woman, hiker, hike, mountain, girl

5 Badass (ish) Long Weekend Adventures

May 17, 2016

by — Posted in Guide Book

woman, hiker, hike, mountain, girl

Since my life has become a blur of working in an actual office, still doing all my other jobs, and also, now, becoming a beach volleyball ace (ok, learning how to sort of aim and hurting myself in all sorts of new and surprising ways–did you know it’s possible to step on your own toe?), I’ve started looking forward to weekends with a new fervour.

In BC, we’ve got a long weekend coming up, which means it’s time for adventures! Luckily for me, my friend who lives in Squamish and my friend who wanted to go to Squamish planned my weekend for me. (Hey, guess what? I’m going to Squamish for the long weekend!)

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”Long weekends are a rare and precious thing.” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””][/pullquote]

If I hadn’t been so lucky, though, I’d probably have rolled right up to Friday without a clue about what I was going to do. And if you’ve ever been in my too-busy-to-plan shoes, you know exactly what that means: a long weekend spent sleeping lots, and getting errands done. Which is fine. I just wrote a post about how that kind of thing is totally acceptable.

BUT.

Long weekends are a rare and precious thing. There’s a good chance you’re looking for a bit more excitement than your own neighbourhood, and that pile of dirty laundry, can provide. And if you’re like me, you want to do something that’s badass, but not TOO badass–you know? Don’t worry, I’ve got your back.

Here are 5 badass (ish) long weekend adventure ideas, from me to you.

1. Go on a hiking trip

In my opinion, 3 days is the perfect amount of time for a hiking trip. It’s long enough to get far away from the crowds, but not so long that you feel like you’re inhabiting a toxic cloud of your own stink. This adventure gets bonus points for somehow being an accomplishment AND an opportunity to relax, all at once.

Increase the badass factor:

  • Make it a solo hike
  • Don’t bring a change of clothes
  • Don’t test your stove before leaving

A great example: 

Skyline to the Sea trail in California (I have a bit of a California obsession lately).

skyline to sea trail, california, redwoods, trees, hiking, nature
I found this image HERE.

2. Go on a bike tour

Things look different from the butt-numbing saddle of a bike that you’ve been riding for several hours. Touring is great for people who want to cover more ground than they could on foot, and access spots they couldn’t in a car. Plus, you don’t have to pay for gas. Just lots and lots of energy bars.

Increase the badass factor:

  • Bring your 1-year-old along
  • Set a slightly unrealistic mileage goal
  • Choose a poorly-fitted bike saddle and refuse to replace it

A great example: 

Gabriola Island, in BC. In fact, most of the Gulf Islands are great weekend bike tour destinations (just beware the inevitable massive hill up from the ferry).

saltspring island, gulf islands, BC, british columbia, BC ferries, ferry

3. Visit a mecca

Vancouver is lucky, in that we are close to a lot of meccas: Squamish is a climbing mecca; Tofino, a surfing mecca. What are some meccas near you? Is there a place where all the mountain bikers in your area like to go? Kite surfers? Whitewater kayakers? Chances are, whatever the mecca near you is known for, someone is there, making a living selling lessons or tours. Why not go find out what all the hype is about?

Increase the badass factor:

  • Choose a sport you’ve never done
  • Attack the sport aggressively as though you will become a pro in 3 days
  • Skip the lesson or the tour, and rely on youtube videos and your own natural ability

A great example: 

If you live near Sedona, Arizona, it has recently acquired mountain biking mecca status.

mountain biking, biking, bike

4. Pick a direction and go

How far can you get and still make it home in a 3 day span? Whether you’re on a bike or in a car, or using some other less-conventional method of transportation (unicycle, anyone?), there’s an adventure to be had in picking a direction, and just going, without any sort of agenda. See something cool on the side of the road? Stop and check it out! You’ve got nowhere to be. Need to stop for a bathroom every 15 minutes? Go for it! Give that bladder the road trip of its life.

Increase the badass factor:

A great example:

Examples of this are hard to find, because the point is to be spontaneous and not worry about a destination. However, here is a weekend road trip from Ottawa, Ontario, to New Hampshire, in honour of a dear friend of mine who recently moved out east.

volkswagen, sunset, desert

5. Do a “triathlon”

I’m not talking about your typical “run, bike, swim, eat every carb” event. In Vancouver, we joke about the trifecta: skiing, climbing and mountain biking (or any other combination of outdoor pursuits), all in one day. But this is a long weekend! You’ve got 3 days, so why not do a different adventure each day? It can be any adventure. Are you really into geocaching? Fire up that GPS! Moon boot running? Get ready to bounce! 3 adventures in 3 days? You badass.

Increase the badass factor:

  • Insist on leaving before dawn, to “beat the crowds” or “maximize daylight”
  • Include base jumping as one of your adventures
  • Attempt a selfie in the middle of performing whatever sport you have chosen

A great example:

Again, this one is going to be pretty unique to you. But for inspiration, check out this multisport adventure race in Kalbarri, Western Australia.

runner, running, landscape, mountains, trail run

The long weekend is almost here. You got this.