“Mindfulness” is a big buzzword these days. For many, its mere mention conjures up images of incense and chanting. When it comes down to it, though, it’s really just about present-moment awareness. When you embrace the ethos of mindfulness, you tune into your body, mind, and surroundings with greater intention. Instead of operating in auto-pilot, you learn to switch on and engage with what’s directly in front of you.
Nowhere is this skill more pleasing to employ as in the great outdoors. Whether you’re taking in the cool mountain air as you sit by a crackling campfire, hanging out in a hammock at your local park, or hiking a rugged trail at sunrise, there is no shortage of sights, sounds, and smells to observe.
Here’s a glimpse of a few of our favorite products that can contribute to a more mindful outdoors experience.
For the uninitiated, the Headspace app offers an easy entry point to the world of mindfulness. With scores of guided meditations at your fingertips, there’s something for everyone. Their signature 10-minute sessions are a great way to ease into a mindfulness practice and feel out the basics.
We love using these meditations while chilling in a hammock on a weekend camping trip or right before bed snuggled up in the tent. Not only can it help you relax, it also trains your mind to dial into the present and appreciate the panorama of your experience outdoors.
Nemo Puffin Blanket
Nemo Equipment brings us the Puffin – the perfect blanket to have on hand for almost any outdoor adventure. It packs down into a small cube, is super lightweight, and can be deployed on a moment’s notice. In addition to being warm and cozy, it’s also perfect for throwing down for a picnic.
Whether you are car camping or backpacking, this blanket can transform just about any outdoor space into one where you’d like to sit down and stay a while, making it ideal for the mindfully-inclined outdoorsperson.
Tentsile Flite+ Tree Tent
Tentsile’s tree tents are leading the way in the suspended-tent category. The Flite+ is a tent, a hammock, and a hanging treehouse all rolled into one. It’s hard to imagine a better place to sprawl out and listen to the birds singing and the breeze blowing.
Light enough to carry on your back into the deep wilderness, this two-person tree tent can be set up in just about any forested area. With an insect mesh and rain fly, it’ll protect you from the elements. What’s more, the double-tensioned hammock design makes it a whole lot more hospitable than sleeping on the cold ground.
If you’re going to be in a place without trees to hang a hammock—or you’re in a park that doesn’t allow it—the WindPouch is a great option for lounging and taking in your surroundings. The inflatable hammock features a pop-up comfort headrest, making it in many cases, more lounge-worthy than a traditional hammock.
The WindPouch requires no pump to inflate and it folds down into a small sack for easy travel. We especially love this hammock for days at the beach, providing a major upgrade from your run-of-the-mill folding chair.
Field Notes Expedition
There’s a reason that some of the world’s greatest creative minds enjoy spending time outside. Being fully immersed in the natural world can help clear out the mental cobwebs and inspire innovative thinking, which is why the most mindful outdoorspeople often have a journal on-hand.
Enter Field Notes. While the brand has a number of varieties of notebooks, our personal favorite is the Expedition, which is dubbed “virtually indestructible.” Made with water- and tear-proof paper, it offers you the opportunity to take notes, make observations, and deliberate dreams no matter what the weather.
Gripzz Yoga Mat
Said to be the world’s first acupressure yoga mat, the Gripzz Mat will take your sun salutations to the next level. Featuring ergonomically designed rubber knobs, it helps trigger acupressure points on your hands and feet while you proceed with your daily practice.
What’s more, the durability of these water resistant and anti-microbial mats make them perfect for outdoor use. If you’re planning on traveling with it, be sure to snag the Grippz Travel Bag too.
There’s no better place to take a load off and simply sit and enjoy nature than ENO’s Lounger Hanging Chair. In addition to a hassle-free suspension system, the chair includes a plush headrest and adjustable footrest. It even has a drink holder and integrated pockets.
It’s easy to bring on the road and simple to put together whenever you reach your destination. We love this chair for meditating in the backyard or reading and reflecting on weekend camping trips.
If you’re having trouble dialing into the moment in the great outdoors, look no further than Henry David Thoreau. His words in Walden provide a brilliant primer on what it means to really exist in the present and appreciate all nature has to offer.
Whether it is a hammock, tent, chair, or tree stump, if you’re looking to be a more mindful outdoorsperson, try swapping the cell phone for this classic tome. As he wrote, “We need the tonic of wildness…We can never have enough of nature.”