One of the hardest things about spending time outside in all weather is figuring out what to wear to keep your body comfortable. After all, if heading outside is really uncomfortable, you’re simply not going to want to do it.

But what’s the best way to dress in cold weather? And what if you’re entirely new to this and just don’t know? In this episode, Amy lays out what she personally wears in cold weather and the different layers that work really for her body. Listen now.

[:35] Why you might be thinking about this

[1:15] The great and generous thing about outdoor-minded folks

[1:34] I want you to be warm and happy

[1:54] A few caveats

[3:30] A rundown of what I wear for slow stuff on the bottom

[4:58] What I’m wearing on top

[6:00] The extremities

[7:30] What I wear while being active

[9:30] A final important step

So you’ve got an outdoor habit, but are you actually making time for fun? If having fun is a priority, how do you make time to actually make it happen? How can you organize your life around creating space for it?

Dr. Michael Rucker’s new book, The Fun Habit, lays out the reasons we should make fun a priority, how to make it happen and what happens when you do. And in this episode of Humans Outside he helps us mix an outdoor habit with a fun habit to get the most out of our time.

[2:41] Dr. Michael Rucker’s favorite outdoor space

[4:17] How Mike takes his own fun habit outside

[8:20] The difference between “happiness” and “fun”

[10:42] The role of intentionality

[20:16] What is the SAVOR model?

[25:57] Why is reminiscing important?

[27:42] A digression into fun types one, two and three

[30:37] Awe and “the mystery”

If you’re doing an outdoor challenge, we promise the question is going to come up: what counts as “outside?” In this episode Amy lays out the rules — or the lack therefore — and goes through what she counts for herself. Listen now.

[:46] Here’s a question you might’ve encountered

[:55] Don’t laugh, it’s a thing

[1:07] Why this gets asked

[1:33] Yes, I’ve asked it too

[2:10] Sorry, no rules from me for you

[2:30] But you should have your own rules

[3:00] But here are my rules for me

So you want to create a new habit — maybe it’s heading outside daily for that 20 minutes, maybe it’s something related, maybe it’s something else entirely. It can be easy to pick a really aggressive goal, or, on the flip side, toy with committing to something and then back out because you don’t want to disappoint yourself.

In the happy middle, though, is aiming for a habit that both improves your wellness life and gives you what you need. So how do you get there? In this episode of Humans Outside, Sarah Hays Coomer, a wellness coach and habit expert joins us for a third time to talk about creating a habit that focuses on what you need, gently. Listen now.

[2:34] Sarah Hays Coomer’s favorite outdoor space

[3:55] How Sarah became someone who likes to go outside

[7:33] The nuts and bolts of a habit

[16:27] The role of sustainability in habit picking

[19:35] How to create a gentle guide for what you need

[26:57] What counts as going outside?

[32:40] Is habit building a muscle?

[37:29] Some tips for a gentle wellness practice

Brave? Courageous? Those words don’t describe Amy. Or, at least, they didn’t used to. But thanks to her outdoor habit she’s now more courageous and adventurous than ever before. Why and how did that happen — and how can it happen for you? Listen now to find out.

[:35] How it was when I started my challenge

[1:05] OK, I’m pretty boring

[1:28] How this changes when I head outside

[1:44] My new outdoor toy

[2:10] Ice skating is walking on knives, fyi.

[2:50] A change of tune

[3:10] My first nordic skating adventure

[3:20] Am I courageous?

[3:45] The brave-building of heading outside

[4:11] Trusting the process and find rewards

[5:05] You can have this, too

December 21 marks the winter solstice — the official first day of winter and the shortest day of the year with the least time between sunrise and sunset. In Alaska and other places far north, the lack of light is noticeable from both a physical and emotional perspective. But the darkness can bring lessons of light. In this episode Amy lays out what the solstice and its darkness has taught her. Listen now.

[:45] Once upon a time, what is solstice?

[1:15] What I learned about solstice after we moved to Alaska

[1:50] 3 things solstice means to now

[2:00] A reminder to fight

[2:57] All light matters

[3:40] The light of people

[4:39] The real lesson of solstice

You’ve heard of the gifts from the 12 Days of Christmas? Well, the gifts of heading outside don’t include any lords-a-leaping (that Amy is aware of) but they do include a parade of other (probably better) things, especially in winter.

In this episode Amy talks about just three of the winter gifts she’s received during her outdoor time and the impact they’ve had. Listen now.

[:45] Gifts of the 12 days and what they have to do with any of this

[1:28] The gifts of my outdoor time — focused on winter

[1:35] But first, drama

[2:00] The first gift

[3:10] What getting involved has to do with anything

[3:30] The second gift

[4:27] The third gift

Looking for ways to add outdoor traditions to the holiday season. Over the years Amy and her family have added a variety of outdoor activities to how they celebrate. In this episode Amy shares a few ways you can easily do that with your family and friends, too. Listen now.

[:52] What I learned right off the bat

[1:26] Here come the traditions

[1:45] It’s not just me a thing

[2:10] Do you want to do it too?

[2:15] A little theme here

[3:00] Start simple with some lights

[3:35] Next: try community events

[4:40] One more idea for day specific stuff

At what point is heading outside for your daily habit really, truly just a part of who you are? That’s a question Amy tackled this week when she realized she’d skated right by the 1,900 day outdoor habit mark without even noticing. Hear more on this episode of the Humans Outside weekly Outdoor Diary.

[:45] How I usually keep track of my day tally

[1:01] For a long time, this was important

[2:20] Why this was a surprise

[2:35] Here’s a quick tally of what that means

[3:06] Is this what happens after this much time?

[3:30] It’s just a part of who I am, I guess

[4:37] Here’s how you get this, too