You finally took time off from work, maybe even got a babysitter, and you are ready for a bit of adventure – but you are stressing out about the whole ordeal. Sound familiar? Worry not, this article will give you some tips to get the best experience out of your well-deserved recreational outing.
Spending time outdoors is a necessity for mental and physical health. Fresh air and natural beauty can bring relaxation, while physical activity strengthens and invigorates our bodies. Whether you are heading out on a fishing trip, backpacking, or kayaking, these tips will ensure a worry-free and enjoyable adventure
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- The Most Important Thing You Can Do to Make Your Recreation Enjoyable
- 3 Essentials to Enjoy the Outdoors to the fullest
- Other Tricks To Enjoy your Recreation
- Tips to Enjoy Recreational Activities with Pets
- Tips to Enjoy Recreation with Kids
- How to Make the most of your day Outdoors
The Most Important Thing You Can Do to Make Your Recreation Enjoyable
Plan and Research!
Planning your trip will make the difference between having an awesome time and having the most stressful trip of your life. It doesn’t matter if you are going on a day trip or a month-long expedition. Planning is essential.
Even if you have more of a “go with the flow” personality type, planning out the main itinerary, and researching the area for your activities will ease your mind and create a more positive experience.
Here are some useful tips to successfully plan your recreation:
- Make a general outline of the main destinations and activities you wish to include. Add details where needed.
- Avoid planning activities back-to-back. Leave some downtime for relaxation.
- Are there certain photos you wish to capture? During your research, you may find awesome photos that you wish to recreate. Save those examples to your phone or print example pictures to carry with you.
- If you will be without cell service or internet, download a map to your phone or tablet, or purchase a paper map and learn how to navigate with it.
- Pack ahead of time and make a list of what is packed and where it can be found.
- If you are hiking or kayaking, you may need to plan ahead for a shuttle or ride from your end destination back to your vehicle, if your route is not a loop.
- Check to see if you will need permits for parking, wilderness areas, hiking, or boating. Reserve any necessary permits beforehand, if possible.
- If you want to bring friends, invite them ahead of time and let them know exactly what the group will be in for
- If you are renting gear, reserve your items in advance, if possible. This will guarantee that they will be available for your adventure.
- Plan for the unexpected. Have a plan B, and maybe even a plan C, just in case an area is suddenly closed, or weather inhibits your enjoyment.
3 Essentials to Enjoy the Outdoors to the fullest
1. Be prepared!
Here are a variety of small items to always bring on recreational trips and activities:
- Sunscreen. Even if the weather is supposed to be gloomy, bring sunscreen. Skin can be damaged by the sun in cloudy and foggy weather too.
- Bug Spray. Mosquitoes suck. Literally. Being eaten by bugs can ruin a beautiful day outside.
- Lip balm. Not only is lip balm essential to prevent chapped, dry lips, but it can also be useful to minimize chafing and blisters too.
- Water. Staying hydrated will keep you happy and healthy during your day of fun.
- First Aid Kit. Bring the basics at least, like band-aids, alcohol wipes, antibiotic cream, a couple of Benedryl pills, and some anti-itch cream.
- Food. No one wants to spend time with you if you’re hangry, so make sure to pack more than enough snacks and meals for your experience.
- Coffee…not a necessity for everyone, but it can have a positive impact on the experience for many adventurers.
2. Bring a Camera!
Do not forget to capture the memories you are making. Bring your camera, and use it! The scenic landscapes, wildlife, and smiling faces of family and friends (or just yourself) will be moments you will not want to forget. A tripod can get pictures of your whole group, or just yourself. If you are fishing or hiking alone, a tripod can help you can capture snapshots of the gorgeous fish you caught or epic peak you scaled.
Worth mentioning twice, hydration is key. In addition to addition to being essential for physical health, being properly hydrated can change your mood. If you start getting grumpy or irritable, drink some water, have a snack, and breathe – you are enjoying the wondrous outdoors, remember?
Another thing to remember: if you are thirsty, you are already on your way to dehydration. Keep sipping throughout your day.
Other Tricks To Enjoy your Recreation
- Being outdoors is a beautiful experience, but blisters can take the luster out of anything. Make sure you have the proper footwear for your endeavors. If your shoes are new, wear them in before your adventure. If your boots need to be waterproof, test them out beforehand. Bring band-aids, moleskin, and a blister glide stick just to be safe.
- Make sure you have extra cash with you, maybe even an emergency credit card. You may realize that you didn’t bring enough food, or you stumbled upon a restaurant or souvenir shop that you couldn’t pass up. Also, inconveniences love to occur when you least expect them. A flat tire or car trouble can ruin the trip, especially if you can’t pay for immediate repair.
- If you will be driving a distance, check your vehicle’s vitals: tire pressure, fluid levels, lights, and any leaks that may need attention. Do this a week before you head out, in case you need time to fix anything.
- Make sure to bring all the gear you may need. For example, if you are fishing for catch and release, make sure you have a specified hook removal tool. If you are hiking, do not leave your rainfly behind. The weather in the mountains is unpredictable.
- If you will be on a solo excursion, give someone else your itinerary and check-in when possible, or at least let them know you made it home.
Tips to Enjoy Recreational Activities with Pets
- Bring plenty of water. Hydration is just as important for your pet as it is for you, but they will not be able to let you know when they need a drink. Offer water frequently. To avoid wasting water, they did not finish, keep it in a watertight container, or have a specified pet water bottle to pour leftover water into for later.
- Dispose of waste properly. Bag it up and pack it out. This is the expected practice in most natural areas. Sometimes it is acceptable to bury it; just make sure not to leave it for someone else to step in. Pet waste can carry diseases that are harmful to wildlife – so be respectful of nature and responsible for your pet.
- Make sure your pet has an ID tag with your current contact information and keep them on a leash.
- Bring treats! Your pet likes snacks too.
Tips to Enjoy Recreation with Kids
Whether you couldn’t get a babysitter, or you want to teach your kids to love the outdoors as you do, here are some tricks to have an enjoyable outdoor experience with kids:
- Do not expect to get to point B anytime soon. You will need to dramatically slow down your itinerary when kids are in the picture. Relax and enjoy the view of your kids in nature.
- Bring all the snacks. You will need to feed the monsters and feed them often. Fruit, like tangerines and apples, trail mix, granola bars, and PB&J sandwiches, are perfect outdoor fuel. Oh, and hydrate the monsters too! If you haven’t noticed, kids get grumpy when they are hungry and thirsty.
- Makeup games or challenges to keep the kids occupied and entertained. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started:
– Scavenger Hunt
– Follow the leader
– I spy
– If your kids aren’t into it, challenge them to make up a game to play.
How to Make the most of your day Outdoors
Have fun! If you find yourself stressing out or worrying, take a step back and a deep breath. You can control your mood more than you realize. Let go of the little things that bother you and choose to have fun!
Properly planning, packing, and preparing will allow you to lay back and enjoy your fun day of recreational endeavors. So don’t ignore the tips in this article!
Do not try to control everything. Leave a little wiggle room in the schedule for bumps and hiccups, and mentally prepare yourself for some small inconveniences, especially if you are bringing kids or pets.
The more frequently you take recreational trips, the better you will be at planning adventures that run smoothly. If you have an unsuccessful trip, do not get discouraged. Focus on the bright side (at least you weren’t at work, right?), and plan the next adventure to be better.