5 Devotionals for Your Next Outdoor Adventure Trip

Do you ever wish you had a quick devotional guide for your backpacking or camping trip?

"5 Devos for your Outdoor Adventures" with image of swimmers in the ocean
Whether at the beach or on a mountain, these devotionals are designed to roam where you roam.

Sometimes you don’t want to do a full study and just want something you can bring along on a road trip or while you’re traveling.

Something short enough you can print out or screenshot each one and have close by on your phone. 

Whether you like to do your devotionals at the beginning of the day, the end of the day, or sometime in between.

Whether you want to have them for yourself or use them as conversation starters with a group. 

These short but deep devotionals are designed to give you an accessible way to connect with God and with your love for nature while on the go—whether that’s on a backpacking trip or on your lunch break at the office (dreaming of your next backpacking trip!). 

five young women smiling outdoors
Devotionals can bring an added level of depth to a group trip!

[Want a free downloadable PDF of these 5 quick devos without the photos? Click here.]

Day 1: For the Beauty of the Earth 

Such an integral part about being in nature is our enjoyment of the beauty that surrounds us. There is such a broad variety of beautiful natural scenes that we can visit.

Some people love the mountains, other people dream of their next trip to the sea, while others feel at home in the heat of a desert sunset.

When we look at the amazing variety of different biomes and natural spaces, it shows us how vast God is as Creator.

It demonstrates how creative God is, and how intentional God is that each of these spaces would work together as ecosystems with so many details helping everything flow together in unity and symbiosis.

woman sits on a cliff overlooking the Black Hills
The depth of creativity in nature is just astounding!

Questions:

  • What natural spaces speak to you?
  • Why do you think that is?
  • What characteristics of God are speaking to you right now?
  • How do you see them reflected in the nature around you? 

Day 2: Joy in the Journey

A unique aspect of spending time outdoors is that the entire experience has value.

There are so many areas of life where the focus is on the end goal, or the finish line.

However in a backpacking trip, the trail is the experience as well as the destination. On a paddle trip, the goal isn’t just to get to your destination but to enjoy every bit of the experience between the start and the end.

It is a unique skill, to learn how to take in your experience and enjoy the journey. When we do this, we are able to teach our brains to be looking for the small details and the beautiful sights that we might otherwise miss.

And we can do this in our lives, too. We can look for the small details of our days that bring so much joy into otherwise mundane tasks.

two young women laughing at a butterfly sitting on one's hand
When this butterfly landed on my friend Anna, we couldn’t help but stop and enjoy its beauty. It’s those little moments that bring so much beauty to life!

Question:

  • Where can you look for beautiful details in your journey today? 
  • Or if your day is almost over: What beautiful details did you see in today’s journey?

Day 3: Grateful 

Every time I get to be in nature, I find myself thanking God for the gift of that time and that experience.

I also find myself thanking God for the people who are with me on that adventure.

We see in scripture that nature is often given as a reason to thank God or a reason to praise God.

Psalm 104:24-25 is a great example of this!

Yahweh, how many are your works! In wisdom, you have made them all. The earth is full of your riches. There is the sea, great and wide, in which are innumerable living things, both small and large animals.”

three women with big backpacks on , ready for an adventure
I’m so grateful for these friends who have been on many outdoor adventures with me!

Question:

As you take a moment to sit in silence and observe your surroundings, what can you thank God for today? 

Day 4: False Peaks 

Life has so many twists and turns that are often unseen.

When we persevere towards an objective through hardship and obstacles it can be difficult to not be discouraged when we think we are close to the end, but realize we still have quite a ways to go.

I experienced this once in a practical way while climbing Cloud Peak in Wyoming’s Bighorn Mountains.

From far away it looked like a straight shot to the summit, only to realize there are a few false peaks that obstruct your view of the actual summit on the last part of the ascent.

This can happen in life, too!

You think you are close to a goal or close to the end of a stressful or season of life, only to turn a corner and realize there is still some time before you can consider this journey completed.

Maybe it’s something you chose that is still challenging, like school or having kids. Maybe it’s something grief-filled like illness or loss.

God wants to be with you in those seasons, and wants to carry the burden of that disappointment with you.

woman hiking up a mountain summit
A snapshot from the ascent to the summit of Cloud Peak (photo courtesy of Lydia Fleck)

Questions:

  • Where in your life have you been disappointed by “false peaks”?
  • Where do you sense God is partnering with you to carry the weight of that season? 

Day 5: Unique Giftings 

The Bible says that you were knit together in your mother’s womb. That you were made intentionally and purposefully and with love.

Psalm 139:13 says: “For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb.”

God made each of us unique with different strengths, weaknesses and perspectives. Both in our faith walk and in outdoor adventures we see these unique differences provide us with an opportunity to grow deeper into relationships and community.

As a practical example—I’m not very tall so on Boundary Waters trips I offer to carry the packs, and someone who’s taller gets to portage the canoe.

We use our gifts to help the trip run more smoothly and efficiently.

You bring something that no one else can bring, whether it’s your sense of humor or a skill set you have.

Spend some time asking God and listening for a response about these…

four women play broomball on a frozen lake
When we played broomball on this frigid day at the edge of the BWCA in northern Minnesota, we knew we’d have to all use our strengths to be a competitive team. I played defense while Elizabeth was goalie and Christina played offense to score! And what fun we had! (photo courtesy of Sharon Brodin)

Questions:

  • What characteristics and giftings do you have?
  • Are you sharing these, or is something getting in the way of that?
  • Where can you lean on the giftings of others? 

Wrapping Up

It’s five days later. How did these devotional times go for you?

Do you have a specific length of trip you’re planning and would like help with devotionals?

Or is there a specific topic or focus that you think would be interesting?

Email us and let us know! Or find us on Facebook or Instagram to join the conversion online in a community of like-minded outdoorsy folks! 

[Get these five quick devos in a free downloadable PDF.]

Here’s more…

Emilie O'Connor