The Weekender is a special collaboration between OZY Tribe members near and far to provide delicious recommendations for your valuable weekend time.
Saturday, May 29, 2021
I’ve never been more eager to connect with the wilderness than I am now, in the wake of this pandemic. After being cooped up indoors, working online for months, I have a renewed reverence for Mother Nature. I’m ready to take a break from Zoom meetings and lace up my hiking boots for the first adventure that calls my name. If you feel the same, this edition of the Weekender is for you. From the best shows on outdoor adventurers to books to read by the campfire and some reassuring gear for those who prefer glamping to camping — if you weren’t into the great outdoors before, this newsletter may change your mind.
Before becoming one with nature, sustainability and eco-consciousness should be front of mind. This documentary series will help you appreciate the real value of the environment, bugs and all. Accompanied by wellness expert Darin Olien, American actor Zac Efron travels the globe in search of the secrets to good health, highlighting different sustainable living practices along the way. The show delivers some good tips to hold in the back of your mind, no matter where you plan to go exploring.
2. The Dawn Wall
Only madmen would attempt to free climb this 3,000-foot rock face in Yosemite National Park. Cue the American madmen free climbers Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson. This documentary, now streaming on Netflix, records how they conquered the climb, the difficulties they encountered and what it means to defy the impossible.
3. Lorena, Light-Footed Woman
Runners naturally gravitate toward the latest shoe — and with today’s technology and design precision, that’s understandable. But not Lorena Ramírez. This Mexican ultramarathon runner competes in the garb of her indigenous community: sandals and a long skirt. From rocky trails to dirt roads, she refuses to wear traditional running shoes during races, quipping: “The people who do are always running behind me.” This Netflix documentary should inspire you to get back to basics this weekend.
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From Max Brooks, son of Mel and the author of the book that spawned the fleet-footed cinematic zombie swarms of World World Z, comes a new version of the Bigfoot folktale. Set in a community at the base of Mount Rainier, the novel, written as a woman’s journal, is a horror story about fearsome beasts known as the Sasquatch that rampage and terrorize the town after a volcanic eruption. Get the s’mores ready, roll out your sleeping bag and get engrossed!
2. Be a Firestarter
Can’t build a fire? No shame, but it’s a worthwhile skill. And since, as Smokey Bears says, “Only you can prevent forest fires,” it’s important to learn to do it right. Luckily, we’ve put together some tips and clever hacks to help you flawlessly navigate this potential hazard. The Kalahari Bushmen’s method of hand-drilling a stick to create an indentation in another larger stick to ignite dry grass, for example, could be your ticket to a warm weekend worth remembering. Read more of our tips on OZY.
3. Fatima’s Great Outdoors
Kids gotta have fun too, right? This camp read-along will capture the imaginations of little ones not yet convinced by the “great” outdoors. The lively picture book follows Fatima and her immigrant family as they embark on their first camping trip in the Midwest. Both a family adventure and a love letter to the outdoors, it’s written by Ambreen Tariq, an activist and the founder of @BrownPeopleCamping.
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Not far from Shenandoah National Park, this 73-acre Virginia campground — one of around 80 similar sites across North America — offers lovely views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park™ in Luray, Virginia, features water slides, an outdoor movie theater, and even an 18-hole mini-golf course, so there’s plenty here to satisfy everyone — kids and adults alike. It’s the perfect place for the family to get some fresh air and disconnect from city life.
2. Al Qudra Lake
If you’ve never been camping in the desert, you don’t know what you’re missing. Although Dubai might make you think of malls, not nature, the United Arab Emirates city is, in fact, home to the Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve. At this ecotourism destination, you’ll find an oasis of manmade lakes and rolling dunes. You can go dune buggying, kayaking and even birdwatching. Barbecue on the sand with locals, and if you’re brave enough, camp out overnight. Dubai is open for quarantine-free travel for those with medical insurance and a negative COVID-19 test, but it remains on the State Department’s advisory list.
3. Joshua Tree National Park
Hesitant about battling mosquitos or losing your tent in the wind? There are loads of options for glamping in California’s Mojave Desert that you can check out instead. Whether you’re looking for a romantic safari tent with a private hot tub, a cool yurt or a stylish caravan, this area offers the perfect blend of wild nature and luxury. You can go horseback riding or just relax on your deck, taking in the arid, magical landscape. Since Joshua Tree is just a short drive from Palm Springs, it’s easy to escape to the bars and restaurants of civilization if you’re tired of cooking baked beans over a dwindling campfire.
Hatchet tells the story of a teenager named Brian who survives a plane crash and has to make it alone in the remote Canadian wilderness with nothing but the hatchet his mother gave him before he left home. It was one of my favorite novels as a kid, even if the premise is completely absurd. Why not channel Brian’s fictional fortitude with this Emergency Camper's Multitool? Unlike the story’s underequipped protagonist, you’ll have everything you need in one gadget: a hammer, knife, saw, flathead screwdriver and more. Most importantly, it includes a bottle opener for those fireside beers.
2. A Percolator
It’s also the title of an infectious tune, but in this case we’re referring to the classic contraption that helps you make coffee on the spot. No matter where you end up crashing, having coffee to pull you out of a slumber is a must. Try this sleek stainless steel percolator from Bed Bath & Beyond. It brews up to nine cups of coffee — and you might need all nine to give you the energy to break camp.
3. Camping Fan
Purists may call this cheating, but we call it fan-tastic. After all, it’s not our fault technology has made the great outdoors more habitable. This portable fan, which runs on batteries or an AC adapter, is perfect if you want to venture into the wilderness during the hot and humid summer months. It has a compact folding design and is equipped with LED lights. Singing around the campfire will never be quite the same again.
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