Alone time in nature can be truly remarkable, but the truth is: adventures with loved ones is always our preferred method. Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, we can all benefit from life outside with our people.
One of the main Sunski mantras is ‘live your best life outside.’ As much as we love the solo side of things, we tend to prescribe to the Jack Johnson method, that it’s always better when we’re together. And here, we’ve got science and pure rationale to back us up!
If you’re looking for validation to spend even more time with your favorite people, read on for our top five reasons why outside really is better together.
Grab an SRD to keep your shades near on any adventure
No matter your personality type, you know the joy of hanging out with friends, shooting the breeze. So it comes as no shock that time spent with friends is proven to improve happiness, reduce stress, and prevent feelings of loneliness. Throw a little fresh air into the mix and wham! You’ve got a bona fide good time.
This feels especially true when you’re feeling down and unmotivated, but you can majorly boost your mood with friend time in the sun. Not only do you get the benefit of friendship, but the vitamin D from the sun helps your brain secrete serotonin. You will literally walk away from a sunny friend outing with more positivity and energy. Don’t put it off, coordinate a picnic rendezvous or plan a morning walk in the park to catch up with a friend!
High fives for getting outside, together in some Alpine shades!
The roots of friendship benefit run much deeper than a one off interaction. Sustained interaction with loved ones can have an incredible impact. According to the CDC, social connectedness can help us recover from stress, anxiety, and depression, and even increase your longevity and survival.
For social connectedness, all you need is a variety of relationships, genuine exchanges, and access to outdoor space. Keep things interesting, but allow for meaningful connection. Maybe one week you and your crew hit up a beach yoga class. Maybe the next week, you bike to a brewery so you have a little more time to chat. Living your social life outside is a stellar way to rejuvenate the soul and connect with your people!
Shared Experiences = More Enjoyable
Solitude and self-reflection has its perks, sure, but studies show that shared experiences are felt more intensely. Think about it. Have you spent an epic weekend backpacking in the Sierra or basked in the view of a killer summit with a friend by your side? How often do you talk about that awesome day? Does it get better every time you tell the stories? That’s because when you feel it together, you feel the fun of it even stronger. Even if you don’t verbally speak during the adventure, you will find more enjoyment out of a cool experience when you share it.
Safety in Numbers
The same is true on the flipside: if an experience is unpleasant or difficult, all people involved will feel that amplified. As outdoor adventurers, this isn’t exactly new news. If you’ve ever set up camp only to be bombarded by a freakish lightning storm, or rafted down a river with unexpected Class IV and V rapids, you know the feeling of anxiety that can grip a group off the grid.
But aren’t those situations better with a group of people to help support and troubleshoot? They say safety in numbers, and nowhere is that more true than in the backcountry.
The sketchy experiences can really bond you for life. Miserable in the moment, fun in hindsight. If you ever find yourself in the aftermath of some Type-2 Fun, at least you’ll have one hell of a story for the years to come!
Digital Detox Bonding
A social perk of the backcountry is the lack of cell service, because it forces you to be present in the moment with your people. But you can limit your screen time from anywhere, and your relationships can benefit from it.
In the words of Plato, you can learn more about someone in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. When you embark into the great outdoors with your loved ones, you get the chance to watch them live naturally. This is why it can be so important to practice a little digital detox and just live in the moment (read here for tips on how to digital detox)!
Allow yourselves to be kids again and experience the world with wonder. Stop and smell the sunshine, jump into puddles, stick your fingers in the river to feel how cold it is. Splash in the waves and laugh as they knock you over. Forget about the phone and just bask in the warmth, so you can remember all the details as you reminisce for years to come.
Voila! All the endorsement you need to get outside with your loved ones. Go on head and live your best life outside with the help of friends, sunshine, and the best adventure sunglasses on planet earth.