The pandemic is easing up and going outdoors is no longer a walk on the wild side. Being cooped up has made many people restless and a lot of outdoor parks and adventure camps are seeing many bookings. But, some activities such as rock climbing and parachuting require some level of practice, familiarity, and technical know-how. It can be tempting to just stay home and hang out on the deck instead. But finding the right outdoor activity for you is all about knowing what you want to get out of it.
Some people want some sun on their back. This can be achieved by doing some woodworking in your backyard or doing a complete engine rebuild in your driveway. You get the sun you want and you complete a fun task. If you want to learn wilderness survival, you can begin by going on hikes or taking a survival course that teaches you how to recognize edible plants and roots. You’re one step closer to achieving your goals and new skills have a way of making you better at other things as well.
Grab a friend and try a bunch of new things every weekend. You may not end up sticking with them long-term but you will learn a lot and have fun doing it.
Wild swimming should only be done in groups and by good swimmers. Swimming in a pool is great but it cannot compare to the thrill and sheer exhilaration of jumping off a high ledge into a natural pool or lake. Some national parks have dedicated swimming holes where you can climb up the side of a waterfall and leap into the lake below. There is usually a trek leading to the area and you can spend a whole day on the trip to and back from the waterfall.
This time-honored activity has lost none of its appeal. The only thing you need to be sure of is the rules or regulations of the area you plan to go. Some lakes require a license as they can hold endangered species of fish. This does mean that if you manage to get the license and then catch a fish, you have a true prize that you can have stuffed and mounted on your wall.
Even if you go fishing off a small beach cove, the resulting bonfire roasted fish dinner will be one of the best meals you will have ever had. Turn it into a competition with your friends and make the one who loses lead the campfire songs that night. The competition will make it more fun and the one who loses will still feel have fun.
There is a strange stigma attached to bird watching because it is popular among an older age group. But you do not have to sit still in one spot and bird watch through binoculars.
Bird watching can be a strenuous activity if you allow yourself to get truly engaged in it. You will learn to recognize birds by their call, recognize habitats and how to assist conservation efforts, as well as read scat to identify birds in the area. These are valuable skills that you can use in other areas. For example, in navigating yourself out of a wooded area if you get lost during a wilderness walk.
If you enjoyed playing team sports when you were in school, there is no reason why you should stop now. Many companies have company softball teams and some even have leagues that play competitively. You could improve your standing with your supervisors and open yourself up to more work opportunities by joining the team.
There are also amateur leagues for different sports across the country. You can play dodge ball, soccer, basketball, and even lacrosse on a semi-professional basis. If you enjoy the sport and you love playing outdoors, joining one of these teams could be the right outdoor activity for you. Maybe you can even form your own team with your friends and start signing up for amateur league competitions by yourselves.
Whether you try competitive Frisbee, snorkeling, or bouldering, the important thing is to find an activity that makes you feel good. The important factor in any activity is the way it allows you to test your limits, improve your strength and stamina, and help you bond with your chosen people. If the activity strains you too much, the activity leaders aren’t supportive, and you do not have fun while doing it, it is okay to let it go.
Toxic masculinity is what causes people to think that negative pressure and abusive words are what make people strive and work hard. But it’s not. You deserve an activity led by people that focuses on your abilities, how you’re improving, and gives positive and actionable motivation. The point is to have fun. If you’re not, then find another activity which will give you the fun you want.