When you're pinching pennies, the outdoors is the ultimate open-air amusement park -- and you don't even have to leave your technology at home. Many hiking and nature smartphone applications offer rich resources for outdoor adventurers. For example, apps like All Trails allow users to track their location via GPS, keep journals of their favorite hikes and even view outdoor events going on locally.
Although that 25-mile, high-altitude climb your new app told you about might seem like a fun Saturday, it's important to trek within your skill level. Many Web sites, like Local Hikes, offer directories of trails for several locations and include information on mileage, elevation gain, difficulty and hike time, plus descriptions of the trails you'll encounter and reviews by previous hikers.
If you're looking to make the outdoors a regular to-do for your family, a good nature book is also a smart investment. For example, for tips on how to get the most out of your hike or nature walk, Charles Cook's "The Essential Guide to Nature Walking in the United States" offers helpful guidelines on what to wear, where to go, and what you might see on hikes and nature walks all over the country.
Looking to stay a little closer to home? Read on for tips on how to keep your family entertained from the comfort of your couch or kitchen.