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With almost everything we could ever want available at the touch of a button through our smartphones, people are spending less and less time outside. But enjoying the great outdoors is important to both your mental and physical health.
Making time for a little outdoor adventure every day provides a variety of benefits. Sunlight gives you a shot of vitamin D, which keeps your bones, blood, and immune system strong. It can also lessen or even resolve feelings of anxiety and depression.
Even if you’re not typically an outdoorsy person, there’s an outdoor activity for everyone! Listed below are 15 of the best outdoor adventures that you can go on to improve your health, happiness, and overall quality of life.
Hiking is a classic outdoor adventure and one of the best there is, especially if you choose a trail with a good payoff. That said, taking an easier hike to explore the woods can be a fun day for kids.
If you live in a hiking-friendly area, look for trails with a waterfall, lake, or breathtaking view at the end. And if you do choose a trail with a water feature, don’t forget your swimsuits!
Who doesn’t love a treasure hunt? Geocaching is an easy but exciting activity for people of all ages. It offers the opportunity to experience new places in your area while seeking out treasures unknown.
There are a variety of geocaching communities you can access through apps or websites. All you have to do is grab your phone and use your GPS to hunt down prizes!
Camping is great because there’s no wrong way to do it. If you’re a beginner, you can camp in a campground that offers amenities such as a restroom, convenience store, and water spigot.
More advanced campers can set out on a hiking trail and spend the night in the wilderness under the stars. Regardless of your method, be sure to pack marshmallows and graham crackers to enjoy a s’more around the campfire!
There’s nothing more relaxing than lying back on an inner tube and slowly floating down a river or stream. Spend the day unwinding in the water and soaking up the sun. Just remember to bring plenty of SPF to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
To take your adventure outdoors up a notch, bring a floating cooler along for the ride. You’ll have all of your drinks and snacks for the day right by your side.
To get more exercise out of your day on the water, ditch the inner tube and exchange it for a kayak. Not only is kayaking a fun outdoor activity but it provides an excellent upper body workout.
If you’d prefer to share a boat with your adventure mates rather than having your own, you can canoe instead. Make a day of it by stopping on a riverbank and making lunch for yourself or going for a swim.
6. Tree Climbing
There are a couple of options if you’re considering tree climbing. There’s the traditional method: find a tree and start climbing the branches. Or, for more serious tree climbers, you can strap on a harness, throw your rope over a branch, and climb your way up the trunk.
This can be done in your own backyard, in the wilderness, or your local park. Luckily for tree climbing enthusiasts, trees are everywhere.
If you feel confident in your climbing abilities, consider a sunset climb – you can take in the beauty of the setting sun from your perch high above the ground.
Biking is one of the best outdoor adventures for families. Whether you’re biking casually around your neighborhood or mountain biking on the trails, you and your family can enjoy some quality bonding time.
If you live within 100 miles of the beach, consider biking to it and spending the weekend camping out by the ocean. Unless you live quite close to the sea, this level of adventure isn’t appropriate for children, but it’s one you and your friends will never forget.
8. Skiing or Snowboarding
In the winter months, nothing beats flying down a mountainside on skis or a snowboard. Or, if you’re not a fan of the idea of such a high-intensity activity, you can cross country ski. It’s a slower-paced activity but still provides a good workout, plus you can explore your local trails in the process.
Though camping in the winter months isn’t ideal, you can cozy up by a fire in your home or backyard after a long day on the slopes.
Though you might not think of sledding as physical activity, hiking up the hill after you’ve gone zooming down it is quite a workout. But don’t let the fear of hiking through the snow stop you from going on this outdoor adventure. The thrill of sledding down at top speed is well worth the effort.
If you’re going with friends or family, have toboggan races or slide down two to a sled to make the day even more fun.
Paddleboarding is similar to kayaking, except that instead of sitting inside the boat, you’re typically standing on top of it. Don’t worry, however, you can always sit down to paddle if you get tired.
Paddleboarding can be done in the ocean or a lake or river but if you’re a beginner, the calmer the water, the better. Spend the day exploring the coastline in search of hidden bays and coves and stop for lunch on a beach all your own.
Although you can certainly go swimming in your neighborhood pool or a nearby ocean, for a bit more adventure, opt for wild swimming instead. Pack a lunch and seek out a river or secluded lake. You can spend the day in and out of the water, having fun with your friends or family on the shore in between dips.
For a more physically demanding activity, choose a river and plan a start and endpoint, then swim from one to the other.
If you’re willing to plan an outdoor adventure a little more thoroughly, try your hand at foraging. It will take a bit more planning than other activities because you’ll need to find out which plants are in season at the time of your excursion so you know what to look for.
This activity is perfect for those who want to hone their survival skills, as you’ll learn which plants can and cannot be eaten in your research, as well as the uses for each.
Rafting is great for adventurers of all ages and skill levels. Those looking for the ultimate adrenaline rush can find what they’re looking for in treacherous white water trips, and beginners can take it slow on a more gentle path.
Your location will largely determine the intensity and duration of your trip. For example, a search for rafting trips Boise Idaho will bring up trips from moderate to advanced difficulties, as well as options for full-day and half-day adventures.
Fishing isn’t for everyone but can make for a relaxing day on the water for those who don’t mind slowing down for an afternoon. You can either catch and release your fish or keep what you catch and prepare a delicious meal for yourself and your family or friends.
Fishing can be done from the shore, a boat, or a smaller vessel like a kayak. Whatever suits you best!
15. Rock Climbing
Rock climbing is another activity that can be done in a variety of ways. You can visit a rock climbing wall, try bouldering, or if you’re on the fearless side, take part in traditional rock climbing on an actual rock face.
It can be helpful to give bouldering or a climbing wall a try to start, and if you have a good time, you can move up to a version of climbing that requires more equipment and skill.
Rock climbing is an ideal physical activity because it works your entire body. It also gives you a chance to test your bravery, as many people find heights frightening.
Start Planning Your Next Outdoor Adventure
Making time for outdoor activities can seem borderline impossible in our hectic day-to-day lives. But when you find the right outdoor adventure for you, you’ll never want to stay inside again!
Whether you’re going on a solo adventure or spending the day with family and friends, nothing beats the great outdoors.
For more travel and adventure inspiration, be sure to take a look at our blog!