Best Outdoor Retreats to Restore Your Sense of Adventure
This article was built in partnership with Gerber Gear
We tend to lose our sense of wonder in adulthood. Everyday responsibilities, stresses, habits, and routines build up, often at the expense of curiosity, new experiences, and time outdoors. We don’t play. Rediscovering that intrepid spirit isn’t impossible, though. All you need to do is seek out outdoor retreats to win your weekend—and come prepared.
That means building a skill set to recreate responsibly and getting equipped with the right tools for the trade—two tasks that are more accessible now than ever before.
To help kickstart your next adventure, we’ve matched four must-visit U.S. recreational retreats and skills courses with a Gerber tool to enhance your preparedness in the outdoors.
Interested in backpacking? There’s a fixed blade for that. A mountain bike getaway? There’s a multi-tool for that, too. It’s time you got back out there.
1. Kara Creek Ranch
Feeling inspired by the gritty Dutton lifestyle as seen in Yellowstone? Wyoming’s Kara Creek Ranch has you covered. This 70,000-acre getaway provides unique experiences centered around seasonal ranching activities. This means you could be branding cattle and repairing fences during the spring, or herding cattle and attending local rodeos in the summer.
Since Kara Creek is a real working ranch, built for those seeking a true cowboy experience, you’re expected to get down and dirty during your stay.
Don’t worry, while authentic, it’s also known for its western-style cooking (the kind of grub that sticks to your ribs), breathtaking Wyoming sunsets, and a unique approach to mastering the art of horseback.
Tool for the trade: We suggest keeping a Gerber Center-Drive Plus multitool handy to tackle the toughest jobs on the ranch. It has your most-needed tools packed into a durable, compact frame—including a screw driver, wire cutters, leather sheath, and a bottle opener. You deserve a cold one (or two) after a hard days work.
2. She Moves Mountains
California & Washington
She Moves Mountains hosts women’s-only backpacking clinics for first-time adventurers. Hosted throughout California and Washington, these two-day retreats are built to create a space for women to enhance their knowledge of backpacking and connect with the great outdoors.
Every experience starts at the trailhead to learn how to efficiently pack a backpack. Once at camp, the instructor teaches the art of selecting the perfect campsite, pitching a tent, and cooking a backcountry meal before settling in to sleep under the stars. The next morning, you’ll pack up camp, eat breakfast, and return to the trailhead.
While the idea of spending a night in the wilderness may sound daunting, the success and comfort of any backpacking adventure is rooted in preparedness.
Tool for the trade: We recommend stashing a Gerber Hike Kit. This lightweight three-piece kit includes a camping-specific spork, a compact fixed blade knife, and a multitool for general campground duties.
3. Camp Wandawega
Wandawega has had many uses over the years: speakeasy, church camp, hideout for Chicago Mobsters, and even a brothel. But today, this deeply historic venue is on the National Register of Historic Places and is home to one of America’s favorite getaways.
Located less than an hour Southeast of Milwaukee, Camp Wandawega’s 25-acre compound takes you back to the Prohibition Era with its rustic accommodations, poker nights, campfire vibes, and cocktail-fueled dress-up parties.
When you’re not channelling your inner Al Capone, the camp will inspire and challenge you to reconnect with the outdoors through an array of guided programs in basic survival, hiking, knot tying, tomahawk throwing, and fishing.
Tool for the trade: To ensure you’re ready for whatever Wandawega throws at you, come equipped with the Gerber Armbar Scout—a multitool just as versatile and trendy as the camp itself.
4. White Fish Bike Retreat
Combining cozy cabin feels with the best trails Montana has to offer, this mountain bike destination is the perfect place to unplug and take in some of the state’s wildest backcountry.
Located North of Missoula, White Fish Bike Retreat hosts an on-property rental shop, bike skills area, and pump track, as well as immediate access to 60+ miles of pristine routes on the Whitefish Trail System—proving to be an ideal spot for beginners and advanced riders alike.
Tool for the trade: Wake up at the communal lodge or the on-site campground ready to ride with the Gerber Lockdown Drive—because we all know days on the trails call for the right equipment. This low-profile, robust multitool iscapable of handling any minor bike repair or campsite maintenance. After the long ride, recharge in White Fish Bike Retreat’s wood-fired sauna and get ready to do it all again tomorrow.
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