Uncover the Outdoor Adventurer in you

As a young person you were fascinated by the articles in National Geographic magazine and you yearned to be like the individuals in the articles. Even now, as you are older, you enjoy watching Discovery channel and Animal Planet and secretly wish you were one of the characters in the show, taking part in an outdoor adventure. Despite these desires you never seem to have the outdoor adventures you yearn for.

Limited finances, pressures of work, family responsibilities are the reasons you give yourself for not being able to explore the outdoors. None of these should be reasons to prevent you from uncovering the outdoor adventurer that lies within you. Instead of seeking the big adventure you can have a series of small outdoor adventures that will help fulfill the yearning for adventure.

The question some may ask is where and how do I experience these smaller adventures. The opportunity for an outdoor adventure exists in every location. Every locality usually has a local hiking club and the majority of these clubs are usually happy to have non-members along for a small fee. In addition to hiking clubs there is sometimes a local field naturalist club that organises field trips that non-members can participate in. Hiking is a good way to experience nature and at the same time provide the body with valuable exercise. Some people may think that the years of sitting in front of the television will prevent them from undertaking the rigors of a strenuous hike. Most hiking clubs rate their hikes with a scale ranging from Easy to Challenging. You can start with the easy hikes and over time build to the challenging hikes.

Many hikes are day hikes so you can take one day out of your weekend to be an outdoor enthusiast and still have time for your family responsibilities. An advantage of participating with a hiking club is the safety and security of being with an organised group that knows the trails, thus preventing you from getting lost.

Another great way to experience the outdoors is kayaking. When the term kayaking is used, many immediately think of fast rushing water , navigating large boulders and the heart stopping adrenaline rush of white water kayaking. Kayaking is not however only white water, there are many slow moving rivers, large lakes and sheltered bays where a pleasurable morning or afternoon can be spent paddling. In most areas where there is a sizable body of water, local kayak shops or outfitters can be found. These kayak shops will often have boats available for rental and sometimes organize kayaking expeditions on weekends.

Some individuals are scared of kayaks because they have never used them. Learning the basics of kayaking is however very simple and can be done with a few minutes of instruction. Once the basics have been learned and equipped with a personal flotation device (life jacket) an entire realm of nature viewing is opened up along streams, in ponds and in sheltered bays.

An overnight or weekend camping trip is yet another opportunity for the outdoor enthusiast to awaken that adventurous spirit. You may think that camping requires having plenty of camping equipment, but that is not applicable in every situation. A very good article, Surviving Camping Equipment Overload – How to Manage on a Small Budget, can be found at the Outdoors Trinidad web site. A camping trip is also an opportunity to have other family members participate in your outdoor adventure.

Another opportunity for having family members particpatre in outdoor activities is a cycling trip. This can be a weekend trip or just a day spent cycling along country roads. One of the great things about a family cycling outing is that you proceed at your own pace. If an interesting bird or animal is seen you can stop to observe and then resume your ride.

So go ahead and organize your mini adventures and uncover the outdoor adventurer in you.

“>

Brian Ramsey operates the web site, Outdoors Trinidad, www.trinoutdoors.com and is the author of the CD, Discovering the Birds of Trinidad and Tobago, www.birdsoftt.com.