Great Outdoors Month Offers Great Opportunities

English: taken at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Enjoy a hike in the Arizona outdoors (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Two of the best things about living in Arizona are the natural beauty all around us and the kind of climate that lets us enjoy it almost all year round.  Over the next few weeks, make sure you get outside for a walk, a hike, a run, a bike ride, or even just a leisurely picnic to celebrate Great Outdoors month.    This celebration started with an official presidential proclamation from President Obama designating June as Great Outdoors Month.  The intent of the proclamation is to encourage all Americans to go outside, spend time around things that are green, and participate in all the wonderful outdoor opportunities nature has gifted us with.

To make it easy for you to get some outdoor time this month, here are a couple great ways any family can spend a day outdoors.

Go for a Hike

Arizona offers some of the most diverse hiking options you can find.  From desert trails to mountain trails, there are hundreds of trails all over the state.  Trails run the gamut in terms of experience level which means it is easy to find a trail or two that matches your needs whether you are a novice or an expert.

Hiking in Arizona does require some preparation and precautions.  Don’t hike during the hottest parts of the day and make sure you plan your hiking trip around the heat for safety.  Make sure you carry the essentials with you including water, a first aid kit, a flashlight, a map, sunscreen, a hat, a whistle, a poncho, and of course, some food.

Great snacks for hiking in Arizona are trail mix, roasted pumpkin seeds, salted nuts, dried fruit, and fresh fruit.  Make sure you have some salty snacks and avoid food and drink that contribute to dehydration.

Find the right trail for you at one of these helpful sites Hike Arizona, Arizona Hiking Trails, and The Arizona Guide.

Have a Backyard Campout

Join other people across the country on June 25th for the 7th Annual Great American Backyard Campout sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation.  Get your family away from their computers, games, and phones and pitch a tent in your backyard to enjoy all the comforts of home while also experiencing the outdoors.   This is a simple way that every family can get in a little green time this month.

Make your backyard campout more memorable by choosing a menu full of campfire favorites.  If you can’t have an actual campfire in the yard, you can always use a proper grill for cooking for the same effect.  Try these great alternatives to regular hamburgers and hot dogs, Sonoran Hamburgers and Sonoran Hot Dogs.  Camping out menus are full of make-ahead dishes like Apple Bacon Slaw and Mexican Cole Slaw.  Last but certainly not least, a campout wouldn’t be a campout without s’mores.  Make sure you have plenty of chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers on hand.

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