What are you doing for Valentine’s Day this year? Out of all the days, today is the day to do something a little more romantic. However, romantic doesn’t have to mean dressing up, going to a fancy restaurant, and giving chocolates and flowers. If both you and your significant other love camping, backpacking, hiking, or just being outside, then there are other ways you can celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Visit a romantic backcountry destination:
Instead of going on an expensive trip or staying in some fancy resort, why not explore one of the many romantic backcountry destinations that are out there? If you can swing it, hop in a car or plane and surprise your honey with a beautiful outdoor experience that you both won’t forget.
Go on a scenic hike:
Going on any regular hike might not necessarily be romantic. However, going on a scenic hike in a place you haven’t been to before, where you can admire the views, landscapes, and even some wildlife, will definitely add some sparks. Even find somewhere less crowded to hike, so you and your partner can enjoy the peacefulness alone.
What’s more romantic than staring at the stars in the middle of nowhere with your soulmate? While there are a lot of places in the U.S that are ideal for stargazing, there’s no reason you can’t find a mountain, hill, or trail close to home. Just find any empty place, hike to get there, and throw out a blanket. Bring some drinks along, and cuddle up beneath the endless sky.
There are so many reasons to go camping with your significant other, but being Valentine’s Day might be the only reason you need. Getting outside together, away from distractions like work and electronics, will give you time to reconnect and spend time just the two of you. Even if it just means pitching a tent together a few miles from your house, it will be nice.
Cook a fancy meal…outside:
It might not be quite the same as being waited on, but it’s the thought that counts, right? This Valentine’s Day instead of impressing your date with a reservation at the local Hibachi or Italian restaurant, cook up a delicious meal outside on the trail. When you go backpacking or hiking, it’s likely that you can expect the meals to be less than average. That being said, there are a lot of ways to still make something surprisingly good, with more ingredients and a more patience. (And, maybe a Wine2Go on the side, too.)
Buy some new gear:
Sure, teddy bears are cute, and flowers and chocolate are the norm, but buying your love some new backpacking gear will no doubt put a smile on his or her face. (And, not for nothing, backpacking gear does last a lot longer than than flowers do!). Why not a duo sleeping bag, a box of hot chocolate, or a new hiking shirt in a red color? Any of these ideas will be just as romantic as anything else.
Read “Sex in the Outdoors”:
Getting down in the woods can be a difficult task, and the pine needles and dirt can take away from the romance. Luckily, the book “Sex in the Outdoors” by Buck Tilton may be a humorous read, but it’s informative nonetheless. Get this for your significant other, read it together, and laugh out loud while you get good advice about making love outdoors.
Try a new outdoor activity:
There are so many backcountry adventures and activities to try that would be perfect to do together. Whether it be a extreme sport, a weekend at a fitness retreat, attending a backcountry festival, or visiting a national park that hosts a wide range of activities, the options are endless. Even if you can’t make it there this Valentine’s Day, you can surprise your date with an upcoming itinerary.
Make a backcountry scrapbook:
You don’t have to be a professional to take some killer photos or write awesome journal entries about your experiences. If you already have content on deck, then spend Valentine’s putting all of it into your very own scrapbook. Just head to the craft store, buy an album and some stickers, and get to work! It’s a fun project to start together, and to continue on for the hikes you have in the future. (It makes a great gift, too!).
Watch the sunrise or sunset:
There are plenty of romantic (and rustic) places to watch the sun come up or go down. The weather (in some places) has just gotten to be more tolerable, too, which means the perfect opportunity for a hike up a mountain or on a beach, all wrapped up in blankets together, waiting for the scene.
Stay at a backcountry lodge:
North America has some of the most beautiful backcountry lodges you’ve ever seen. If you’re down for exploring the backcountry with your love but you don’t want to spend the entire time outside, then book a stay at a lodge. You can still experience the wilderness, but still get a warm shower and a nice bed at the end of a long day.
Romance has a different meaning to everyone, and backpackers can celebrate Valentine’s Day in the way that fits them best!