If you’ve got a dog, a garage full of gear, and an hour, you’ve got everything you need for a backdoor adventure.

Backdoor adventures give us the chance to sneak in some outdoor time as the daylight hours grow shorter through the fall and winter seasons.  Because of their limited duration, short learning curve, minimal amount of gear required, and close proximity to home, backdoor adventures make great spontaneous autumn adventures.  Here are five of our favorites:

  1. Run (forest), Run.  Unwind from a busy day and get your cardio session in with your favorite canine companion.  Dogs make great running partners because they’re always motivated to get outside and will generally tire long after you do!
  2. Beat the daily grind.  If you have a trail nearby, an early evening mountain bike ride might be just thing to keep you from feeling “cranky”.  If a trail isn’t right around the corner, cycle around the neighborhood or find a way to incorporate biking into your errands–for example, load your dog with a pack, head to the farmer’s market, and let your four-legged friend carry home the goods.  This works especially well when you need to wind down a hyper, young pup!
  3. Hike (the trail, not the football)!  If Monday Night Football is not your thing, opt for an outdoor hike instead.  With fewer crowds, fresher air, and beautiful fall foliage, autumn is a great time for a hike!
  4. Join the pack.  A dog park or dog-friendly community area is a great way to socialize your pup and get them exercise.  But who says you have to stand still and watch?  Take a walk or jog around the perimeter, or engage your dog in a game of fetch.
  5. Sport du Jour.  Turn an old pair of skates, rollerblades, scooter, or a skateboard into a fall adventure.  Grab your wheels of choice, put your dog in a harness, and hold on!  Instant dog joring!