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Quarantine Activities That Don’t Cost Any Money

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast now in quarantine or shelter in place, here are a few suggestions on how to pass the time.

Every day, restrictions in cities are ramping up due to coronavirus. If you’re sick, caring for someone who is sick, or have recently traveled (anywhere), you’re probably in quarantine and taking extra precautions.

Many counties and states have banned gatherings of 10 people or more, and some have even restricted people from going outside altogether. It’s safe to say your weekly trail-running group is off the table.

It’s been established that the best way to stop the spread of coronavirus and protecting the lives of others is by staying inside as much as possible. Even though the outdoors is a great place to go, it increases your exposure (trailhead bathrooms, gas stations, carpooling, etc.).

Another element of the coronavirus quarantine measures is economic and job stress for many families. So here are some GearJunkie editors’ picks for few ways you can stay busy and entertained at home — without paying a dime.

Play cards or camp games.

This is a great option for bigger households. Pool together your favorite camp games, make teams, and play. You may not be gathered around a picnic table or campfire, but it can still be a fun activity indoors.

Some of our editors’ favorites are charades, ring toss, hackysack, rummy, or any other card games.

Organize your gear for next season.

Even though ski resorts are closed, and even some parks are closing, don’t let that stop you from thinking ahead. Organize your backpacking gear or do some bike maintenance. If you’re an active outdoor athlete, there are probably a lot of gear chores to keep you occupied.

Do yoga.

Roll out your yoga mat and find your flow. Our editors recommend YouTube channels like Yoga With Adriene and online resources like CorePower Yoga tutorials. Or check out our article on DIY yoga for more guidance and inspiration.

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Sharpen knives.

This may come as a surprise, but knife sharpening — especially on a whetstone — can be very cathartic and meditative. It requires consistent movement, focused attention, and patience. One of our editors loves it because it allows time for reflection or listening to music.

Plus, your now razor-sharp tool is good to go for cooking, game processing, or outdoor use. Check out our guide here for helpful tips.

Take a free online class.

On the internet, you can take classes in fitness, academics, wilderness medicine, you name it. Pick something that aligns with your interests and get started. (Our editors recommended online photography and wilderness skills classes.)

Re-watch your favorite outdoor movies or series.

Watching the news 24/7 is exhausting. Distract yourself and de-stress by reading an adventure memoir or watching an outdoor movie. Check out the best outdoor documentaries on Netflix here.

Tie flies.

This is an awesome indoor activity that was recommended by several of our editors. All you need is a fly-tying kit. If you don’t already have a kit, see if you have any materials lying around that you can repurpose.

These simple materials will get you started: thread, bobbins, scissors, hooks, and some flies (you can learn to make your own here).

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Build or make something.

If you have kids, this is a great activity to do to break up their home-school day. Use building blocks or science kits, or build a fort or backyard campsite.

If there aren’t kids in your household, this is still a great at-home option. Build a shelf or work table, or do some self-drying pottery. Our editors recommend cooking a homemade meal or baking bread.

Play music.

Chances are, there’s an instrument in your household: guitar, old drum set, even something small like a bongo or harmonica. Learn or practice your instrument, then host a virtual concert or jam session for you and your friends.

Live music will bring a refreshing new spirit to your situation. If you don’t play, stream a live concert.

Share your skills.

Teach your partner, family, or quarantined friends how to wax skis, change a flat tire, or prime a camp stove. Learn new skills and share them. That way, when all this is over, we can get outside with new knowledge, making our community safer and more connected in the process.

There you have it: Get creative, have fun, and stay safe, everyone.

Did we miss something? Share your favorite outdoor-related indoor activity with us in the comments below. 

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Mary Murphy
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Mary is based out of GearJunkie's Denver, CO office. Her outdoor interests span from climbing to landscape photography to pack-paddleboarding. If she's not writing, you can most likely find her at the top of a fourteener, or in a local bakery.

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