird always near this area, or does it just seem that way? What other birds are near during this time of day?
- It brings organization and clarity to shift thoughts to another level. What hiking trails did I love the most? Where are the dream trails I want to visit? What gear helped the most? What other activities or adventures would I like to go on? How would other hobbies help me learn or nurture my dreams?
- Journaling tends to mentally shift things to a whole new level. You’ll think about things when you are on the trail, AND OFF the trail differently. When you are off the trail, you might create a planner for 52 hikes a year, or set even more ambitious goals!
- If you have kids, you could be setting the example that taking time out for themselves is really important. Nature is important. Health is important. Mental health is important, too. And, you may very well give them a sound foundation that leads them to a career in science!
- Remember that part about improving mental health? Your own mental health? That’s seriously a good one!
- You can incorporate anything you want in this journal. In my case, I can take a Bible verse, or passages from the Bible I want to read, and then have the solemnity and peace to truly meditate on God’s Word, in His creation. That is one of my favorites, to be honest.
All this said, I PROMISE, we will talk more about what you are actually going to write about, and where to get ideas, writing prompts, designs and even more coming up in the future parts of the challenge! But isn’t this exciting? Are your creative juices flowing?
Ready to REALLY get started on your very own OUTDOOR ADVENTURE JOURNAL?!?!
Here are the next steps in order you need to go through! Get ready to have some awesome fun!
- Next up – the Supplies you NEED to start.
- HOW to start your Outdoor Adventure Journal.
- You have a TON of Resources and Inspiration to get you going in the right direction.
- Finally, some amazing Creative Journal Ideas for your Outdoor Adventure Journal!
I’m thrilled that you are here, and can’t wait to see your journey!
Adieu for now!