Welcome to Blue Ridge Indoors

During the 10 years I have worked at Blue Ridge Outdoors, there has been a standing joke that one day we will publish a magazine called Blue Ridge Indoors. It’s been one of our go-to April Fools’ Day pranks, and a common elbow jab during particularly rainy summers or winters. But with the rise of COVID-19 and resulting isolation, social distancing is confining us to our homes for the foreseeable future, and Blue Ridge Indoors may finally see the light of… lamp.  

Ideally, you are still able to unplug and get outside for a bit each day, but that being said, there are still things you can do indoors that engage your love of the outdoors. Here are 10 ways to connect with your inner adventurer while being confined within the walls of your home.

  1. Watch a great outdoor documentary.

Start with Free Solo, Our Planet, Meru, Valley Uprising, Maiden Trip, and Fishpeople.

2. Set up your tent and camp in your living room.

It’s a fun activity with kids, with your honey, or all alone. I mean, why not? Also, step it up a notch—throw some brews in the Yeti and make s’mores in your fireplace.

3. Go through your outdoor gear.

What better time to get everything cleaned, prepped, and ready for future adventures—or decide what former adventure gear you can pass along.

4. Learn to tie your own flies and prep your rods.

There are plenty of online resources with tips from expert anglers. Check out the Orvis Fly Fishing Learning Center or YouTube for videos to get started.

5. Convert your outdoor bike to a stationary bike with a resistance trainer.

Support your local businesses and reach out to your neighborhood bike shop to purchase!

6. Keep moving—try to get to 10,000 steps a day within your home.

Here’s a hint—only take one thing up or down the stairs at a time. Or, steal the remote and let your children chase you around the house.

7. Virtually explore our National Parks.

Go to Google Earth Voyager and click on “National Parks of the United States.” Start your journey here!

8. Birdwatch from your rear window.

All you need is a pair of binoculars, a bird feeder, and a local guidebook to birds in your region.  

9. Take a peek at an animal cam.

Just Google it. From bald eagles to brown bears, you can spy on an array of wildlife from the comfort and safety of your couch.  

10. Learn survival skills online.

A multitude of online classes exists at REI, Wilderness Awareness School, Bush Mechanics Survival Training, and more.

Here’s to hoping this is the first and last edition of Blue Ridge Indoors, and we all can get back to exploring IRL as soon as possible.

Photo of child looking outside with binoculars from Getty Images

Places to Go, Things to See: