Don't tell our boss, but we love calling in sick for a day of outdoor adventure. Sometimes we just can't wait for the weekend to answer the call of the mountains. It's mid week and we find ourselves checking the weather and setting a plan in motion to fake sick and spend the day hiking, climbing, or skiing. Over the years, we've perfected a 6 step method for faking sick. So check out the steps below, and join us in the mountains for a sick day!
Let's be honest, you can't call in sick too often or you will get fired. That's why it is important to make the days you fake sick count. Keep an eye on the weather forecast, snow report, or any other variable that could make for an epic sick day. If it's summer and the sun will be out, plan a day of hiking. If it is winter and it's dumping at your favorite resort go skiing or snowboarding.
Now that you've planned the perfect sick day, your call will be more convincing if you have subtly and believably laid a little groundwork the day before. Don't be over the top or obvious, the most believable way to do this is to cough, sniffle, or ask a nearby coworker for a cough drop or tissue. Then if anyone stops by your desk while you are out sick your coworker will likely casually mention that your cold must have gotten worse.
The best way to make sure you make the most of your sick day is to pack the night before, and hit the road early. If you have all of your gear ready to go, you can wake up and go in the morning. You don't want to get hung up at home searching for your lucky pair of hiking socks for a half hour and end up stuck in traffic (remember it's a work day).
If you are lucky enough to be able to notify your boss that you are sick by email, this is the easiest option. You don't have to put any effort into sounding sick, and your only a few keystrokes away from a day of freedom. If you have to make a phone call try and call before your boss gets in and leave a message with the front desk or a voice mail. And lastly, if you have to talk to your boss play it cool, do not use an exaggerated voice that sounds like you are dying. You don't need much to make yourself sound a little ill, less is more.
Pro Tip: If you make the call as soon as you wake up your groggy morning voice will make sounding sick much more believable.
Create a decoy "I'm so sick :-(" Facebook post. It is best to post this around noon when your coworkers will have a chance to see it as they eat lunch.
Pro Tip: Going to be off the grid in the backcountry? Use a free Hootsuite account to schedule your post for the middle of the work day.
Leave your phone on airplane mode or in the car. The last thing you want to do is butt dial your boss from the trail or the lift.
Wear sunscreen and reapply as necessary. Seriously, how are you going to explain a sunburn?
You should always take care and avoid risks in the backcountry, but this is especially true on a sick day. Nothing will blow your cover faster than getting lost hiking or breaking your leg on the ski slopes.
One day wasn't enough to scratch your adventure itch? It will be more believable if you are sick for two days right? Repeat steps 1 - 8 and keep the adventures rolling!
Calling in sick for a camping trip? Read 11 Tips for Winter Camping and Backpacking.
Austin lives in the Pacific Northwest where he enjoys hiking and backpacking in the Olympic and Cascade mountains.
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