The great outdoors—it feels like a promise, in a way. A promise that, if you look hard enough, you’ll find the adventures you’ve always wanted in your life.
That’s what you’ll find when you spend less time inside and more engaged in outdoor activities. But where do you start? The vastness of the Rocky Mountains and the American West is intimidating for even seasoned recreationalists.
These four outdoors activities are great ways for you to begin your acquaintance with the outdoors and find the type of recreation that you most enjoy.
ATVs, four-wheelers—the names are different but the experience is the same. ATV riding is hugely popular in the more arid areas of the West, especially in the sand dunes scattered throughout the Great Basin.
You certainly can spend a lot on a new ATV, but you don’t have to. And with ATV loans at great rates, you won’t have a problem financing the one you want.
Obviously, you’ll need to take safety courses, buy an approved helmet, and go riding with someone who knows ATVs before you decide if this is your jam or not.
When you think of rock climbing, you probably see outrageously high cliffs and a thin, tenuous rope connecting you to the wall.
Rock climbing is definitely a thrill, and it is extreme, but it’s not as reckless as it’s painted to be. Free climbers, like Alex Honnold, scale walls in Yosemite without ropes all the time. Rock climbing with ropes is fun, exhilarating, and a great workout.
Getting started is as simple as visiting a local climbing gym, signing up for a beginner’s course, and practicing indoors. If you find you like it, you can graduate to climbing outdoors. You’ll need a harness, anchors, carabiners, a helmet, and rope, but all of those items can be purchased at fairly affordable prices.
If you have memories of sitting, bleary-eyed, on the bench seat of a truck as your dad and grandpa took you fishing, you’re not alone. A ton of us have that same memory, and we also remember not catching a lot while sitting at the lake.
Fishing is much more fun than you likely remember – especially fly fishing. Getting started is really cheap, and fairly simple. YouTube is littered with videos on how to fish, with instructional tutorials on creating certain rigs to learning how to fly fish.
It’s a relaxing sport, but one that puts you directly in contact with the outdoors and the natural world.
This is another activity that forces you to work with—instead of against—nature. Kayaking has exploded in popularity recently, with tons of lightweight kayak options available.
Floating down the huge rapids in wide Western rivers is a big draw for a lot of kayakers, though they can be used for other water activities as well. Fishing from a kayak is fun, as is paddling more relaxed water and letting the simple motions of rowing and steering melt away the worries of the day.
The outdoors is full of opportunity to lose yourself in nature and get a better perspective on what matters in life. These four activities will put you up-close and personal with nature, and help you decide what your favorite way to interact with the outdoors is.