The Search For A Perfect Outdoor Adventure
Getting outside for some fresh air and sunshine is not simply a good way to relax. Studies show that making time for outdoor adventures aid in reducing stress, improving self-esteem, increasing creativity, and generally giving you a renewed zest for life. Outdoor adventures can also offer physical benefit regardless of your present level of fitness. A simple walk increases blood flow, improves your cardiovascular fitness, lowers blood pressure and boosts the immune system and you do not even have to break a sweat to start reaping these benefits. There are many ways to take advantage of the great outdoors, and anyone can find an activity that fits their interest and activity level. Just step outside and explore your options!
Low Intensity Outdoor Adventures (picnicking, camping, fishing)
An easy low intensity adventure does not need to involve concerns for muscle sprains or over exertion. Simple transition from couch potato to outdoor adventurist can begin with packing a picnic and finding a spot to enjoy the scenery or watch others take part in the more physically challenging events. However, as long as you are going to get outdoors, consider a camping or fishing trip. Think of it as an extended picnic! Basic fishing equipment doesn’t need to be expensive and a lot of camping gear can be rented or borrowed until you decide to make camping a regular adventure! Start with a day trip or overnight trial and explore. You may be pleasantly surprised to discover a new favorite get-away!
AllCampGrounds – This site is a great one-stop spot for general camping information. Planning, preparation, locating the perfect campground, camping tips for beginners as well as reminders and recommendations for seasoned campers can be found here through a variety of articles.
Camping with Gus - Camping with your kids is a great way to make memories. Just be sure the memories are good ones! This site has kids in mind and covers preparation, planning, and a reminder not to forget to make patience part of your camping plans. From camp recipes your kids will love, to rainy day survival tips, Camping with Gus will help you prepare for nothing but fun memories of family camping.
How To Make Sure You Score Yourself a Campsite – Helpful tips to help you be sure you will have a spot to set up camp once you finally slip away for that camping adventure. If your picnic adventure plans involve wanting to use pavilions in a State park, these tips can also be applied to getting reservations for that purpose as well.
Take Me Fishing™ - No matter if you are an experienced fisherman or simply looking for a way to begin this family activity in a way that will hook everyone into dropping a line, this site has it all. Not all fish are the same and this site tells you the difference and offers everything you need to start reeling in great family fun.
Learning How to Fish: An Adventure in Learning the Fine Art of Angling – From fishing basics, helpful recommendations for putting together your first tackle box of equipment, lures and baits, to finding that favorite family fishing spot this site gives you everything you need for a real fishing adventure.
Pack A Family Picnic! (PDF) – A resource guide from the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, this colorful guide offers food tips for safely preparing, packing, and storing picnic foods. Also included in this informational resource are tips for making a picnic an adventure inside or out!
Picnic Recipes and Games – Seasonal picnic tips, romantic picnic ideas and new creative recipes are a few of the resources found here. Picnic adventures are not only for children. This site also offers ideas and tips for company picnics and adult picnic games. Need a picnic table? This site offers free plans to build your own!
Moderate Intensity Outdoor Adventures (hiking, kayaking, canoeing, swimming)
Being around the water easily equates to a great outdoor adventure! Watch children swimming or someone gracefully paddling a canoe or kayak, and it is hard to believe there really is a moderately intense workout going on. Even an easy day of playing in the water uses muscles you may not normally be aware of using. Hiking is another moderately intense activity. The best part of these forms of adventure is you can easily adapt time and distance, building up your endurance levels. A day hike ending with some swimming is a good day spent in the outdoors. Kayaking or canoeing can easily be done solo to enjoy some solitude, or as part of a group for companionship and making memories. There are a number of hiking, swimming and paddling clubs and organizations that recommend places to enjoy and help you get started.
Kayak Magazine – This is a great resource for all kayak related news and information. Kayak Safety Tips, Do-it-yourself kayak repairs, tips for fishing from a kayak, as well as articles, reports, news and forums. You must register on the site to have access to posting on forums but registration is quickly accomplished and it is free.
Kayaking Basics – Are you new to kayaking? Planning to join a kayak adventure trip and nervous about not knowing anything about it? Learn about kaya basics including how to re-enter a kaya, how to paddle, and basic kayak safety here on this site. You can also find links here to kayaks and accessories from a top of the line kayak distributor.
Canoe Adventures – This site offers resources for finding and planning your next canoeing adventure. With resources listed by region and state, you are sure to find one near you. Recommended links to gear, canoe builders, retail suppliers, canoeing groups and guides are also found within this site.
North Carolina Coastal Plain Paddle Trails – This site offers tips, directions, maps, and planning tips to exploring the paddle trails along the North Carolina coastline. The Coastal Region Paddle Trails Map is accessible from this site along with canoeing regulations and safety tips.
Sedona Hiking and Swimming Adventures – Most people have at least seen enough of the red rocks of Sedona to understand a hiking adventure there, but swimming? In addition to information about hiking and swimming adventures offered here, there are links to Sedona hiking trails, State and National Park information and Arizona camping resources.
The Wilderness Society- “Take Your Kids Hiking” - Ten tips to make hiking a fun adventure for the entire family. Following these tips can help your hiking plans stay safely on track and set the pace for a lifetime of family enjoyment.
American Hiking Society – The American Hiking Society offers resources, hiking tips, trail guides, maps, safety tips, and a helpful gear and clothing list to help you prepare for hikes of any duration. Consider combining an outdoor adventure with a volunteer vacation helping to maintain trails. Contact the American Hiking Society for details.
Swim Trek®-Swimming Adventure Holidays – Swim Trek® leads swimming adventure tours to amazing locations such as the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Northern Europe, and the Middle East. Not sure you are ready for open water swimming? Swim Trek also offers Training Tours and Coaching.
High Intensity Outdoor Adventures (mountain biking, rock climbing, white river rafting)
When it comes to a high intensity outdoor adventure, you might immediately think about the extreme sporting events you have seen on television. Mountain biking through rough ravines, bouncing down rocky mountainsides, rock climbing steep cliffs, or the breathless excitement of white river rafting is not for the average weekend warrior or the faint hearted. There is a learning curve and the need to achieve at least a basic level of competence in these activities before taking it to the extreme levels as seen on the television shows. Knowing the safety issues, what gear you need, and how use it properly, are all part of the adventure. The good news is that you can easily find many of these high intensity outdoor activities in expert-led group tours. The experts of these group adventures are willing to share their knowledge and guide you into a safe and enjoyable adventure.
Rafting America - This site is an excellent comprehensive resource guide for white water rafting in the U.S., Canada, and South America. Sign up on this site for a free newsletter. Receive up-to-date news on rivers, rafting destinations and special guided trip offers. Beginner rafters can get answers from experienced guides and rafting professionals. Rafting trips are listed by state make it easy to plan your next destination.
What to Bring on a White Water Raft Trip – This is a useful list of items needed for a white water rafting trip. This site also offers links to make your reservations and plans to be part of a multi-day white water rafting trip.
Mountain Biking Tips and Articles – Everything you need to know about mountain biking to prepare for your perfect outdoor adventure. Expert bikers share technique and style tips, safety tips and even first aid tips.
Mountain Bike Me! – Mountain Bike Me offers an introduction to mountain biking, mountain bike maintenance, mountain bike tips, and resources for all levels of mountain biking enthusiast. Have you ever wondered exactly how all those gears work? What bike is right for your needs? Find those answers and more here.
Rock Climbing Equipment for Beginners - This site is home to the Appalachian Mountain Institute. Their mission is to guide and educate others in the safe enjoyment of mountain rock climbing and hiking. They also host the Adventures for Kids program that offers kids the opportunity to go climbing.
Mountain Skills Guided Rock Climbing – This group offers guided rock climbing tours, instruction, and tours combining rock climbing and white water rafting adventures. Individual rock climbing adventures or group experiences for church, scouting, or corporate groups are also available.