Gonna be gone for a while and won’t have the gym? Here is how to work out with no gym. For those who love the outdoors and all the benefits associated with nature, fitness is often a component not overlooked.
My wife and i are big into working out, however, we are also big into exploring off-grid and camping in all corners of the outdoors. So, we found ourselves in a position where we needed to adapt to some workouts that we could do anywhere, whether we had some kettlebells or gyms around or not.
When it comes to keeping your mind healthy, while nature is key, so is regular exercise. In this week’s post, we break down 5 Must Know Options to stay fit while camping off-grid.
5 Workouts To Do Off-Grid When Camping
I love a good run, or a good set of pushups, and Hell, sometimes both…..But I also love a good beer and some campfire deserts. Is this a problem? Well, maybe if you’re an Instagram influencer whose only feed pics are strangely angled and posed pics of your ass. For me? Not so much, I gave up my IG Influencer role years ago, tired of being objectified for my butt only, mean, come on, my eyes are up here!
So I, like many, make sure I get my time-in working out to balance out my love for beer and S’mores. Heres a quick list of how to workout with no gym, options you need when there is no gym nearby and you have a belly full of guilt to work off.
Now hear me out, I get it, this was easy and not worth your click, right? But is it so easy? So many people say they couldn’t work out because they were “camping” but in reality, all you need to do is go for a hike, run on the trails around the camping area. Or, if your truly off grid on BLM or similar areas, just open your camper door and, well, just run!
Trail running can also be better for your knees than typical pavement but be aware of rocks, loose dirt areas, and varying terrain issues, they can roll an ankle or tweak a knee pretty quick! Be sure to pack a good set of running shoes, some electrolytes, and if you are like me, you must have your headphones. I personally can’t live without my Bose Sound Sports (no link, no sale, I just love them).
Most of us bring the mountain bikes with us when heading out to camp. Usually, there are lots of trails nearby and it makes for a great day out.
Whether you are with the kids on an easy ride or hitting the Double Black Diamond Trails, biking is a great way to breathe some fresh air and get as much or as little cardio and leg strength building as you want.
For this, all you need is a bike, a helmet (do it) and some space which shouldn’t be hard to find if your camping.
Mountain biking and off-grid living go hand in hand, start off with easy rides and then progress to harder trails as you get comfortable. If you don’t know where to start with mountain bike trail ratings, check out our easy-to-understand explainer article on Mountain Bike Trail Ratings.
3. Body Weight Exercise
Believe it or not, long before Instagram, gym selfies, and CrossFit, people actually used to just do bodyweight exercises on their own, and didn’t tell anyone about it!
When camping, it’s almost like going back in time (minus the cell phone and $40,000 expedition trailer), where you can just quietly work out, away from the gym on your own, and still get strong, I swear, it’s true! Here are a couple easy, yet effective ones:
- Push-Ups: Regular, Wide, and Diamond hand positions, each will stress different areas ranging from your Core all the way to your pecs, traps, and shoulders. Push-Ups are truly a beast, if you don’t think so, do more!
- Squats: Ahh yes, back to my IG Influencer days when my ass paid the bills. Nothing is better for your lower half than squats. They work the glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves, and help buildup problem areas around the knees and ankles. If they’re too easy, add on your backpack, or hold a small cooler in front of you and those squats will break you in no time!
- Burpees: I hate burpees. BUT, they are super effective in kicking your ass quickly if you need a fast and effective workout. Some variations include doing a full pushup in the bottom position and a full jump at the top position. However, I’m pretty sure you will be smoked quickly on these so don’t get too aggressive as you start them, they always win the battle of you vs. your fitness.
4. A Single Kettle Bell
So far, we have covered how to workout with no gym equipment aside from what we already bring camping, a human, and a bike. Here is where we introduce our first piece of equipment. A kettlebell is small and extremely versatile.
They don’t take up any space in your overall packing list (unless your only backpacking, in that case, refer to points 1-3) and are really a one-piece gym. I won’t bore you with listing all the options you have with a single kettlebell, Greg over at KettleBellWorkouts has you covered, endless quality info there, but I will offer a few easy ones to get you started. A rotation of KB swings, KB squats, Overhead KB Push presses, and Turkish Getups will do the trick every time.
All of this how-to workout with no gym stuff seem like too much? When we talk about how to work out with no gym, it’s good to remind ourselves we have it pretty easy. In a time of phone screens and comfort, sometimes all your body needs is a good walk.
Walking can be done at any level, in any environment, and be made as easy or hard as you choose. When camping, that walk almost immediately becomes a better workout than at home. Whether it be a trail with small obstacles of rocks, roots debris, or simply walking in elevation gains, a simple walk can do wonders for your body and mind.
Bonus: Fitness Apps!
We have this amazing super computer in our pockets at all times. Rather than ruin your mind on social media all day, use that phones apps to give yourself a great workout anywhere you go! From DIT Crossfit apps to body-weight only workout routines, modern fitness apps are truly a private personal trainer in your pocket.
There you have it, you’re going to be fit in no time and you didn’t even need a gym or a phone. You can start your own influencer page on how to work out with no gym. I look forward to your emails showing me your fitness transformations. Also, please include the $299 payment as you have just completed my new course, “Off-Grid Workouts – Pay Me to Tell You What to Do”. Website coming soon, here.
Mike is a Colorado resident, a combat veteran, and a former Police Officer, and an avid outdoorsman. Mike has camped, hiked, and Overlanded all over the United States. From backpack Elk Hunts on Public Land, solo truck camping to Multi-week Overlanding adventures with his family, Mike is very familiar with these outdoor topics.