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< Home & Backyard

WARMER DAYS WILL BE HERE BEFORE YOU KNOW IT

After every long winter, the mere mention of spring has us thinking about an energetic shift in our environment and in ourselves: fresh starts, warmer weather, and the anticipation of enjoying the outdoor activities we’ve been missing for months. So in the spirit of preparedness, we’re looking at some simple things you can do to get yourself, your gear and your plans ready to go the second springtime arrives. We don’t want to keep the outdoors waiting!

1. Reconnect with yourself

The start of spring is a time for change, renewal and fresh perspectives. Take that first real spring day to take stock of yourself: mind, body and spirit. Step outside and go for a walk or a bike ride, clear your head, breathe deeply and feel the difference in the air. Noticing the change around you will help you notice the changes happening inside you, easing the transition between seasons and get you excited for the months to come.

2. Get your gear in order

Warmer, longer days open up a whole new world of outdoor opportunities. It’s also your cue to get your gear out of storage and give it a good once over. Bring your bike in for a full tune-up; give your kayaks and SUPs a thorough scrub down; take your tent for an indoor or backyard trial run to make sure all the pieces are still solid, present and accounted for; and try lighting your camp stove to make sure it works. You’ll be glad you did it now, so you don’t run into any issues when it’s time to get out there.

Quick Tip:

Now might be a great time to consider picking up some new gear. L.L.Bean product designers always have their eye on innovations to make gear stronger, lighter and easier to assemble. See what we’ve been up to by checking out our latest outdoor equipment.

3. Be rain ready

We have a rule for whenever we find ourselves outside: “Hope for sun. Be ready for rain.” This applies even more in the spring, when showers have a tendency to sneak up on you when you least expect them. That’s why you should always be sure to bring a light, stowable rain jacket no matter where, or for how long, you’ll be out. It also helps to have a good day pack to provide fast access to your rain gear. You should be able to weather any storm.

4. Manage expectations for mud season

Here in Maine, we count mud season as our fifth full season. But you can count on dealing with at least a little post-winter mud in most places across the country. With warmer spring weather right around the corner, rain and snow melt can turn trails sloppy fast. If you’re looking forward to hiking, it’s important to have a sturdy pair of waterproof boots at your disposal. And don’t forget about muck-catching Waterhog Mats for your home and car. You’ll be more willing to make tracks in the mud if you know you won’t be tracking it everywhere.

Quick Tip:

If you find yourself facing down a muddy stretch, don’t walk off-trail to avoid it. This is a tried-and-true rule in most hiking circles as you can easily damage delicate vegetation. If possible, head to trails at lower elevations, exposed to the southern sun – the ground here will dry out faster than most.

5. Start mapping your plans

There’s something to be said for spontaneity, but planning your spring trips is the perfect diversion as you wait for the season to come into full bloom. We love to peruse area maps to inspire trip planning and discover new avenues for adventure. Keep a journal of the places you’d like to go, the things you’d like to do, and the gear you don’t have yet. Don’t forget to note any places that require reservations or permits and book yours early. Once high spring hits, popular campgrounds tend to fill up fast.

Quick Tip:

Not sure where to start? There are 400 national park sites in the U.S. and there’s a good chance you live within 100 miles of one. Find Your Park is a collaboration between the National Park Foundation and the National Park Service, created to help you curate your perfect park experience. Give it a try and get out there!

6. Rediscover your backyard

When spring is in your sights, you’ll want to start prepping your backyard for all the possibilities: from cookouts and campfires to gardens and games. Best of all, getting everything ready doesn't have to be hard work. All-Weather Furniture can stay out all winter and be no worse for the wear. You can bring in a fire pit that’s ready for s’mores action right out of the box. And you can create a relaxing retreat by putting out a hammock that’s made to do, well, absolutely nothing. The grass really is always greener right outside your door.

Quick Tip:

Not everyone has a big backyard for entertaining – or even a yard at all. You can still apply most of these backyard ideas to a porch, patio or small patch of grass. Scale it down with a portable hammock or grill and comfortable camp chairs, or just bring the fun to a local park where there’s plenty of open space to enjoy.

< Home & Backyard

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