In honour of World Friendship Day (it's today, Monday 30th July) we wanted to take a moment to celebrate friends and the joy of spending time with the people you love outdoors. There are few greater ways to spend a day than adventuring in the woods with good friends, than settling in for an evening of fire, food and good conversation gathered around the flames.
We love sitting around our Frontier so much we've fitted it through a gazebo in our garden, so we can leave it outside right through the year, and sit round it in the evenings grilling and talking until the wee hours.
To help you make the most of the summer and enjoy the gorgeous long days we've put together a list of our favourite ways to spend time with our friends outdoors. These are great in the summer, when it's warm and the days are long, but we say get out there and give them a try no matter what time of year it is.
1. Wild swimming
Wild swimming is surely one of the most thrilling and life-affirming things you can do outdoors. It's free, it's easy to do, and you can even squeeze it into your day when you might not have lots of time for a full-on adventure. Google 'wild swimming in [your area]' for suggestions of where to go, or just go off on a ramble near water and pick somewhere you all like the look of.
2. Plan a hike
A long Sunday walk is a great way to get some outdoor time and explore a part of the nearby countryside you haven't seen before. Get a map of your area and plan a route that takes you somewhere new, or look online for inspiration. Grab your friends, bring some flasks of tea and enjoy getting lost together.
3. Go on a microadventure
If you're short on time, or just want to get a shot of the great outdoors without the hassle of planning a full-on trip somewhere, a microadventure could be just the ticket. Call a friend you've been meaning to catch up with for ages and head for the hills together. Camp out somewhere intriguing for the night and head into work the next morning with a huge smile on your face.
4. Have breakfast outdoors
Go for brunch with friends - with a difference. Invite the gang round to yours early in the morning, and fire up the stove ready for a hearty outdoor breakfast. Get some coffee on to brew on top of your stove, and cook up some big pans of sausages, eggs, or pancakes. Once you've all had enough to eat, you'll still have the whole day ahead of you to do whatever you like with.
5. Wild camping
If you live in Scotland, this is easy: you can wild camp pretty much anywhere you like so long as you tidy up after yourself. In England it's a little more tricky, but definitely doable: you can camp wild on most of Dartmoor, provided you camp a good distance from any settlements and again, of course, clean up after yourself, leave no trace and don't make too much noise. If there are farms near you, speak to the farmer and ask if they'd mind if you pitch up for a night or two - they're usually happy to have you on their land if you ask nicely.
6. Cook dinner in the park or on the beach.
Is there a day we don't wax lyrical about how much we love a good impromptu dinner on the beach? It's a great way to enjoy time with friends outside, and you'll be making dinner anyway - so why not do it in the great outdoors? We love the Horizon Stove for this one: you can keep in in the boot of the car or in the hall and just head out to your nearest park (or the beach if you're lucky enough to live near the coast) when you get a sunny evening.
What's your favourite way to spend time with your friends outdoors? Let us know in the comments below!