Whether you gather with family over the table, get together with pals for Friendsgiving, or do something else entirely, there are plenty of ways to enjoy Thanksgiving outdoors. So bundle up in your warmest gear and start planning how your family and friends will get your nature fix before sitting down to a delicious meal.
Thanksgiving Dinner Camp-Style
Campsgiving anyone? If the weather looks all right, plan a camping trip with your friends or family and celebrate with an outdoor feast.
Cooking a feast outdoors can be easy if you have the right set up, choose a simple menu, and plan in advance.
Here are a few tips for cooking a holiday meal in the wilderness:
- Stick to sides, which are much easier to prepare with a limited camp kitchen
- Meal prep at as much as possible at home with all of your tools and cleaning materials
- Ask each person or couple to bring or prepare a meal so one person isn’t stuck with all the work
- Stick within your abilities, cooking outdoors is quite a bit different than it is cooking inside your kitchen
- Double check that you have all of the tools and utensils you need
- Night falls quickly late November, so plan for an early meal
Check out Fresh off the Grid for recipe ideas for all diets and outdoor cooking skills.
Lems shoe recommendation: Drifter - this slip on shoe means ultimate comfort while you spend time on your feet whipping up a tasty meal for your pals.
Hit the Trails for a Family Hike
Create space for the large meal by going for a morning or early afternoon hike on a nearby trail. The trails are a great way to spend time together while getting some fresh air and movement in the body.
Make it fun by selecting a hike that no one has done before.
Bring a thermos and pack a hot beverage to share with your family or friends while overlooking a beautiful view.
Need a few ideas for warm beverages? We’ve got you covered.
- Egg nog
- Spiced apple cider
- Hot chocolate
- Golden milk
- Masala chai
- Mulled wine
- Hot toddy
- Hot buttered rum
- Irish coffee
Lems shoe recommendation: Trailhead - tackle any terrain in these lightweight, yet rugged shoes.
SIGN UP FOR A FAMILY-FRIENDLY TURKEY TROT
If your family or friends enjoy a little bit of friendly competition, sign up for a local Turkey Trot.
These races happen in many towns and cities during the holiday, so there is bound to be one near where you live or where you’ll be visiting.
Turkey Trots are typically 5K races (3.1 miles) and very family friendly, often dogs and strollers are allowed to participate. Training for the race can build in bonding time with your family and get everyone on a path toward good health.
Lems shoe recommendation: Primal Pursuit - This trail-to-town shoe will get you through that Turkey Trot in blazing speed. You won’t even have to change your shoes for dinner time. That’s a win in our book!
ORGANIZE OR JOIN A TRASH CLEAN UP
Give thanks back to the planet by organizing a family trash clean up or sign up to join an organization that hosts them. You’ll feel great about volunteering and beautifying your favorite outdoors spots.
All you need for a trash clean up are trash bags, gloves, and a good attitude.
Lems shoe recommendation: Boulder Boot - available in waterproof, leather, and vegan versions, the Boulder Boot will keep your feet warm and comfortable while helping the Earth.
GO FOR A FAMILY BIKE RIDE
Gather your friends and family together for a bike ride through new neighborhoods or through nearby towns that you’ve never visited previously.
You can look for routes on local tourism board sites, on apps like MapMyRide or Strava, or ask your local bike shop.
If it’s been awhile since you’ve dusted off your wheels, make sure to do a thorough tune up before hitting the road. And don’t forget a spare tire and a bike pump!
Lems shoe recommendation: Mesa - this go anywhere shoe slides on like a sock, yet still performs like a shoe with true laces.
FIND SOME HOLIDAY LIGHTS
The holidays sure seem to be happening earlier and earlier each year don’t they? That’s good news for holiday light lovers because it means that you can plan a post-meal walk in search of the neighborhood's best lights.
Some streets are well known for their holiday lights, so be sure to locate the neighborhood and see if they will have their lights up by Thanksgiving.
Lems shoe recommendation: Chukka - this comfortable shoe will keep your feet happy and warm during an evening walk.
FORAGE FOR MUSHROOMS
Collect the food you’re going to eat later that day! There’s nothing like foraging your own food in the woods that you’ll later prepare for a meal with friends and family.
Look up which mushrooms are in season and local to your area and be sure to bring a guide or app to help identify the mushrooms you find. It’s a good idea to chat with someone knowledgeable beforehand to make sure you know what to look for!
Not only will you spend a few hours tramping through the woods in search of some delicious fungi, it’s a fun experience if you’ve never done it before. Finding that first mushroom is quite exciting!
Plus, it makes everything taste that much better since you hunted the mushrooms yourself.
Lems shoe recommendation: Primal 2 - this ultra-lightweight minimalist shoe will help you cover all the ground necessary to find those hidden mushrooms.
GATHER AROUND THE BONFIRE
End the day by gathering around a backyard fire pit or at a nearby beach if it is allowed. You can sip on warm beverages and toast marshmallows while keeping warm by the flames.
Ask everyone to bring a camp chair and play boardless and cardless games, like the ones listed here.
Lems shoe recommendation: Any of our shoes are great for lounging around a toasty fire with friends and family!