You’re an outdoor enthusiast at heart. Every chance you get, you find yourself on the trails, at the lake, or at your favorite campground, usually with your favorite side-by-side in tow. So what do you do when your governor issues a statewide “stay at home” order to curb the spread of COVID-19 and you can no longer tear it up at your local ride park?
We’ll tell you what you shouldn’t do—you shouldn’t shut yourself indoors and wallow in self pity until this quarantine is over. At the same time, you also shouldn’t defy orders and venture into public for any non-essential reason, putting yourself and others at risk of contracting the virus. So where does that leave you?
Believe it or not, there are lots of ways for off-roaders to stay busy and entertained while being quarantined on their own property. To give you some ideas, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite ways to make the most of your time in solitude or with your family. Whether you’re in the mood for relaxing in the great outdoors or doing something productive, we hope there’s something for everyone on this list.
A temporary closure at that favorite campground doesn’t mean you have to sleep inside indefinitely! Why not camp out in your own backyard? If you don’t have a tent, wait for a clear night and throw some blankets or sleeping bags on the trampoline or in a truck bed. No matter what your setup looks like, there’s nothing quite like stretching out under the stars.
Limiting your meals in the kitchen is no fun. Grab some chicken wings or burgers and throw them on the grill to mix up your routine a little bit! No grill? No problem. Hot dogs are just as good (maybe even better) when cooked over a campfire. And did someone say s’mores? Enough said.
If you live on a good chunk of land, why not take this time to explore it? Since your traveling options are severely limited, there’s never been a better time to hike around the property and appreciate the sights. And if you don’t have a ton of acreage at your fingertips, do some research on state parks near you. While some have experienced closures due to COVID-19, some parks have remained open under the condition that visitors practice safe social distancing (in other words, stay at least six feet away from anyone else you see).
If you’ve got the property, take an evening to treat yourself to a leisurely ride on your favorite machine. No need to get all wild and crazy. Try exploring your land in a way that you haven’t before—driving slowly, taking in the sights, and just enjoying each other’s company.
Don’t let that quad or side-by-side get rusty while you’re stuck at home! And you probably don’t want your driving skills to get rusty, either. Use your extra free time to read up on some racing tips and practice some of those skills for yourself. (We will note that this suggestion requires having a decent amount of land on your own property. We’re not advocating for street racing here.)
Giving your ATV or UTV a nice scrub-down can sometimes get put on the back burner when you’ve got a lot going on. That’s why now is a better time than ever to block off a few hours and really give that machine a good cleaning. So pull out that detailing kit and get to work! You’ll thank yourself once these social distancing guidelines are lifted and you’re able to show off that shiny, new-looking rig to all of your buddies.
Most of us have an ongoing mental to-do list when it comes to our machines. Check your fluids, change out a filter, replace a few parts… Whatever is on your list, you may as well check those things off while you’ve got the time. And speaking of maintenance and thinking ahead, this is the perfect time to buy some extra gasoline to keep on deck, since prices are so low right now. Depending on your fuel type, gas can safely be stored for anywhere from three to six months.
Hit up Spotify for your favorite off-road jams and consolidate them all into one riding playlist. You’ll be glad you did the next time you’re able to go cruising with your buddies at your favorite spot. If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that good music makes every ride better.
This might not be everyone’s favorite chore, but trust us when we say it’s worth it. Just imagine how much more enjoyable working on your machine will be when you’ve got a garage that’s clean and organized. Can you imagine actually knowing where that socket set is right when you need it?
Dropping a line in the water is one of the most classic, tried-and-true ways to unwind in the outdoors. So grab your pole and find a lake, pond, or river near you! Just make sure you’re legally allowed to fish there, of course. And remember to practice social distancing if there are others in the area. If you need to purchase or renew a fishing license, you can do that online through the US Fish & Wildlife Service.
This lock down isn’t going to last forever! At some point (hopefully sooner rather than later), your favorite places will start opening up again and it will be safe to socialize. When that happens, we bet you’ll be itching to plan your next adventure. That’s why we suggest using this time to research ride parks across the country and make a list of the ones you want to check out in the future. To get you started, check out our feature on the best riding spots in the West, Midwest, South, and Northeast.
This isn’t a comprehensive list by any means. There are an infinite amount of ways to keep yourself busy and entertained, all while staying healthy, during this quarantine. We’ve provided a handful of ideas to get you started, but now we want to hear from you! How are you squeezing in some ride time and enjoying the great outdoors during quarantine? Let us know in the comments.