You are in the city. You have decided you need to start getting outside more. Maybe you are tired of looking a little pale. Maybe you have even been told to get outdoors. Then again maybe you tripped over your new favorite spot while out one day. Maybe you had a friend who somehow talked you into going to a state park. While out there you noticed a change in yourself. Your mind was a little more relaxed. You were a little more relaxed. It’s unexplainable, but you just noticed a little yet significant difference. You would like more of that. More of that calm. That feeling of being able to breathe a bit deeper, but you are in the city. How do you do that when you are in the concrete jungle?
When dealing with the outdoors there are two distinct differences. There is a definite city mouse and country mouse approach to the outdoors. Therefore I decided it would be good to look at each in their own turn. Starting with the more challenging, the city mouse.
When you live out in the country you are pretty much always outdoors. It is easy to mozy down to your favorite fishing spot. During hunting season you are outdoors. Then there is hiking, which is also known as walking when you are out in the country.
In The City
The city has lots of activities. If you are from the city you know all too well. This busy energy may have been what drew you to your urban environment in the first place. The exciting happening world of the city has always drawn people to it. Especially those who want to make a name for themselves.
One of the perks of living in the city is that there is so much to do. Whether it is the local amusement park, perhaps the Zoo, or even the local water park. All of these activities are the first things that come to the minds of folks when thinking of doing something outdoors. They are correct too. All of those are great activities that will get you up and about and in nature. You are out in the sun all day. Breathing fresh air. You are laughing and in a general zone of happiness. This is one of the many benefits of going outside. You start having a healthy attitude adjustment.
Yet what are some other activities you can do outdoors that don’t involve long lines? For the city, there are more than you would think. Depending on the size of the city there may be a whole lot of activities. You can always start by looking around. You will probably find a club of enthusiasts that will fit your interest. There are Climbing clubs, Bird watching clubs, Bicycling clubs, and so many more outdoor clubs and events. We will address some clubs later but what can you do outdoors now?
One thing about cities is that they realize that the countryside is pretty good to have. So they try to establish green belts or green zones when planning things out. Green belts are areas where the city planners have decided to keep things “natural”. So that people can still see what the country looks like and be in contact with nature.
Many times these green belts have a walking path winding through it. This way people can enjoy the outdoors by riding their bikes, walking or jogging on a fairly level surface. There are often other outdoor activities like Frisbee golf or other outdoor clubs will meet on the different greenbelts.
Almost every city has a walking trail and there are sites like Trail Link that will help you find those trails. So the excuse of nothing to do outdoors is fading fast.
Growing a garden
This is an outdoor activity can also make you some extra money. This outdoor activity is gardening. Vegetable gardening to be exact. This is also a great way for you to get your hands dirty as you plant seeds and harvest the different vegetables. The act of putting your hands in the soil and working the earth is an experience that any farmer can tell you about. Coming into contact with the life-giving dirt has its own benefits for people. Then as always, you will have too much produce, so you will be able to share your harvest and even make new friends at the local farmers market.
There is also the sense of accomplishment you get when you bring a basket full of vine-ripened tomatoes and fresh corn in from your garden. You will find that Cantelopes are actually sweet and you will bemoan the time you have to go back to the store to buy a tasteless watermelon. The peppers are spicier and all because you put your attention and love into some plants in your yard.
You do want to check your ordinates for your city. That is because several cities don’t think you are capable of growing your own food in a healthy manner and ban gardens from peoples yards. So before getting yourself, in trouble do a little research.
Find Hiking Trails
If you are like me, you find that walking on a nature trail is almost magical. The plants you see, the wildlife you encounter can at times leave you breathless. When you see Geese flying into a pond in the fall and the cacophony of the flock as they say hello to each other. You will find your self-smiling. Watch duck landing on a frozen pond will cause you to giggle. Maybe you bring your walking buddy Rascal The Wonder Pooch. Even getting to show off to the kids your vast knowledge of that plant is an experience that you will cherish. Nature and hiking trails are the very reason I love to get outdoors.
— Day Hiking Trails (@dayhikingtrails) July 20, 2018
There is all sort of Hiking and walking paths around you. Many you didn’t even realize were just next door. A good resource to find these paths is All Trails. They also have an app for your mobile device. They have over 50,000 trails listed around the world. So you want the popular Camino de Santiago French way. You can see that you will have to walk 940km and you will walk up a total of 20,531m of elevation. If you want a nice easy stroll on the Black Kettle National Grasslands you can see that is is easy for kids to wander with you.
You can find easy trials to follow or if you are up for a challenge then you can set the filter to cover only those trails that will have some steep elevations. The opportunities for getting outside and walking. Buring calories are entirely dependent upon you. True most state and national parks are out of the city area so you may have to drive to get out to one. If you can get out there enjoy. You may also find some perfectly fine paths in your local Green Belt so explore.Tell your followers that you are thinking of going hiking.Click To Tweet
Perhaps, you just turn your neighborhood into an outdoor adventure by taking a stroll around the block. Who knows what you may find.
After you have found a trail or two that you like maybe you could even start taking some pride in it and helping maintain the hiking trail. Though the trails are often in public lands there are often times that there are trail maintenance projects that are needed to be completed. If you are able to volunteer time and materials you are able to help all the users of the trail better enjoy the glory of being outdoors.
Somethings you want to look for is excessive wear like deep ruts forming. Perhaps there are places that trash has been accumulating you can bring bags and carry out the trash. Sometimes there are places in the trails that need better steps or maybe the ground is swampy and so you can provide gravel and dirt to build the trail up more.
All these and more are signs of a trail that is needing a little TLC. For more items to look for you can look at the American Forest Foundation. They are big advocates for hiking trails and getting outdoors to enjoy the forest. So look through the site. See what you can do to help your local trails. You will be helping other families when they realize that getting outdoors is far better.
Find a State or National Park
Another place you can go you can often do more than just hike around is a StatePark or National park. Often you can also camp at these parks. So you can make a weekend hanging out in a forest or a canyon. Our National and State parks scream get outdoors!
Might even be able to go fishing while out at the park. There is nothing as exciting as when a 5-year-old snags a fish. It may be a little perch but to them, it might as well be a shark in their level of excitement. Just make sure you have the needed licenses
The parks are amazing centers of outdoor activities. You can spend the day hiking and explore, many parks also have stables so you can ride horses. Then everybody can congregate at the campsite and enjoy a night of talking and building memories.Join me and tell your followers that you are getting outside more.Click To Tweet
Camp out in the Backyard
So what happens if you are not able to get out of the city but still want to camp outdoors? There are solutions to the craving to be outside. You can use your backyard. There is nothing wrong with pitching a tent and getting some fresh air in your backyard. Yeah, I know it is not as exciting. Unless you have kids. Then they are all for going camping in the backyard.
This does a few things for you. One it allows for you to figure out how to pitch the tent. Besides the rule of you setting up your tent before you start drinking. You also want to know where exactly is slot a and Tab “b” so uses the practice and have fun with the kids at the same time.
If you are by yourself. Then that is OK also. You just need to grab some beer and call a friend and both of you enjoy a night of talking and backyard camping. If no one can stop by you can experience the contentment of sleeping outdoors and under the stars. You also have the advantage of having your own toilet close at hand.
Can't think of better conditions for backyard camping pic.twitter.com/1Gnj3Il07A
— Chris Neary (@cneary) July 21, 2018
Find an Archery Club
What? Like shooting arrows? Yeah take a nice recurve or longbow and sling some arrows at a target. If you were in Cub Scouts I am sure you shot a bow and arrow a few times at day camp. An Archery Club is a great way to safely learn how to shoot a bow.
You can set a range up in your backyard, but if you haven’t shot a bow in a while you might look for an archery club to attend so you can learn a thing or two before just forking over way too much for a bow that is not the right size for you. You also want o to find out what is the best draw weight and then whats the best arrow for that draw weight? lots of information out there. So talk to the guys at an archery club near you.
Outdoors Shooting sports
This is the same as Archery clubs but the projectiles are smaller and fly faster. There are several different shooting sports you can partake in. There is a huge sense of camaraderie that is felt when you are with a shooting group at a Gun Range.
If you want to test out a new gun you can often find a guy who has that very model and will let you shoot a few rounds to get a feel for the weapon. There are also competitive events you can be in.
There is Skeet shooting. This is the shooting of clay pigeons. Basically, these are not bird shaped targets but clay frisbees that you shoot at. Many kids start out with this type of sport. FFA and 4H often have shooting sports projects that allow for kids to realize their love of shooting.
There are also 2d or silhouette targets that many people shoot at using 22LR or pellets. If you like to just spend some time plinking you can do so easily at a range doing some plan ole target shooting.
Volunteer For Outdoor Events
Do you like fishing? Do you want to help kids find their love of fishing? If you look I bet you can find all sort of foundations and groups that area about helping kids experience the outdoors. Like, Take a Kid Fishing is, as it sounds, centered around getting inner city kids outside and finding their love of fishing. If fishing isn’t your thing there is also canoeing, climbing, and much more. What do you like to do outdoors? I bet you can find one that is centered around kids. So why not volunteer and help them fall in love with the outside while you get to be outside too.
Now there are many ways you can get outdoors. The big part is you need to have a desire to get outside. Without that desire, you will find an excuse to stay indoors. So start looking go to the local sporting goods store and ask about different groups that might be in your interest. If you can’t find one, then maybe just maybe you need to find out how to start an outdoor group.Why not ask your community if they know of some groups that help kids get outdoors.Click To Tweet
What groups are you apart of? Is there something you would like to do outdoors? What ways do you like to get outside? Share with us your activity in the comment section below.