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2-Day Weekend Ideas

An SUV travelling down a mountain road with a cargo box ready for an outdoor adventure.

Can you carve an honest-to-goodness fulfilling outdoor adventure out of a single weekend?  Most work schedules are Monday through Friday, which only leaves the weekend for adventures.  Juggling between personal errands, having fun, and some downtime before the next work week, 2 days is barely enough to maintain life.

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast working full-time, two days a week to get out and immerse yourself in nature can be a challenge. Two days to ditch the grind and get in touch with the environment, cross some serious distance, and embrace your passion. It doesn’t sound like much, but it is most definitely doable!

We did some research, gathering a handful of great ideas for making the most of this free time. We’ve shared the best ideas here.

1. Car Camping

A camping spot along the water with a tent and canoe over the car.

Here’s an old faithful outdoor activity. If you want to prove that two days is enough to thoroughly enjoy the outdoors as simply as possible, consider car camping! Head out as early as possible Friday night to a predetermined spot close to where you’ll be embarking on your adventure. You’re already that much closer to the outdoors for a full Saturday of fun.

A fantastic idea for ensuring you hit the road as soon as the workday ends is to organize your gear and supplies throughout the week. That way, it never feels like a chore, and you’re on the way to a great weekend before it even begins.

2. Bike Tour

A woman riding a bike with saddle bags.

For veterans of road biking touring, a weekend trip is a perfect mini-vacation. For those just getting started, a two-day road bike adventure is a perfect introduction. The journey isn’t too long of a commitment; it’s the perfect taste to whet your appetite. That feeling of the wind against your face, of absolute (if momentary) freedom, is enough reason to saddle up and head out.

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For veteran tourers, a couple of days may not feel like nearly enough, but it sure beats sitting around indoors all weekend!

3. Mountain Biking

A couple of mountain bikers taking a break on a ridge looking down into a mountainous valley.

If bike touring is not your thing, hit the hills with your mountain bike. Just like with our first entry, head to your spot as early as possible, find a campsite, and you’ll be ready to ride the trails or backcountry roads for the vast majority of the time between now and Monday.

4. Winter Camping

A tent set up on the snow at the base of a mountain with a light on inside.

Winter camping is not the most popular outdoor activity for a lot of obvious reasons, but if you’re an adventurous sort with an interest in extremes, it’s worth taking a two day weekend to give it a shot. Study up on the essentials and take notes from others with experience.

Now you’re ready to customize the plan and supplies and head out to a local spot. A helpful hint is that late winter to early spring, weather dependent, is a fantastic time to try winter outings. The days will hold a bit more sunlight and the weather can be more forgiving.

5. Try a New Sport

A woman Kiteboarder skimming the water on a kiteboard.

Some of us are always intrigued by adding a new sport or hobby to our repertoires. A two day weekend can be perfect for getting started with many activities. Journey to an area with access to your intended new outdoor activity. If it’s windsurfing or kiteboarding, for example, search for the areas that locals frequent and check out their set up, their habits.

Any outdoor activity can be thoroughly researched online and its adherents tend to congregate in specific geographic locations. Once you’ve found the right spot, research local lodging or camping options set up your home base, and observe.

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If you’re ready to take the plunge, set aside another weekend and get some lessons. Even if the new activity turns out to be a bust, you’ll still have spent two special days far outside of your home!

6. Backpacking

A backpacker looking at Mt Rainier and its reflection on a lake.

Backpacking is one of the most traditional yet demanding outdoor activities and may seem like a daunting proposition to fit into a single weekend. Surprisingly though, two days is all you need for a nice backpacking journey. While you may be picturing majestic peaks, dozens of miles from civilization in any direction, it does not always have to be epic. Sometimes, a modest trek to change your scene is just what’s needed.

Pack light and aim for a short loop or simple out-and-back trail, relatively close to drivable roads. Once you’ve relaxed at your wilderness base camp, sipping on a beverage next to the tent, your eased mind will thank you.

7. Geocaching

A person holding a GPS unit in the mountains.

This is an activity in which participants use their mobile phones or GPS receivers and a bit of navigational know-how to hide and seek containers, called geocaches, all over the natural world. An example cache might be a small waterproof container, a special coin, or an ammo box containing a logbook where you enter the date and your name.

After finding and signing, you place it back exactly where you found it, adding to the trade items found within if you please. The best way to get started is by simply searching online for geocaching adventures within reasonable, weekend-able distance from home. Research several options. Once you’ve decided on a goal, head out to a local camping spot and explore, making for an adventuresome weekend.

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8. Guided or Chartered Trips

A woman fly fishing in a river.

The built-in structure of a guided or chartered trip can be perfect for taking advantage of the two days afforded by weekends. Think of any outdoor activity that interests you, possibly something new to you, and research local guided options.

Hiking expeditions, fishing trips, mountain climbs, and far more can be booked. The only requirement is your body and your readiness once the day comes. Once you’ve chosen the activity and appropriate guide, seek local lodging options, and make the journey happen. Fly fishing, anyone?

9. Luxury Camping

A luxury camp site set up in the beautiful mountains.

These two words rarely entered the same orbit for the longest time in history. Yet today, you can find fancy camping options sprouting up around the world. Use your computer and check out available options in your area, focusing on luxury camping options and opportunities. This is one of the best ways to involve friends and family who are not normally excited by the prospect of sleeping upon the dirt.

All that’s needed is a bit of enthusiasm for the outdoors. Even further, it’s a fantastic avenue for spending time out in the environment during inclement weather. Only the rarest of campers enjoy the activity during storms or winter weather, but luxury camping options provide a comforting roof over your head even while deep in the natural world.

While your time between Friday evening and Monday morning might be in limited supply, the opportunities for experiencing adventure are almost limitless. Start with our ideas here, add in your own predilections, and set off on a journey custom-tailored for making the most of your next weekend. It may be the start of something new or a bite-sized trip to tide you over, but it most definitely will be better than time spent cooped up at home!

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