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60 Ways to Get Out and Do More

Over the past few years, the 50 Campfires team has developed a mantra that we grow to believe in more and more each day, based in the idea that whatever gets you outside is good! That’s why we’re bringing you a list of 60 ways to get out and do more in 2016. We know that everyone recreates differently, and what might seem crazy to some is part of a normal day-to-day routine for others; so we’ve created a list of outdoor activities that covers all the bases. From paddling a kayak to bungee jumping, there’s something here for everyone, and we guarantee that no matter what you’re interested in, you’re going to find some ideas about how to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors!

Outdoor Activities Jump to the activities

Outdoor Activities: Alpine Skiing

Alpine Skiing

ALPINE SKIING

What It Is:

In its simplest form, alpine or downhill skiing is the sport of sliding down a snow-covered hill with skis attached to your feet by fixed bindings. As you gain skill, sliding transforms into more of an art than a sport. Maneuvering around trees and down narrow trails while traveling at high speed is enough to get anyone’s heart racing.

Why You’ll Love It:

We love alpine skiing because it gets us outdoors in the winter months. Because you are constantly moving and active, you rarely get cold. Rather than sitting in the house this winter, skiing allows you to see some awesome sights and hang out with your friends and family in the outdoors when the weather turns cold. Plus, it’s great exercise, so go ahead and have that extra dessert; you deserve it.

What You’ll Need:

Selecting the proper skis is fairly straightforward based on you size/weight and the application for the skis. Are you looking for speed or maneuverability? Each will require a slightly different setup. Best advice: Take a lesson or two. As always, get some good safety gear for the beginners. Dress warm in layers with excellent moisture wicking. Merino wool just became your best friend while skiing.

Where To Go:

The best place for alpine skiing is Jackson Hole, Wyoming. With nearly 500 inches of snow annually and three amazing ski resorts nearby, Jackson Hole caters to everyone from the experienced skier to the newbie.

For more information about alpine skiing, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: ATVing

ATVing

ATVING

What It Is:

Off-road enthusiasts can venture deep into the forest, mountains, or wherever they desire, while riding comfortably on an All Terrain Vehicle (ATV). ATVing is perfect for those looking to cross miles of rugged terrain at a speedier pace than hiking. You’ll cover more ground, see more scenery, and have more adventures!

Why You’ll Love It:

For those looking for a more educational experience, look into ATV tours and rentals. If you’d rather explore solo, hit up state parks in some locales that have hundreds of miles of trails, but remember, it’s your responsibility to stay on designated trails and follow ATV safety and etiquette rules, which vary based on location.

What You’ll Need:

Depending on the trip and location, necessities can include: helmet, tool kit, protective clothing, water, first aid kit, winch, tow strap, extra gas, air pump and tire plugs.

Where To Go:

The best place for ATVing is within Colorado’s wilderness. Head off paved roads and explore the mountain trails. Thousands of acres of national forest as well as 42 Colorado State Parks offering access to OHV trails.

For more information about ATVing, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: backpacking

Photo credit: Doug Scanlon http://bit.ly/1NC2V8d

BACKPACKING

What It Is:

There are different levels of backpacking, from tramping through forests and mountains and sleeping on the beach to staying in hostels while venturing around foreign countries. Near or far, backpacking is all about traveling while carrying your belongings.

Why You’ll Love It:

Want to get away from society, leave your vehicle behind and venture to parts of the world you otherwise wouldn’t be able to? Backpacking provides the opportunity to move at a slower pace through the world, giving you the time to really appreciate the little things in nature. But you won’t love it if you don’t simplify your load to maximize your comfort.

What You’ll Need:

We recommend backpacks with internal frames, as they’re lighter, but make sure it’s properly sized for your torso. You’ll need a sleeping bag, sleeping pad, tent or hammock, water, water purifier, mug, multi tool, flashlight, map, compass, fire starter, backpacking stove, food, appropriate clothing and other general survival essentials.

Where To Go:

The best place for backpacking is Yosemite National Park within California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. Across its nearly 1,200 miles, you will find deep valleys, grand meadows, giant sequoias, vast wilderness area and more.

For more information about backpacking, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: Birding

Birding

BIRDING

What It Is:

Birdwatching, or birding, is observing birds in the outdoors as a hobby or recreational activity. You can use your naked eyes, binoculars or telescopes to spot birds. You can also sit and simply listen for bird sounds to identify them.

Why You’ll Love It:

Birding is perfect for kids and adults who enjoy watching wildlife. It’s inexpensive and relaxing and can be as simple as going outside to listen for and spot birds. Serious enthusiasts have the opportunity to acquire binoculars, telescopes, and bird identification books to enhance their bird watching abilities.

What You’ll Need:

You will want to bring a good pair of binoculars, a bird book (or access to a comprehensive website or mobile app) to identify the birds you see and a journal to record bird sightings. Then there are the obvious essentials like durable outdoor clothing and time to wait for birds to come out of hiding.

Where To Go:

The best place for birding in the United States is Cape May, New Jersey. It’s home to the Cape May Bird Observatory.

For more information about birding, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: Bouldering

Bouldering

BOULDERING

What It Is:

With no ropes or harnesses, bouldering is a method of rock climbing that provides safety by focusing on low heights and the use of bouldering mats in case of falls.

Why You’ll Love It:

Typical bouldering climbs are done less than 20 feet from the ground, focusing on the technical nature of the climb instead of the extreme heights in other forms of rock climbing. Bouldering is great for those looking to experience rock climbing or achieve excellent strength training, without the danger of climbing high off the ground.

What You’ll Need:

A bouldering mat is great for providing some safety, climbing shoes provide added grip and chalk dust will keep your hands dry.

Where To Go:

The best place for bouldering is Joe’s Valley, Utah. Hand-friendly sandstone climbing and beautiful scenery make for a climbing trip you’ll remember.

For more information about bouldering, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: Broomball

Broomball

BROOMBALL

What It Is:

Broomball is similar to hockey, but instead uses a more blunt stick and a ball.

Why You’ll Love It:

Broomball is fun because it levels the playing field more than most other sports. A broomball stick is somewhat awkward, and because it’s played on the ice without ice skates, everyone is reduced to a similar skill level. With that said, goals are every bit as epic as any other sport.

What You’ll Need:

Broomball sticks can be had for $20-$30, and to get started many people just use a soccer ball.

Where To Go:

The best place for broomball is on any frozen lake or pond with ice thick enough to support a dozen or more people running around. Stay away from rivers!

For more information about broomball, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: Bug Collecting

Bug collecting

BUG COLLECTING

What It Is:

Bug collecting, technically called entomology, is the process of collecting and studying insects by catching them in the wild and placing them in containers for study or pinning them in a case for display.

Why You’ll Love It:

Let’s face it, insects are cool, especially for kids. Sure, they may gross out your sister, but if you really look at them, bugs are amazing creatures. It’s a fun activity for any camping trip because insects can be found on just about every corner of the world. You never know what kind of insects you’re going to find. With more than 1.4 million species around the world, you’ll never get bored looking for bugs.

What You’ll Need:

Every bug collector needs a container to keep specimens along with a field guide and a magnifying glass for identifying them once caught. There are plenty of kits available with nets for catching flying insects, a killing jar and rubbing alcohol for quickly preserving your insects, and a display case for pinning them to show your friends and family the cool insects you caught. Be sure to take your magnifying glass!

Where To Go:

The best place for bug collecting is anywhere, even the nearest city park. You’ll be amazed at how the insect life changes through the seasons.

For more information about bug collecting, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: Bungee Jumping

Bungee Jumping

BUNGEE JUMPING

What It Is:

It can’t be much simpler. Secure appropriately strong and long (or short) bungee cords to your ankles and jump off a bridge or a tower. Why do it? You have to come up with your own reasons for that.

Why You’ll Love It:

Bungee jumping falls into the same adrenaline rush category as skydiving, base jumping, freestyle rock climbing, extreme skiing, etc.

What You’ll Need:

To participate in bungee jumping you need to find the services of a reputable outfitting company. Pick a good one! If they mess up, you’re not going to get the chance to complain. Wear your GoPro and make sure it’s attached and tethered securely so you’ll be able to relive the moment forever … if you live.

Where To Go:

The best place for bungee jumping is Royal Gorge Bridge, Colorado. Go big or go home, this is the world’s highest bungee jumping venue.

For more information about bungee jumping, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: Burning Man

Photo Credit: Christopher Michel http://bit.ly/1QxvFVH

BURNING MAN

What It Is:

From the last Sunday in August until the first Monday in September, Black Rock City is temporarily constructed in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. Described as an experiment in both community and art, Burning Man is a hedonistic adventure in a torturous environment.

Why You’ll Love It:

Everyone needs to experience Burning Man at least once. Built on the premise that everyone has a unique talent to share – this week long desert festival is all about sharing creativity and gifts with the 50,000 of your closest friends. Bring your camping gear, bring your sense of adventure – and be sure to stay through Saturday night when they burn “the Man” down.

What You’ll Need:

A little forethought and planning can go a long way when it comes to this event. Bring a facemask, wide brimmed hat with leash, water and camping supplies. Make sure you don’t forget sun protection and chapstick.

Where To Go:

The best (only) place for Burning Man is Black Rock Desert, Nevada. Once a year, tens of thousands of people gather in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert to create Black Rock City, a temporary metropolis dedicated to community, art, self-expression and self-reliance.

For more information about Burning Man, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: Bushcraft

Bushcraft

BUSHCRAFT

What It Is:

Bushcraft is the art of surviving in the wilderness with minimal tools. With just a knife and hatchet you can fashion most of what you need to get through the night.

Why You’ll Love It:

While you probably won’t end up eating grubs and surviving weeks in the wilderness, knowing your way around a knife and hatchet is still valuable in the outdoors. It’s a great way to build confidence that will, in turn, lead to more self-sufficiency in the forest.

What You’ll Need:

You’ll need a fixed blade, full tang knife, with a 4 – 6-inch blade. Full tang means the blade runs all the way to the bottom of the handle. This is important, because many bushcraft skills require either pounding or heavy pressure on the blade. You want to make sure your have a well-made knife that won’t break.

Where To Go:

The best place for practicing bushcraft skills is out in the wild. If you’re on land you own, great. You can cut down whatever you want. If you’re on public land, make sure you only practice with fallen trees. It is most likely unlawful to cut down any green trees on public grounds.

For more information about bushcraft, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: Canoeing

Canoeing

CANOEING

What It Is:

If floating down a winding river, with the wind at your back and the sun on your face, sounds like your idea of a good time, grab a canoe, a couple paddles, and hit the water with this recreational water activity in which you kneel or sit in a water vessel, and propel yourself with paddles.

Why You’ll Love It:

Canoeing is one of the most relaxing and enjoyable ways to navigate a river or lake because you have almost zero impact on the surrounding water, you are able to get to places boats can’t. One of our favorite things to do is bring a camera along on our canoe trips to take pictures of scenery and wildlife. Better yet, pack a hammock and camping provisions for the weekend.

What You’ll Need:

Similar to kayaking or other water sports, it comes down to the vessel, propulsion, and safety gear. Check out the links below for help selecting the perfect canoe for you, as well as paddle length and selecting the proper size personal floatation device to keep you safe each time you travel the water.

Where To Go:

The best place for canoeing is in the Boundary Waters in Minnesota. We might be a little biased because this is in our extended backyard, but the Boundary Waters are simply amazing for any canoeist. To get started, it offers some routes to get you in and out in the same day.

For more information about canoeing, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: Caving

Caving

CAVING

What It Is:

Life above ground has become boring. We’ve seen it all. Alright, we’re joking. However, caving is shorthand for exploring wild (generally non-commmercial) cave systems. Definitely not for the faint of heart, or those with claustrophobia issues.

Why You’ll Love It:

It’s dark…really dark. You’ll feel like you’ve traveled to another planet as you descend below the earth’s surface. It’s like nothing you’ve experienced. There’s something about going down that increases your senses, all the while creating an almost “out of body” experience.

What You’ll Need:

Always wear a helmet in case of falling rocks, a fall, and to support your headlamp. Also bring a daypack, map, appropriate clothing and footwear, gloves, backup lighting and a cave pack.

Where To Go:

The best place for caving is Natural Bridge Caverns. Texas. Adventure and fun around every bend, this location offers otherworldly formations created by single drops of water over time.

For more information about caving, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: Cross Country Skiing

Cross Country Skiing

CROSS COUNTRY SKIING

What It Is:

Sure, riding a ski lift is “nice”…but, relying on nothing more than self-locomotion to propel you along the snow-covered terrain is really where it’s at. Two skis, two poles and you.

Why You’ll Love It:

Picture this: it’s the middle of the winter, and you’ve been longingly staring outside into the white wilderness. Honestly, you could probably use a little help with those “holiday calories” as well. Cross country skiing is the aerobic activity that dreams are made of. Arms, legs, heart rate and the outdoors.

What You’ll Need:

You’ll need skis with bindings, boots, poles, daypack, and possibly glide wax for skis, whistle/signaling mirror, multifunction watch, form of navigation, sun protection and hydration. Make sure to wear a moisture wicking base layer.

Where To Go:

The best place for cross country skiing is Lake Placid, NY. Skiers visit Lake Placid every year enjoying a workout with beautiful sights, scents and sounds in the Adirondack wilderness.

For more information about cross country skiing, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: Disc Golf

Disc Golf

DISC GOLF

What It Is:

Disc Golf is a sport found in many parks nation wide with rules similar to golf, but it is played with flying discs and a basket with chains.

Why You’ll Love It:

Disc golf is a fun recreational sport with more 4,000 courses across the United States. It has increased in popularity because it’s fun, inexpensive, good exercise, and the rules are simple to follow. Courses do not require manicured fairways or fields like other sports, so it’s minimally invasive to the environment. You can play a fun game while experiencing wildlife all around you. Plus, if you wish to pursue playing the sport professionally there is a Professional Disc Golf Association that hosts tournaments around the country.

What You’ll Need:

Since there is no standard disc for recreational play, a traditional Frisbee will do just fine. However, if you want a premium experience on a disc golf course you will want to at least purchase a driver, putter and midrange disc from companies such as Innova, Discraft or Millennium.

The best place for disc golf is in local parks such as Ashe County Park in Jefferson, TN and Warwick Park in Warwick, NY among many other fantastic courses in parks across the country.

For more information about disc golf, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: Dunebuggy


Photo Credit: Sandra Foyt http://bit.ly/22dDeor

DUNE BUGGYING

What It Is:

Where we’re going, we don’t need roads. Cruising and drifting over mountains of sand in a vehicle built for both. You can always try before you buy at the numerous rental outfitters located throughout the West.

Why You’ll Love It:

If you’re lucky enough to make it to some of the legendary sand dunes of the United States, you’ll experience an outdoor adventure like no other. Racing down hills that sometimes tower more than 500 feet, you’ll feel the rush of wind in your hair and sand in your teeth.

What You’ll Need:

An awesome dune buggy. Depending on where you’re going and what kind of dune buggying you’re doing, you may need a helmet, toolkit and spare tire.

Where To Go:

The best place for dune buggying is Oregon Dunes, OR. Oregon’s largest and best dune riding are including numerous trails and even beach access. Hit the dunes!

For more information about dune buggying, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: Dutch Oven Cooking

Dutch Oven Cooking

DUTCH OVEN COOKING

What It Is:

The Dutch Oven was the standard cooking vessel of the chuckwagon for the Old West’s legendary cattle drives. Traditionally made of cast iron with short legs underneath and a tight-fitting rimmed lid, the Dutch Oven remains one of the most versatile camp cooking tools.

Why You’ll Love It:

Good chuckwagon cooks will tell you it’s possible to cook anything outdoors in a Dutch Oven that you can cook in your oven at home … and a good bit more. However, it takes skill and experience to use campfire coals as the heat source and know when time and temp is just right.

What You’ll Need:

To get started, you’ll need at least one Dutch Oven. A pre-seasoned, 12-inch is a good all-arounder. If you find one that’s designated “deep” it will offer some advantages in the long run. The two most well-known U.S. brands are Lodge and Camp Chef, but part of the fun can be searching flea markets and garage sales for antique cast iron.

Where To Go:

The best place for Dutch Oven cooking is Ruidoso, New Mexico. While you can Dutch Oven cook anywhere there’s a campfire, Ruidoso is home to the annual World Champion Chuck Wagon Cookoff Competition.

For more information about Dutch Oven cooking, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: Falconry

Falconry

FALCONRY

What It Is:

Falconry is the ancient pursuit of taking small game, upland game birds, and/or waterfowl with the aid of a trained raptor, usually a species of falcon or hawk. Witnessing this hunt is thrilling, but it’s not a one-and-done kind of event. To own and train a raptor is a lifestyle commitment of many years.

Why You’ll Love It:

To see a raptor swoop in and take a flying pheasant (for example) is to become a part of the natural order of the world. You experience predator/prey, fight/flight, life/death, sacrifice/sustenance first hand.

What You’ll Need:

A falconer who is willing to take you along on a hunt. You may be able to attend a falconry seminar at a wildlife center, renaissance festival, or game fair and make the contacts there to experience a real hunt first hand.

Where To Go:

The best place for falconry is Great Britain. There are a good many falconers in the U.S., but the English-speaking hotbed of hawking is the British Isles.

For more information about falconry, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: Fat Bike

Fat Biking

FAT BIKING

What It Is:

A souped-up mountain bike with oversized rims and massive wheels, designed to ride on snow and sand. Could that sound any cooler? Probably not.

Why You’ll Love It:

Take it off road! These bikes will go through anything: sand, snow, mud, dirt or any other terrain you can find. However, big as those tires are, they don’t ride on water.

What You’ll Need:

Buying a Fat Bike can easily set you back $2,000 or more…but with the recent gain in popularity, rentals have become widely available for as little as $50 a day. Don’t forget your helmet!

Where To Go:

The best places for fat biking is the Cuyuna Mountain Bike Trail System in MN, offering 25 miles of maintained trails built on the remains of an abandoned iron ore mine. CO, MI, VT and other states all offer exceptional fat biking trails. Want to compete against the best? The 2016 National Championship is held in Ogden, UT.

For more information about fat biking, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: Flyfishing

Flyfishing

FLY FISHING

What It Is:

Fly fishing is the effort to catch fish using specialized tackle and methods, especially artificial baits created from feathers, fur, and other such materials. These are the “flies” that give fly fishing its name.

Why You’ll Love It:

While fly fishing is a fun way to catch fish, it’s not the most efficient. You spend more time fishing than catching. That’s what makes it so special. Ernest Hemingway (“Big Two-Hearted River”) and Norman Maclean (“A River Runs Through It”) made fly fishing foundational in American literature, and their descriptions are accurate. Fly fishing is a philosophy, a meditation, an etiquette, and an escape.

What You’ll Need:

Fly fishing can be gear intensive, but it isn’t necessarily so, especially to start. The most important thing for the beginner to acquire is instruction from an experienced friend or family member or, better yet, at a fly casting school and with a guide on the water.

Where To Go:

The best place for fly fishing is Ennis, Montana on the Madison River. In the town square there’s even a statue of an angler battling a trout on a fly rod.

For more information about fly fishing, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: Foraging

Foraging

FORAGING

What It Is:

Foraging is the ultimate in knowing where your food comes from! You go out in the woods, prairie, marsh, or desert and find it. Mushroom hunting, berry picking, and nut collecting are probably the best known kinds of foraging, but with proper knowledge you can create complete, healthy, delicious meals with what you find in the wild.

Why You’ll Love It:

If you like culinary adventure, you’ll love foraging. It’s the ultimate in “organic” because you’re finding wild food. It’s not propagated. No one hybridized it, planted it, or sprayed it. These are the foods nature has to offer. And in most cases, it’s free!

What You’ll Need:

To safely, successfully forage you need knowledge! Many berries, roots, nuts, fungi, leaves, and bark are safe to eat, but more are not. Guidebooks are helpful, but it’s best to begin foraging in the company of an expert. You also need a place to forage — rules vary on public lands, so be sure you know the laws.

Where To Go:

The best place for foraging is anywhere, but if forced to pick a locale we’ll go with northern California as it offers awesome mushrooming nearly year round.

For more information about foraging, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: Geocaching

Photo Credit: Chuck Coker http://bit.ly/1QRlV7k

GEOCACHING

What It Is:

The game of Geocaching is a worldwide treasure hunt. Using Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates with a GPS receiver or the Geocaching app on your smartphone, you search for hidden “caches” that contain a log you sign when you find it. Many are easy. Some are really difficult.

Why You’ll Love It:

Geocaching provides fun and levels of challenge appropriate for all ages and attention spans. With nearly 3 million active geocaches worldwide and nearly 6 million registered participants you can go geocaching on your street or as far as you care to travel — even on the International Space Station.

What You’ll Need:

Create your account for free at www.geocaching.com. The simplest way to get started is by downloading the Geocaching Intro App to your phone. If you have a GPS receiver, you can also input coordinates into it once you have your account.

Where To Go:

The best place for geocaching is Beaver Creek, Oregon. This is the vicinity of the first ever “geocache hide” before it was even called geocaching.

For more information about geocaching, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: Glamping

Glamping

GLAMPING

What It Is:

Glamping, the modern mash-up of glamorous camping, is the perfect activity for folks who want to combine the camping adventure with luxury travel.

Why You’ll Love It:

Whether you’re interested in watching a mountain sunset from the balcony of a treehouse resort, or packing your pop-up tent with everything from accent rugs to stereo systems, glamping is an activity that can afford you all the adventure the outdoors can offer while still providing the creature comforts you want on your time off.

What You’ll Need:

Glamping is an activity perfect for those who want to treat themselves, whatever the cost. You’ll need to book a destination glamping trip to truly taste the luxury this activity can bring.

Where To Go:

The best place for glamping is The Resort at Paws Up, a collection of six luxurious glamping sites on the working Paws Up cattle ranch in western Montana.

For more information about glamping, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: hammocking

Hammocking

HAMMOCK CAMPING

What It Is:

Hammock camping offers all the benefits of setting up a traditional campsite, with the added bonuses of less weight in your pack, more flexibility in picking a location and a better night of sleep!

Why You’ll Love It:

Sleeping in a tent offers a lot of protection, but leaky seams, stuffy interiors and low headroom are not the right choice for everyone. If you’ve found yourself longing for your own bed while camping, sleeping in a hammock may be the right alternative for you.

What You’ll Need:

To get started camping with a hammock, forget your preconceptions of the cargo net style hammock with wooden spreader bars. What you’re looking for is a smooth, comfortable parachute nylon model. You can even add a mosquito net and rain tarp depending on your camping conditions.

Where To Go:

The best place for hammock camping is at any National Forest. Dispersed camping, away from the crowded developed sites, is allowed within National Forests, just remember to follow the Leave No Trace philosophy!

For more information about hammock camping, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: hanggliding

Hang Gliding

HANG GLIDING

What It Is:

Hang gliding is running off of a mountain with only the power of your feet and a glider. Intermediate hang gliders can stay aloft for several hours, and it’s more affordable than you would think.

Why You’ll Love It:

Using your own energy and skills to take to the skies like a bird is unlike anything else. There is no hum of an engine. Just you and the wind in perfect harmony.

What You’ll Need:

A good place to start is an introductory hang gliding lesson. These usually run 4 hours, and cost $150-$200. Before you pull out your cash, make sure the place is certified by the U.S. Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association.

Where To Go:

The best place for hang gliding is, well, Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Where else? Taking to the sky where it all happened has a significance all it’s own.

For more information about hang gliding, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: High Ropes Course

High Ropes Course

HIGH ROPES COURSES

What It Is:

Aerial adventure parks, also known as high ropes courses, offer people the chance to walk, jump, and zip line from treetop to treetop on a variety of rope, wood, and cable bridges and obstacles.

Why You’ll Love It:

High ropes courses get you active and offer the thrill of experiencing nature high in the trees. Not only is it exciting, but the struggles allow you to overcome fears and experience something with your friends and family that will only deepen your relationships. High ropes courses are in every US state and offer a unique challenge and viewpoint that goes above traditional hiking and climbing at the campground.

What You’ll Need:

After you’ve paid the entrance fee and signed a release form, all you need is durable clothes, as much strength as you can muster and enough courage to overcome these tall obstacles.

Where To Go:

The best place for high ropes courses is Ramblewild Berkshire County, Massachusetts.

For more information about high ropes courses, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: hiking

Hiking

HIKING

What It Is:

Taking a long walk in the great outdoors (either on trails or off) for pleasure or exercise.

Why You’ll Love It:

Hiking is a great way to get outside and unplug. It doesn’t cost anything and it can be as easy or as hard as you want it to be or as long or short as you’d like.

What You’ll Need:

You can find a plethora of information and opinions online, but one thing everyone can agree on is that you must protect your feet. If you are going to spend money, buy good boots and quality socks because if you get five miles into a hike and your feet start to blister, you’re going to have a bad time.

Where To Go:

The best place for hiking depends on how much you want to challenge yourself. You can get out for a short walk in the woods, hike a groomed trail of a state park or take on one of the “Big 3” – Appalachian Trail, Continental Divide Trail, or Pacific Crest Trails.

For more information about hiking, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: horsebackriding

Horseback Riding

HORSEBACK RIDING

What It Is:

It’s only one of the most rewarding ways to get in touch with nature and wildlife! Horseback riding can be both peaceful and exhilarating. On horseback you’ll be able to reach vehicle-free destinations you otherwise wouldn’t and connect with nature on a whole new level.

Why You’ll Love It:

Many trails that lead to beautiful, untouched pieces of land are only open to hikers and horseback riders. On horseback you’ll be able to reach those magical destinations as quickly or slowly as you want. Better yet, you’ll get there quietly, giving you more wildlife viewing opportunities. There’s no better way to travel than by these four-legged taxis. Plus, if you don’t have your own horses you can pay to go on trail rides.

What You’ll Need:

If bringing your own horses you’ll need a horse trailer (double check trailer lights) and a tool kit. Learn about the terrain in advance so you can have your horses shoed if needed. Certain locations have special feed requirements for horses, so check in advance. Make sure your horses always have access to water. Bring all basic horse equipment: first aid kit, hoof pick, insect repellent, grooming gear, hobbles, portable corral, electric tape or other corral gear etc. Don’t forget any required paperwork. See the links below for a full horse camping checklist.

Where To Go:

The best place for horseback riding is Colorado. Embody the Wild West by spending time in a saddle enjoying wildlife sightings and taking in the scenery. We recommend hitting the trails during the fall to witness the vibrant aspens.

For more information about horseback riding, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: Ice Fishing

Ice Fishing

ICE FISHING

What It Is:

It’s one of the best parts of winter in the North Country and one of the many enjoyable ways to fish, but this form involves fishing through a hole in the ice on frozen lakes or rivers.

Why You’ll Love It:

Because you can actually walk on water and there is nothing better than watching a bobber disappear under the ice. While ice fishing is a right of passage for many northerners, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime, mystifying experience for those who live where water is always wet.

What You’ll Need:

Make sure to bring your fishing license, warm clothes (particularly good boots), ice fishing combo rod/reel, ice fishing line, live bait (minnows, leeches or nightcrawlers), hooks, bobbers, jigs, auger and a 5-gallon bucket to sit on. Or you can rent a fully-equipped, pre-positioned shelter for yourself and as many friends as want to go along.

Where To Go:

The best place for ice fishing is Lake of the Woods, Ontario/Manitoba/Minnesota.

For more information about ice fishing, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: Kayaking

Kayaking

KAYAKING

What It Is:

Streams, rivers, and lakes are perfect places to relax on a summer day. Want to make your next trip to the water memorable? Explore more with a highly maneuverable and stable floating vessel that allows you to experience the water from an eye-level perspective.

Why You’ll Love It:

Kayaking allows you to be super mobile and go on your own solo adventures. Because of the maneuverability and how high a kayak sits in the water, you are able to get to places boats and canoes can’t. See and experience more without having to talk your friend into heading out on the water with you. Go out and make your own adventure.

What You’ll Need:

As its name suggests, you’ll need a kayak. There are literally thousands of different kayaks on the market to choose from. Do a little research and find one that fits your needs. Start with the links we provided below for additional information to get you pointed in the right direction. From there, pick out paddles designed for kayaking and a personal floatation device for safety. To learn what you like, try renting first.

Where To Go:

The best place for kayaking is Lake Tahoe, CA/NV. Not only is the water clear and weather beautiful, there are plenty of camping and recreation spots along the lake to make it a perfect weekend trip.

For more information about kayaking, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: kickball

Kickball

KICKBALL

What It Is:

You know the game you kind of remember playing in elementary school? Yup. It’s making a comeback…and that’s awesome.

 

 

Why You’ll Love It:

The rules are simple: part baseball, part soccer, and nearly zero athletic ability required.

What You’ll Need:

The beauty of kickball is its simplicity – All you need is a ball and field to play on. Bases can be made from anything (cones, hats, empty beer cases) and the hardest part is finding enough people to play (usually 10+ per team). Grab your friends and join a weekly co-ed league. You won’t regret it. Also, kickball team names are just the best.

Where To Go:

The best place for kickball is in your community. Check with your local parks & recreation department or the link below. If you don’t have a league in your area, try organizing one. We are all looking for any reason to go outside and play.

For more information about kickball, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: Kitesurf

Kitesurf

KITESURFING

What It Is:

Kitesurfing, or kiteboarding, is an exciting water sport combining the best elements of surfing, wakeboarding, and kite flying. While many think this activity is limited to warm climates, many enjoy kitesurfing or skiing across frozen lakes or snowy plains in the winter; just remember to bundle up!

Why You’ll Love It:

If flying 50 feet above the waves at over 50 miles per hour sounds exciting, then kitesurfing might be your new favorite pastime!

What You’ll Need:

Besides the basic gear like a helmet, kite and board, one of the most important things you need for getting started with kitesurfing is a few lessons. Most people are able to pick up the sport quickly, but skills like body dragging, water starts, and riding upwind are specialized techniques an expert can help you learn quickly.

The best place for kitesurfing is the rolling waves of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

For more information about kitesurfing, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: Kite Flying

Kite Flying

KITE FLYING

What It Is:

At 50 Campfires we aren’t ones to take idioms seriously, but when someone tells us to “go fly a kite” we’ll take them up on it! Consisting of wings, tethers, and an anchor, you can control a flying object from the ground.

Why You’ll Love It:

Kites have come a long way since you were a kid. With nearly endless designs, configurations, and sizes you can customize your kite to fit your needs. There is even a sport, kite fighting, that pits kites against each other in mid-air battles. Awesome.

What You’ll Need:

One of the best parts of kite flying is its simplicity. Grab a kite (if you need help picking one out, check out the links below) and find an open space with some wind.

Where To Go:

The best place for kite flying is anywhere with an open field and wind. Some locations are better than others, for instance beach kite flying on the Southern California coast is amazing, but it is more important to find consistent wind than it is to find pretty scenery. Finding both is a homerun.

For more information about kite flying, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: Longboarding

Photo Credit: Mark Hill http://bit.ly/1QRjAJn

LONGBOARDING

What It Is:

Imagine cruising down the paved trails on an extra long skateboard, as the world becomes your slalom track. Along with the extra length of a longboard comes increased speed due to the longboard’s bigger wheel size.

Why You’ll Love It:

Sure, you might’ve tried skateboarding as a kid, but this isn’t like that. It’s closer to the sensation of surfing or snowboarding, because of the longer board length and increased wheel size. Longboarding might be the closing thing to a flying carpet, on four wheels.

What You’ll Need:

Do some research on longboard decks, trucks, wheels, bushings, and bearings to find good quality gear. Always wear a helmet when longboarding, especially as a beginner. Add knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards to your shopping list too, and possibly a kahuna stick.

Where To Go:

The best place for longboarding is Snake Run, Camp Woodward : Woodward, PA. In recent years this thing has grown from a grass hill slide to a high speed skate and bike dream.

For more information about longboarding, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: mountainbiking

Mountain Biking

MOUNTAIN BIKING

What It Is:

If navigating twists and turns, seeing some of the most beautiful sights around, and cruising forest trails sounds like your idea of a good time, mountain biking may be in your future. Unlike your 10-speed you had as a kid, mountain bikes are serious off road machines; able to take you places your “normal” bike could only dream of.

Why You’ll Love It:

Sure, biking around side streets and along roadways is fun, but hitting a mountain or forest trail with a bike designed to traverse streams, steep hills, and slippery rocks is something out of this world fun.

What You’ll Need:

As with most semi-extreme sports or activities, sky’s the limit in terms of gear. For just starting out, the most important thing is to get a mountain bike that fits you in terms of size and functionality. Safety is also a primary consideration. Pick up a quality helmet, riding gloves, and protective clothing if you plan to get off the beaten path.

Where To Go:

The best place for mountain biking is Crested Butte, Colorado. One of the two birthplaces of modern mountain biking should be on every biker’s bucket list.

For more information about mountain biking, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: Obstacle racing

Obstacle racing

OBSTACLE COURSE RACING

What It Is:

Obstacle course racing consists of running a course (generally with a team) filled with obstacles of varying difficulty. It is often muddy, and can range from 3 to 15 miles.

Why You’ll Love It:

Many of us have desk jobs that lack adventure. We yearn for something tangible that will wake us up! Climbing rope, jumping from platforms, and swimming underwater is exactly what we need to unleash our inner warrior.

What You’ll Need:

You’ll need a few crazy friends that want to run with you, and will need to be in decent shape. The fun thing about signing up for an obstacle race is that it’s a great motivator to work out. If you can handle a five mile run, 10 pull-ups, and 30 push-ups, you’ll be fine.

Where To Go:

The best place to find obstacle course racing will be on varied terrain near a larger city.

For more information about obstacle course racing, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: Orienteering

Orienteering

ORIENTEERING

What It Is:

Orienteering is the art of navigating with only a map and a compass. These days, you could say it amounts to “analog GPS.”

Why You’ll Love It:

Phones have made our lives easier. Perhaps too easy. At some point, the phone can become a barrier between you and the forest. By using just a compass and paper, you’ll develop an authentic connection to the land that is quite different from the iConnection you’re used to.

What You’ll Need:

You’ll need an orienteering compass (see below), and attire that you would wear hiking.

Where To Go:

The best place for orienteering is any land with varied terrain, so you can practice your skills.

For more information about orienteering, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: Piloting

Piloting

PILOTING

What It Is:

Piloting is commanding any aircraft, from an ultra-light hobby plane, to an F-16 fighter jet.

Why You’ll Love It:

If you think a sports car is exhilarating, you should try flying a plane. It’s an exciting, inspiring experience.

What You’ll Need:

A lot of people don’t know that most aviation schools offer what are known as “discovery flights.” For a few hundred dollars they’ll take you up and let you fly the plane for an hour or two. It’s well worth the money, and is unlike anything else you’ll ever have a chance to do. Who knows, maybe you’ll get hooked and enroll in flight school.

Where To Go:

The best place for piloting and finding a discovery flight is at a small airport near you. International airports generally don’t offer an experience like this.

For more information about piloting, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: Plant Collecting

Plant Collecting

PLANT COLLECTING

What It Is:

Plant collecting, also called plant hunting, is the process of gathering live or dried plants to be displayed, researched or cultivated. Dried plants are often kept in what’s called an herbarium for display or research.

Why You’ll Love It:

Every part of the world has their own set of unique plants, and discovering species native to your area is a great way to understand the local ecosystem. Many plants are edible or used for seasoning. However, be certain the plants you intend to eat are not poisonous. Collecting plants is exciting because of the sheer number and variations there are all over the world.

What You’ll Need:

Some of the tools for collecting plants include an herbarium to press your plants for display and future research, but in the field you might want to consider bringing gardening gloves, shears for cutting tough stems, and a shovel or trowel for digging up plants if root systems are desired.

Where To Go:

The best place for plant collecting is away from a developed city with plenty of vegetation. If you wish to study plants at America’s leading Herbariums, check out the New York Botanical Garden or the Missouri Botanical Garden.

For more information about piloting, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: rafting

Rafting

RAFTING

What It Is:

Rafting is for people who are looking for a rush! It’s fun for everyone from kids to grown ups, so load up the car and get ready to navigate your raft down fast-flowing rivers and over rapids!

Why You’ll Love It:

Rafting gives you the opportunity to get out in nature and see lots of wildlife.Testing your strength in a safe environment is another bonus. Don’t worry, your rafting guide will be there to look out for you. Let’s not forget the adrenaline rush that comes along with the roller coaster ride feeling.

What You’ll Need:

North America is white water heaven, so finding a location shouldn’t be difficult. Keep in mind if it’s a sunny day you’ll want to pack sunscreen. You’ll need to wear a life jacket and proper shoes, help your fellow rafters back into the raft if they do fall into the water, and always listen to your river guide’s instructions. Depending on the class you may be required to wear a helmet. You’ll likely get soaked, so pack a change of clothes!

Where To Go:

The best place for rafting is on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, Arizona. Seeing the Grand Canyon should already be on your bucket list, so why not spend anywhere from four days to two weeks on a whitewater expedition?

For more information about rafting, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: Offroad RC trucks

Offroad RC trucks

OFF-ROAD RC TRUCKS

What It Is:

50 Campfires is committed to the idea whatever gets you off the couch and outdoors – is alright by us. Tricked out, replicas of real-world off road vehicles scaled down to 1/10 of their original size. These aren’t the toys of your childhood – these are monsters built for the trails and mud.

Why You’ll Love It:

You’d never drive your car over a pile of boulders, or jump your jeep off the top of a retaining wall. These scaled down replicas will bring out the kid in even the most joyless adult. For you though, you’ll be squealing with glee as your shock absorbing truck plows through puddles while you hike alongside.

What You’ll Need:

This one’s simple. You need an RC truck and hiking boots.

Where To Go:

The best place for Off-Road RC Trucks are the Recon G6 events.

For more information about Off-Road RC Trucks, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: Rivertubing

River tubing

RIVER TUBING

What It Is:

If your idea of summer recreation is gently bobbing and dipping your toes in the water with a cold one in your hand, river tubing is for you. The best part is relaxing and basking in the warm summer sun. River tubing is both very affordable and extremely fun.

Why You’ll Love It:

Floating down a river will usually take hours, if not the whole day. So you’ll basically have all afternoon to socialize with friends, indulge in beverages and eat lots of tasty, probably unhealthy snacks. Another bonus is that no matter how many people you invite, everyone can go!

What You’ll Need:

Bring about three times the amount of food as you have people. Trust us, you’ll need it. Make sure children are wearing life vests. Don’t forget the waterproof speakers, because you know a river tubing trip isn’t legit without the tunes cranked up. Bring bungee cords and at least three different coolers for food, beverages, and jello shots. Oh and unless you want a rad sunburn, bring strong sunscreen and sunglasses!

Where To Go:

The best place for river tubing is on the Guadalupe River in Texas. One of America’s most popular tubing locations, tubers travel from all over the country for this experience. Folks along the river will even share a beer and often prank tubers with spiders and fake alligators.

For more information about river tubing, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: rock-climbing

Rock Climbing

ROCK CLIMBING

What It Is:

Rock climbing is climbing up, down or across natural or artificial rock formations with the goal of reaching the summit. It is a demanding sport testing a climber’s strength, endurance, agility, balance and mental control.

Why You’ll Love It:

Rock climbing is a physically and mentally demanding sport that will stretch you and give you a challenge to overcome. This effort pays off when you reach the summit and find yourself soaking in the beautiful view and breathing the fresh air. You can enjoy rock climbing outside or indoors with a whole range of difficulty levels.

What You’ll Need:

For a safe and enjoyable climbing experience find a location that provides a well-trained climbing instructor and access to helmets, harnesses, and carabiners for securing the rope to your body while climbing. You can purchase rubberized climbing shoes and a pouch for climbing chalk if you want to get serious, but most running shoes will do fine for recreational climbing.

Where To Go:

The best place for rock climbing is Boulder Canyon, Colorado. Covered with small crags, the Canyon features climbs ranging from easy to challenging, offering something for everyone.

For more information about rock climbing, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: RVing

RVing

RVING

What It Is:

Recreational vehicles allow you to explore the world around you and visit far off destinations, all without leaving the comfort of your own home.

Why You’ll Love It:

Not everyone wants to sleep on the cold ground, give up showers for a full week and make do with cooking over a smoky fire. Camping in an RV provides all the same access to the great outdoors, while providing amenities and protection from weather.

What You’ll Need:

RV’s are available in a range of prices and models, both new and used. We recommend checking out used listings as well as visiting a dealership to understand what options are available.

Where To Go:

The best place for RVing is at a KOA campground on your next travel route.

For more information about RVing, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: sailing

Sailing

SAILING

What It Is:

Take it back to basics with a boat, wind, and open water. A boat fashioned with rigged sails for catching wind is all you need to get things moving. This simplistic form of aquatic transportation dates back centuries but has made a strong resurgence with outdoor enthusiasts as a peaceful way to enjoy the water, weather, and friends.

Why You’ll Love It:

No motors or fancy gadgets to get you where you want to go. There is something special about using nature to move you around a body of water in a seamless way. It’s all up to you. Sounds like you just took back control of your fun. Good for you.

What You’ll Need:

As far as outdoor activities go, sailing has a pretty steep barrier in that a sailboat comes with a hefty price tag. There are easy ways to get around this of course. For instance, taking a boat charter or renting your own once you have more experience are both great options.

Where To Go:

The best place for sailing is in San Francisco Bay. Picturesque views and great wind combine to create one of the most epic places to raise the sails and see where the wind takes you.

For more information about sailing, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: skijumping

Ski Jumping

SKI JUMPING

What It Is:

It’s exactly what you think it is! Think Winter Olympics. Think guys and gals sailing hundreds of meters in the air to make a perfect Telemark landing. But don’t think it’s exotic and rare. Scattered all across North America’s snow country there are local clubs with ski jumps where you can learn.

Why You’ll Love It:

If you think ski jumping is thrilling to watch, wait until you try it! It’s an adrenalin rush on steroids. But if you are already a competent alpine skier who “takes air” now and then, you have the basic building blocks to become a nordic ski jumper.

What You’ll Need:

Locate a ski jumping club. Actually it will probably be easier than you think in the Northeast and Upper Great Lakes, and tougher than you expect in the Rockies and Northwest. While jumping skis and boots are specialized equipment, the clubs will help you with borrowing or renting gear to get started.

Where To Go:

The best place for ski jumping is Lake Placid, New York. This two-time Olympic host is also home to the New York Educational Ski Foundation.

For more information about ski jumping, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: Skijoring

Skijoring

SKIJORING

What It Is:

Originating in Norway, skijoring is a winter sport in which a dog pulls a cross-country skier over snow and ice.

Why You’ll Love It:

A great way to enjoy the outdoors with your dog…and tucker them out in the process.

What You’ll Need:

You’ll need cross-country skis, a well-trained dog that loves to run and can handle the winter elements, a harness for the dog, a belt for the skier and an eight foot rope to connect the two.

Where To Go:

The best place for dog skijoring is wherever there is snow in the winter. Popular locations include Alaska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Maine, New York and more. Check your local state parks for designated trails or links below for competitions if you feel your pup has what it takes!

For more information about dog skijoring, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: skydiving

Skydiving

SKYDIVING

What It Is:

Skydiving is the completely insane act of jumping out of an airplane with a big piece of nylon tied to your back.

Why You’ll Love It:

First of all – it’s safer than driving. There are even backup parachutes, so you have nothing to fear. Many say that describing the feeling is simply impossible, and that’s probably true, which is reason enough to try it.

What You’ll Need:

Your first jump will be tandem with an experienced skydiver. You’ll have some ground training to cover the basics, and then up you’ll go. Loose fitting clothing and tennis shoes are really all you need.

Where To Go:

The best place for skydiving in the United States is Snohomish, WA, but anywhere scenic with good instruction will be an incredible experience.

For more information about skydiving, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: Slackline

Slacklining

SLACKLINING

What It Is:

Now this is a challenging one! Slacklining is similar to tightrope walking, except you’re maneuvering on a flat piece of tubular webbing tied between two structures and it moves with you as you step, whereas with tightrope walking it doesn’t stretch with each movement.

Why You’ll Love It:

First of all, it’s absolutely exhilarating. The adrenaline rush can be increased as you toughen the course. Plus, as you get better you may venture into other slackline disciplines: tricklining/lowlining, long lines, rodeo or freestyle lines, highlining, water lines, jumplines.

What You’ll Need:

If you don’t have a friend who’s willing to share, you’ll need to purchase a slackline kit, which can be bought online or at stores such as REI or Cabelas. However, check regulations for state parks and such when slacklining. For example, one rule at Yosemite National Park includes that lines must be constructed to protect trees from any damage.

Where To Go:

The best place for slacklining is Yosemite National Park, California. Slacklining among the cedars and redwoods of Yosemite is as peaceful as it can get, but make sure to follow the rules.

For more information about slacklining, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: Sledding

Sledding

SLEDDING

What It Is:

It’s only one of the best ways to get yourself excited about winter! Sliding down a snow covered hill, while sitting, kneeling or lying down on a wooden or plastic surface is the definition of sledding, but it might as well be the definition of awesome while we’re at it.

Why You’ll Love It:

The thrill of going fast appeals to many people the world over. Winter activities are often limited, but sledding has withstood the test of time due to its simplicity, excitement and appeal to all ages. All you need is a hill, a sled, and if you’re daring enough, a big jump to hit on the way down.

What You’ll Need:

There are just about as many styles of sleds as there are hills to sled down, but all you really need is a hill, a sled and warm clothes including winter gloves, boots and a coat.

Where To Go:

The best place for sledding is Pioneer Woods Sledding Hill, Chicago, Illinois.

For more information about sledding, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing

SNOWSHOEING

What It Is:

Winter hiking for fitness and fun. The snowshoe is footwear that helps displace weight to prevent the foot from sinking into the snow. Think of it as a wide oversized sandal.

Why You’ll Love It:

If you enjoy the snow and exercising, you absolutely need to give this a try. Its cheap, easy to do and it gets you outside!

What You’ll Need:

Winter clothing is necessary (don’t overdo it as you might work up a sweat), a couple of trekking poles and a pair of snowshoes. There are different styles to choose from depending on the terrain. Due to its rising popularity, most ski resorts now have rentals available.

Where To Go:

The best place for snowshoeing is the North Shore in Duluth, Minnesota.

For more information about snowshoeing, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: Snorkeling

Snorkeling

SNORKELING & SCUBA

What It Is:

Exploring an underwater reef or crystal clear lake can feel like you’re on another planet, and both snorkeling and scuba provide fun, active ways to give you a fish-eye view of what’s going on under the waves.

Why You’ll Love It:

Whether you’re scuba diving a sunken ship or snorkeling around a tropical reef, both snorkeling and scuba provide seldom-seen views, spectacular full-body exercise and amazing adventure!

What You’ll Need:

For snorkeling, getting set up with gear is as simple as a mask, fins and a snorkel. When considering scuba, we recommend starting with lessons and certification, after which rental locations can set you up with a full rig, or you can buy your own gear one piece at a time.

Where To Go:

The best place for snorkeling and scuba diving is the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in Australia. Closer to home, check out the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in the Florida Keys.

For more information about snorkeling and scuba diving, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: Snowmobiling_1

Snowmobiling

SNOWMOBILING

What It Is:

Snowmobiles are designed for winter travel and recreation on snow and ice and do not require a road or trail to ride on. Most are ridden on open terrain or on trails. Typically snowmobiles accommodate two people, so grab a buddy and hit the snow!

Why You’ll Love It:

If you enjoy going off the beaten path, snowmobiling is for you. What started off as a necessary means of carrying people and supplies over deep snow has become a very fun recreational activity similar to motocross and ATVing. Today there are many styles of riding a snowmobile including; racing, trail riding, freestyle, mountain climbing, boondocking, carving and ditchbanging among others. Most northern states offer snowmobile rentals with designated trails to explore the countryside.

What You’ll Need:

After planning a location, you will need to either borrow, rent or purchase a snowmobile for your ride. Then make sure you wear warm and durable winter clothing and do not forget a helmet! Some of the trails can get bumpy.

Where To Go:

The best place for snowmobiling is Brainerd Lakes area of Minnesota. With a 1,200 mile network of snowmobile trails radiating in every direction from Brainerd, it’s no wonder the area is one of the upper Midwest’s premier snowmobiling destinations.

For more information about snowmobiling, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: stargazing

Stargazing

STARGAZING

What It Is:

While camping outside the range of city lights, many people enjoy gazing at the stars, but with just a few pieces of equipment and a little knowledge you can bring the stars right down to your campsite.

Why You’ll Love It:

Without using a telescope, your eyes can already see objects in the sky 2.5 million light years away. From shooting stars and meteor showers to planets and the Pleiades, stargazing offers you an amazing window into our galactic home.

What You’ll Need:

There are a number of entry-level telescopes on the market, and we love the Celestron AstroMaster 70AZ. If you’re looking for a lower-price entry into stargazing, we recommend simple smartphone star finder apps like SkyView (Apple) or Star Finder (Android).

Where To Go:

The best place for stargazing is the Night Sky Program at the Cedar Pass Campground Amphitheater in Badlands National Park.

For more information about stargazing, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: SUP

Paddle boarding

STAND UP PADDLEBOARDING

What It Is:

A hybrid between kayaking and surfing, grab a paddleboard and head out on the lake or ocean, paddling around in a standing position. It’s not as hard as you’d think; they are surprisingly stable and are quite easy to propel and steer.

Why You’ll Love It:

Stand up paddleboarding (SUP) offers you a unique vantage point on the water that you won’t get out of a canoe or kayak. Because you are standing straight up, you get great views of everything from the horizon to fish swimming under the water’s surface.

What You’ll Need:

With a few pieces of equipment you’ll be ready to hit the water. Obviously you’ll need a stand up paddle board based on your weight and skill level. To get things moving, a specialized SUP paddle with elbow bench for efficiency is key to getting the most out of your new adventure. Finally, safety equipment in the form of a personal flotation device and swimwear for comfort.

Where To Go:

The best place for stand up paddle boarding is really anywhere with calm water. But if we had to pick our favorite in terms of weather and experience, it would have to be Key West, Florida. Ultra-clear water and gorgeous weather. Enough said.

For more information about stand up paddle boarding, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: Tenkara

Photo Credit: David Lor http://bit.ly/1Oc5WLV

TENKARA FISHING

What It Is:

Translated literally, the Japanese word Tenkara means “from heaven”. This traditional style of Japanese fly fishing was only recently introduced to the United States in the past decade, but with its simple and compact equipment setup – it’s quickly caught on with professionals and weekend warriors alike.

Why You’ll Love It:

If you’ve fantasized about wading through a stream, steadily flicking your fly rod in the direction of salmon and trout – only to realize that there’s a huge equipment barrier to entry – Tenkara is just your ticket. With a simple, collapsible pole and basic flies – you’ll be up and running in no time.

What You’ll Need:

Put some time into researching what kind of tenkara rod is right for you, as there are many choices. You’ll also need tenkara line, tippet material, line clipper, flies and fly box, and hemostats. You may also acquire a tenkara net, line spool, fly floatant,

Where To Go:

The best place for tenkara fishing is a small stream with wild fish. One particular favorite is fishing unweighted wet flies in small mountain streams.

For more information about tenkara fishing, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: Tree Climbing

Tree Climbing

TREE CLIMBING

What It Is:

You climbed trees as a kid. What you might not know is that it’s a legitimate hobby for adults too!

Why You’ll Love It:

Capturing that sense of adventure that you had as a kid does wonders for your mental health. The fact that it’s practiced with safety gear will also speak to your grown-up sensibilities.

What You’ll Need:

You’ll need a recreational tree climbing kit and a few classes to learn how to tree climb safely, as well as learning how not to damage the trees. The gear is similar to what a rock climber might use.

Where To Go:

The best place for recreational tree climbing is in any forest that has tall, healthy trees with branches that are at least six inches in diameter. Be sure to check regulations on various types of public land.

For more information about recreational tree climbing, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: Whittling

Whittling

WHITTLING

What It Is:

The art of slowly carving by removing small slices of wood, whittling is the perfect way to constructively spend time around the campfire during your next camping trip. Actually you can whittle most anywhere in the outdoors.

Why You’ll Love It:

Whether you want to carve a spoon for serving dinner, or simply sharpen your fire-poking stick to a point, whittling is a great creative outlet that also teaches woodcarving basics.

What You’ll Need:

While specialized carving knives are available for more advanced whittlers, all you need to get started with this activity is something as basic as a pocketknife. Just remember, always put safety first when carving! Whittling Safety Rule Number One: cut away from your body!

Where To Go:

The best place for whittling is around your next campfire!

For more information about whittling, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: windsurfing

Windsurfing

WINDSURFING

What It Is:

You’re in the water, using nothing but the natural force of the wind and waves to propel the board you stand on. Could you get any more personal with the water? Probably not.

Why You’ll Love It:

Windsurfers are flooded with various sensations the moment their feet touch the board. You’ll hear the wind whirling into your sail and feel the power of the waves underneath you while your skin welcomes the cool spray of mist. Better yet, this water sport can be practiced wherever there is a body of water and wind: lakes, rivers, estuaries, gorges, etc.

What You’ll Need:

Most windsurfing schools provide all you need to get started for lessons. But once you decide to take up the sport, your initial purchases will be a wetsuit and boots (neoprene work great for beginners). Once you’ve progressed from beginner’s status look into buying the full kit: board, mast, boom and sail. Don’t forget a roof rack and strap for transporting gear.

Where To Go:

The best place for windsurfing is the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon. While many locals windsurf year round in the Gorge, the most reliable (and warmest) wind is typically from June through September.

For more information about windsurfing, you can check out:

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Outdoor Activities: zipline

Zipline

ZIPLINING

What It Is:

A cable stretched between two points of different elevations. You hook up to the cable at its high point via a freely moving pulley and let gravity do the rest.

Why You’ll Love It:

You’re an adrenaline junkie.

What You’ll Need:

This will require a strong stomach, a general lack of fear, courage and good health insurance is recommended but not required. Ziplining is actually quite safe.

Where To Go:

The best places for ziplining are arguably in Central America (ziplining in Costa Rica and Nicaragua are extremely popular for tourists) but for those looking for a domestic adventure, Soaring Tree Top Adventures in Durango, Colorado is at the top of the list, home of the longest ziplining course in the world.

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Outdoor Activities: zorbing

Zorbing

ZORBING

What It Is:

Don’t judge us, but as kids we looked at a hamster ball and wished there was one big enough for us to roll around in. Admit it, you’ve had similar thoughts. Your dreams are about to come true with Zorbing; rolling downhill inside of a human-sized plastic globe. Sledding, eat your heart out.

Why You’ll Love It:

Think of it as the glorious offspring of a roller coaster and downhill tubing. If the thought of rolling down a hill in a giant inflated globe, bouncing, rolling, and tumbling to the bottom doesn’t sound like a blast we don’t know what fun is anymore.

What You’ll Need:

While you can head out and purchase a Zorb globe, we recommend finding a location that provides the globe and facilities for you to enjoy your first experience as a “human hamster.” Make sure to bring along swimwear or comfortable clothing.

Where To Go:

The best place for zorbing is ZORB Smoky Mountains: Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The facility is amazing, provides all the equipment, and trains you to have the most fun in the safest way possible. Pigeon Forge is the perfect place to hone your Zorbing skills or put your skills to the test.

For more information about zorbing, you can check out:

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