Summer is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy outdoor recreational activities. With the warmer weather and longer days, you have plenty of time to experience adventures in nature. You can also be home in time to get enough rest!
The following are some activities that will allow you to soak up the sun while staying active this summer, including hiking, camping, whitewater rafting, rock climbing, fishing, biking, kayaking, horseback riding, zip-lining, and swimming.
Hiking is a simple way to enjoy the outdoors during summer. Find scenic trails at national parks. It doesn’t matter if you’re not the most athletic person you know. You can always choose shorter routes to take on with your friends! Bring essential safety gear like sturdy shoes, a first aid kit, and a compass. Tell someone your plans before heading out and follow the trail for solo hikes. For groups, choose trails suitable for all skill levels.
Camping under the stars is a summer tradition for many, so you must reserve campsites ahead of time at popular parks to get an ideal spot. Choose between staying in a tent or staying in an RV. For your first time, it would be easier to bring quite a few of your essentials along with you. Essentials include sleeping bags, firewood, lantern, seating, and s’mores ingredients. Check if you need permits for activities like campfires or fishing. Keep food stored away and practice fire safety.
White Water Rafting
Experience a thrill ride with white water rafting excursions. Make sure you have a good idea about river classifications beforehand so you know to not overestimate your abilities. Rivers like the ones near New River Gorge National Park are perfect for a summertime rafting adventure. Safety gear includes a life jacket, helmet, paddles, and proper attire. Follow instructions from guides on how to paddle and navigate the rapids.
Rock climbing is a challenging way to see views from greater heights. Popular spots offer outdoor rock walls and boulders for climbing. Safety basics include the following:
- Wearing a harness.
- Using a belay device.
- Climbing rope.
- Climbing shoes with sticky rubber soles.
Consider taking lessons to learn proper techniques before climbing on your own. The first few times it would be best to go with a guide or a professional so that you do not hurt yourself. Also, always check route difficulty before climbing. It would be smart to search for reviews by all types of climbers, like professionals as well as beginners to get an idea of the difficulty levels.
Fishing is a relaxing summer activity and a chance to enjoy a fresh catch. Get licenses and gear like rod and reel, tackle box, bait or lures, and fishing knife. Check local regulations on catch limits. Find spots like lakes, rivers, streams, or oceans. Saltwater fishing offers varieties like flounder and bluefish, while freshwater fishing has bass, trout, and catfish. Be sure to include sun protection, insect repellant, and snacks. These are especially important if you have children traveling with you.
Biking is an excellent cardio workout while enjoying summer scenery. Choose between mountain biking on unpaved trails or road biking on paved roads. Essential gear includes a bike, helmet, pump, spare tube, biking gloves, and water bottle. Pick level-appropriate trails and roads based on your experience. Follow the rules of the road or trail to stay safe, sharing paths with vehicles and pedestrians. As a first timer, it is best to ride on tracks meant for biking because they will have the most appropriate roads as well as proper safety signs for you and those around you.
Kayaking or Canoeing
Try kayaking or canoeing on lakes and rivers for a fun watersport adventure. Kayaks are small and mobile, while canoes can hold 2 or more people. So, you must make sure to have the needed equipment if you’re taking a large group with you. Start on flat water before advancing to whitewater. Necessities are life jackets, paddles, boats, whistles, and waterproof bags. Learn basic techniques before going solo. Check river classifications and only go whitewater kayaking/canoeing with experienced guides.
Explore the outdoors on guided horseback riding trips or trails. Take lessons to learn safety before riding solo. Horses can be extremely friendly, but it is still important to have the necessary safety precautions because though sweet, they are also really strong. Essentials include saddle, bridle, protective riding gear, and water for you and the horses. Choose between relaxed walking or challenging mountain rides for experienced riders with well-trained horses.
Zip-lining involves riding down steel cables while suspended and secured in harnesses. This fast-paced ride provides an exhilarating way to view the outdoors from up high. Popular spots offer tours with multiple lines and platform trails. Operations should meet or exceed industry safety standards with gear like harnesses, helmets, and hand brakes. Only go with reputable tour companies. Most of these companies will have contracts that you would have to sign in case of injuries but it is smart to go with those companies that have a history of none.
Beat the summer heat with recreational swimming in lakes, oceans, or rivers. Yes, you can go in pools as well, but you get the true summer experience by swimming in natural waters! Check location rules regarding life jackets, especially for children or inexperienced swimmers. Never swim alone; watch out for rip currents in oceans or sudden drop-offs in lakes. Additional gear may include a beach towel, sandals, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
This summer, make the most of warm weather and longer days by trying new outdoor activities. Whether you enjoy relaxing at the beach, scaling rock walls, or hurtling down whitewater rapids, there are adventures for all interests.
Stay safe by learning techniques, joining experienced groups, and bringing essential gear. By stepping outside your comfort zone, you can discover new passions and experience all the natural world has to offer during summer.