If you had a quick look at the “about us” page, you saw that for me the outdoors is my sport; while some are just runners, or climbers, or hunters, or golfers or skiers, I’m an outdoors guy. But does that mean? And what is the big “Outdoors”?
Let’s start by understanding what it is to be outdoors. The meaning is pretty simple, especially if thinking literally – being outdoors is not being indoors. As in, not in a place that has a door (which implies walls, floor and a roof) and therefore not in a structure. With this definition window shopping, dog walking in the park or cycling to work are all outdoor activities, but instinctively we know they are not really what we mean by outdoor activities. In this case, we need to add a few conditions:
1. It needs to be outside an urban environment, in nature.
2. We need to feel a bit more exposed – to the elements, and to natural forces.
3. Escaping to the outdoors is not so simple – we need an element of danger.
To me, those 3 conditions are pretty much a must to feel that I’m going on an outdoor adventure, and they make it very clear what is not really an outdoor adventure: a local park, your backyard (no matter how wild you let it be), theme parks, zoos and so on. As much as we can’t really define a place as “Outdoors” clearly, we know it when we see it, and in my opinion, it is due to those 3 factors.
So for some odd reason we want to go to places that keep us exposed to nature and puts us in a slight danger. At first look that doesn’t make sense – our ancestors did their best to avoid that exposure and danger, and to provide us with the safety that comes from a house and a structured and civilized society. The benefit of today’s society is that we can afford to go outdoors for fun – yes, just pure fun. Whether you are going out to be part of nature, do walking meditation, get adrenaline rushes from climbing/jumping/skiing etc, all of these are for our enjoyment, not necessity.
The fact that we go outside to have fun means we can make more conscious decisions about what we want to do. We can scale the level of risk we want, we can choose the kind of environment we like (it can be the beach, the desert, a mountain, a tundra – it is up to us) and our comfort levels. We can look at nature more passively or we can jump in and take a more active part (ever tried wild swimming?).
By understanding and accepting that being outdoors can be dangerous, but that we choose to expose ourselves to it for our own fun, we can make better decisions about where to go, when to go, what to do, what to take etc. If you think you can identify with that idea, you are in the right place. Whether being outside is a daily experience for you, or you are looking for a way to start, we will go over all the choices and options to make sure we are having fun outdoors.