You Don't Have to be an Expert to be an Adventurer

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You might find yourself reaching for your phone in moments of stress, but before you open Facebook or Twitter, consider that studies show that the use of social media can increase stress in the long run. Instead of seeking comfort on the internet, try spending more time outside. Sometimes a quick walk is all you need to reset your mind, but spending a longer length of time outdoors can have positive effects on your health.

If you want to go on more intense escapades, like rock climbing or camping, to help improve your mood, don’t be put off by lack of experience — even first-time adventurers can participate in more extreme outdoor activities.

Beginners and dabblers in all things wild alike can feed their wandering hearts no matter their expertise. Traveling is great for personal improvement, and trying out new outdoor activities or sports is a great way to create effective exercise routines and habits and can have positive impacts on your overall health, but can be intimidating to start. If you’re not sure where to begin, read the following guidelines to help you on the journey of becoming an adventurer.

Girl sitting on a rock
Girl sitting on a rock

Curiosity Doesn’t Have to Kill the Cat

Safety should be the first priority when engaging in any adventurous endeavor, especially for beginners. Properly researching safety online and asking for advice from others who have experience can make the difference between a fun experience and a tragic one. Even if you are trying a relatively low-key activity like paddleboarding, it is important to know the dangers and learn safety precautions. According to Scott Jorss, a standup paddleboard instructor, “it’s important to remember that you’re in charge of your own safety when you’re out on the water, whether it’s knowing how to get back on your board if you fall off or understanding what moving water is safest.”

Keeping an open mind and fueling the desire to spend time outdoors encourages an exciting and healthy life, and trying new things requires the ability to overcome your fears. However, it is important to balance those desires with understanding your personal limits. Once you have figured them out, communication with those around you is important.

For example, if you go skiing or snowboarding with friends who are more experienced than you, make sure to vocalize any concerns you have along with your excitement. Though you might feel the pressure to keep up with your friends, remind yourself that their skill level and experience is higher than yours, and in this case, it would be okay to go down an easier hill or take a break while others brave a run that requires more developed finesse.

Life on the Edge, Wallet in the Clear

Personal finance experts at Fiscal Tiger have found that millennials spend their money on memories more than on collecting consumer goods. However, you don’t want to make your credit card suffer when trying new things. Though starting a new hobby usually requires putting money into it, there are ways you can keep costs manageable.

First, think about ways you can save money. If you really want to dedicate yourself to spending time outdoors, save money in other areas of your life, such as food. Also, consider the essentials and nonessentials; season passes or monthly memberships to specialized gyms can be worth it if you are going to go enough times every month to make it worth it. Buying the basic equipment makes sense if you plan on going regularly enough that you save up money, but not if you will try it only once or even occasionally.

Next, consider where you make your purchases. Buying used items from secondhand equipment stores, people in your community and rental stores selling their gear are great ways to get equipment for less. Keep quality in mind, only purchase reliable gear, and remember that some equipment, like rock climbing ropes, should only be purchased in new condition.

Also, consider your resources. If you know someone who is into the activity you are looking to try, ask them for help. They might know a good place to buy what you’re looking for, or they might even be willing to lend or give you a good deal on extra equipment they have.

Another possibility is that if someone you know has a membership to a rock climbing wall or another specialized gym, they may have guest passes you can use for free. If your activity requires driving out somewhere, you can carpool and save on gas.

Don’t Think, Just Do It!

Okay, well maybe think a little (remember the safety section), but go for what you want to do and try new things. The world is out there waiting for you; don’t keep it waiting too long thinking about the obstacles in your way. Do what you can to prepare, like working on your strength and getting the necessary equipment, but don’t be afraid to go for it.

Not every adventure has to be crazy, and not everything you try needs to become a hobby. Look for daring things to do that are nearby, tag along with your daredevil peers, and take advantage of every opportunity you can. Even doing something as easy as going off-roading for a few hours can be the opportunity you are looking for to get some stress relief outside.

As long you get a memorable experience out of it, you can’t fail. The point is that you’re getting outside, exploring the world and yourself, and making memories. The best way to get started is to just do it.

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Geo Sique

Geo Sique is a writer from Boise, ID with bachelor's' degrees in Communication and French and a background in journalism. When she's not travelling outside Idaho, she loves rock climbing, hot springs, camping, and exploring the world around her.

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