We spend a lot of time talking about mountain adventures, kayak and canoe adventures, ski adventures, hiking and climbing adventures – Adventuring is something we love to do.
We have been asked if we had any tips for complete beginners who want to have an adventure. If this is you, read on…
What is an adventure?
First off, we should define what an Adventure means.
From the dictionary we get “an unusual and exciting or daring experience”. For the verb Adventuring it gives us “engage in daring or risky activity”.
When we ask our Facebook and Instagram followers there are regular themes that come up.
Where do I start?
Adventures should be fun, so think about what you enjoy doing. Do you like to walk or run? Or prefer to cycle? Do you like being up high? How about on or in water? Answering these questions will help guide you in what type of adventure you could plan to do.
Start with a small adventure
When you step outside your comfort zone it can be just that, a step. You don’t have to take a full on leap the very first time.
Neither do you have to spend a fortune or travel halfway around the world to do it. In fact, if you wait until you have the thousands of pounds needed to climb Everest before you start, you might never climb a hill at all.
So what do you have on your doorstep? What Adventure can you do in a day?
Start with local adventures
Is there a watersports venue near to where you live? Just ten miles from our house is a small lake where we can hire stand up paddleboards or kayaks, go wild swimmng, all for less than £10 a session and ideal for beginners. Or a two hour taster session to learn to sail costs just £30.
Perhaps you have a forest nearby? Many have colour coded graded mountain bike routes. Hire a bike, choose the colour of trail suitable for your level of fitness and experience, and you’re off. Prices can be as low as £18 per bike for a couple of hours.
Or perhaps you’re a runner who usually runs on the pavements or roads near to where you live? Pick a day in the dry season and run on those forest trails instead. It will challenge you by forcing you to use your core more for balance but you might find it’s kinder to your knees with a softer surface to run on.
Even closer to home, check the forecast and if it’s going to be dry take the sleeping bags into the back garden and spend the night sleeping under the stars. If you have a tent or a tarpaulin then try it in the rain, the sound of the raindrops on your canopy is one of the best sounds! Using a small stove, a firepit or a barbeque you can be creative with your dinner, a hot drink before bed and with your breakfast. Kids especially love cooking out and this activity can also turn grown adults into 8 year olds all over again.
Take a cold shower! It might sound silly but turning that dial to cold while you’re stood in the shower and building up to 3 minutes of cold water is a mental as well as a physical test! If you think outdoor swimming might feature in your future adventures it’s a good way to start to train your body for it without even leaving the house.
Gaining adventure skills
Guided walks can be a good way to start gaining skills for future solo expeditions. Good Mountain Leaders will be happy to share their knowledge of the area, of kit and of navigation as you go along. The walks give you a chance to test your kit, your stamina and understand the gaps in your knowledge base. Day walks, multiday walks and longer overseas treks are also useful ways to meet new people – they might well become your new adventure buddies in years to come.
Organisations like the Scouts, Guides, Brigades and so on ae always crying out for volunteer helpers. You’ll gain so much from working with the young people in all capacities, but you can also learn directly from the other outdoor adventure leaders. After a period of volunteering, groups like these will often contribute towards the cost of relevant courses too. And of course, you’ll be building up your experience all the while.
What will you do first?
With all that in mind, what will be your first adventure? We might not be able to get out there now in the ‘Lockdown era’ but you can get started with the ‘at home’ adventures. You can research online to see what is available to you locally. You can read adventure blogs, watch adventure films and read adventure books to inspire you.
If your research throws up questions then let us know and we’ll do our best to help answer them. Or take a look at some of our other blogs that you might find useful;
What to put in your rucksack for a day walk in the UK
8 tips for buying walking boots or shoes
Everything you need to know about layering your clothes when hiking
How do I keep my kit dry?
And if you have any other beginner, local or at home adventure ideas that we’ve missed, add them in the comments section – inspire others!