Tuesday, November 16, 2010

10 Must-Do Outdoor Experiences

I think people are hard-wired to need to be in nature. Although the spouse might disagree, thinking that "roughing it" entails an el-cheapo hotel room and no mall in the area, there is something primal about being outside. Here's ten must-do outdoor experiences that everyone should have:
  1. Fishing. Everyone should catch at least one fish in their lifetime.
  2. Hunting. If you eat meat, you ought to experience how it gets to your table--from on-the-hoof to on-the-plate.
  3. Navigating overland. Whether you follow a trail or head out cross country with a compass or GPS device, wayfinding is a timeless art.
  4. Navigating over water. Whether you choose a canoe, kayak, or Bayliner, there is something timeless about traveling over water.
  5. Camping, complete with tent, sleeping bag, fresh air, a campfire, hearing things rustling around at night, etc.
  6. Backpacking. This means really getting away from civilization on your own two feet with no opportunity to call for pizza or even get back to civilization without major effort on your part.
  7. Climb a mountain. It can be a hill as they have on the east coast or a full-fledged mountain which you will find on the west coast. Hiking up to the pinnacle of a mountain where you can see all that lays below can be a surreal experience.
  8. Forage for food. It is sad that many people, and even more kids, think that food only comes from the grocery store. Actually finding your own food (from wild berries to edible mushrooms, to picking crawdads out of the river) connects you to the cycle of life.
  9. Grow your own food. Again, digging in the dirt, nurturing your plants, and enjoying the harvest is something our ancestors did for centuries and is a vital part of the life cycle.
  10. Being in the outdoors in the dead of winter. Whether you choose to go skiing, walk through newly fallen snow, or climb up an ice waterfall, exploring nature in winter is something everyone should do.

And of course, don't forget these items.


  1. I have never thought of myself as an "outdoorsy" person (more like a "sit & crochet while watching a documentary about the outdoors" kind of person!), yet I've done 9 of the 10 items on the list. I haven't gone hunting, but I do hope to, sometime in the next few years.

  2. Growing up, we did all of these things as a matter of habit. These days, there are many kids who have never done ANY of these things and I find it sad on a number of levels.
    Most importantly, all of these activities are valuable survival skills. Good luck with your hunting adventure!