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An outdoor adventure means something different to everyone. For some, it might mean getting out into the wilderness and falling asleep under the stars. For others, it might mean a relaxing stay at a campsite where the kids can play, and the parents can nap in the sun.
Here we have assembled some ideas for outdoor activities that suit all types of adventurers and can motivate you to head out into the great outdoors!
Go for a camping or RV trip with your little ones but keep it simple. If you’re traveling with kids, it might be best to set up your RV or tent at a campsite and plan to be there a while. Packing up an entire family repeatedly for different destinations is difficult with all your gear. If your kids are a little older, maybe they will appreciate one or two more stops. But if you keep your camping trip simple, you can avoid unnecessary stress. Because if you are stressed your kids will be, too.
A great water sport to do with kids is canoeing. Canoes are bigger than kayaks and can fit your kids as well as all your things. You can fit it on the top of your RV or car, and our guide helps you find a canoe rack that fits your vehicle specifically. But there is also the possibility to rent a canoe and bring it with you, or head to a destination where you can rent them.
You can make hikes fun for your kids. Hiking trips might be challenging for young kids, but it can be fun to take hikes on short trails near the campsite or national park where you are staying. To make it exciting for them, prepare some games like nature bingo. In this bingo game, each square has different plants and animals. When the kids spot them, they strike out that square. Whoever strikes off four squares in a row wins. If you’re traveling with toddlers, bring along a stroller designed for difficult terrain in case they get too tired to finish the walk.
Even outdoor meals can be an adventure. Grilling outdoors or cooking over an open fire is a great activity for older kids, especially if the recipe is engaging for them. Toasting marshmallows is a great example, since the kids get to decide themselves how many they want, and exactly how crispy they want them. But there are other foods too, like campfire bread or popcorn, which are fun to try on open fires.
Make sure to prepare well for a road trip with a toddler or newborn. Whether you are traveling in an RV or a car to your destination, pack lots of snacks and extra water since a hangry road trip can escalate quickly. Kids need stimulation, so keep them entertained by bringing out different toys to play with along the way. If your road trip is especially long, plan long gas station breaks (even up to an hour) so your kids can get out pent up energy.
Go for a road trip and camp in a rooftop tent. With a rooftop tent, you can sleep anywhere you are parked for the night, as well as in campsites and off-road locations. If you park at a particularly scenic spot, you will wake up to that view from up above. Rooftop tents come in sizes for up to three or four people, read our guide to find the right one for your friend group.
If you prefer traditional tents, why not make it more exciting by going camping with a kayak? Once you get to the national park, for instance, set up your tent and explore nature out on the water. You can easily place two kayaks on top of your vehicle with the help of a rack. Our guide can help you find one that fits. Either that, or bring along tandem kayaks, then you can travel with even more friends. A canoe is also a good choice, since they are large and can fit more people and gear.
Bike camping is also an option. Pick a bike route and some camping destinations along the way. Bikes can usually fit a lot of packing, especially if you install bike bags and shield panniers to carry extra things. Biking is a great way to experience nature since the wind is in your hair, the smells are all around and there is nothing separating you and the elements. That said, this is also why you should bring with a waterproof backpack and rain jackets.
Tips for traveling with friends: Traveling with friends can be an infamous source of big arguments. To help avoid this, give each other space. Most people need some time alone to recharge and respecting that means there will be fewer fights. It is important to be honest right from the get-go about things that are bothering you, else they can build up and explode at an inopportune time.
For the lone wolf
Camping and hiking alone in the great outdoors helps you appreciate the small details around you and to escape the stresses of everyday life. But you don’t have to limit yourself to just one activity. If you load your car with a kayak and a bicycle, you can both paddle down a narrow river in the heart of the woods, or bike around the cozy fishing village nearby. Check our guide to find racks that can transport equipment on your specific vehicle.
Kayaking is a great activity to do alone – if you have experience. A good paddler can cover great distances and deftly weave through obstacles in the water. Out on the water alone – with only the sound of bird song and insects skirting across the water – is when the outside world really feels miles away. That said, you should only kayak alone if you have ample experience and even then, only paddle in good weather and water conditions. If you’re a beginner, gain some paddling experience with friends first!
But there are some things to keep in mind when hiking, kayaking or camping alone. Always let someone know about your travel route and when you expect to get back. This way, they can raise the alarm if you don’t return on time. Also, make sure that no matter what activity you do, it must be suited to your abilities.
Bring a first aid kit, pepper spray and whistle – just in case you come face to face with a disgruntled bear! An extra battery bank for your phone is important if you need to call someone in an emergency. It might be good to invest in a satellite communicator which can send your GPS location to emergency services with just the push of a button.
For the digital nomad
What is a digital nomad? Someone who stays connected to work and social life, but from any location they please. You don’t have to disconnect from your old life to be a digital nomad, you are just fulfilling daily activities on the go.
How do you become a digital nomad? If your job lets you work from home, congratulations! You can potentially become a digital nomad. This is applicable now more than ever, as companies are increasingly letting their employees work from home.
Why not ride in a camper van and find your dream working environment? This way you don’t have to put the adventure on hold just because it’s a Monday. With your life on a camper van, you sit in a work meeting with a mountain view one day and have a coffee break to the sound of ocean waves the next.
Personalize your van! #vanlife is a popular trend where people convert their camper vans and fully equip them with everything you’d need in one small space. These can be rustic DIY projects or professional conversions with a sleek, modern finish. Whatever your budget, the point is that the digital nomad gets to design their life however they want – and your van, too. If you want to try this lifestyle out before investing in it, why not try renting a camper van first?
Bring your life on your van with you. With the help of the right type of gear, you can fit your van with everything you might need on a long adventure. With a bike rack on the trunk, extra cargo at the top, and maybe a paddle board mounted on the roof, you can switch up the after-work adventures every day. You have the freedom to bring it all with you without crowding up the living space.
If you are planning an outdoor adventure, don’t be daunted by energetic twentysomethings doing big expeditions. You can do fun outdoor activities over the age of 60, too. There are just some things you should keep in mind.
Make it comfortable, rent or buy an RV or set up camp for an extended period. Don’t push yourself to the absolute limit, know your capabilities, and plan a trip that is as comfortable as possible. An RV or camper van gives you all the comfort of home but let’s you get up and see a beautiful new landscape. If you don’t have your own, why not try renting one? If you camp at a campsite, you are also able to use their amenities and have help nearby if it is needed. For extra comfort, bring a camping chair so you can relax between activities.
Going for shorter hikes on trails near the campsite can be good exercise, just make sure you do not over-exert yourself. In the months leading up to the camping trip, try going on brisk walks a couple of times a week, just to get your body ready for the trip. If you have heart problems or diabetes, consult with a doctor what you have planned and see if they think it’s a good idea for your condition. Exercise is great if you are over the age of 60 (and any age really) but take breaks and don’t go too far!
Bring trekking poles and a satellite communicator! Trekking poles help give you the support you need while you are on the trail. Also, satellite communication might be useful, too, even if you are going with a partner or friend. This way, if something occurs, you can simply press a button and send your location to emergency services.