There comes a time when we want to test our own abilities, find out what we’re made of so we say yes to an adventure we usually wouldn’t readily accept if not for that momentary urge to just go for it. And when you arrive at such a stage in life, going back isn’t an option otherwise there’s the feeling of failure lingering. So, what’s left to do is to take preparations seriously and get ready! Here are some tips that can ensure you have an unforgettable and safe outdoor adventure.
Acquiring the Gear
You can be the biggest outdoor enthusiast in the world, but without the basic bits and pieces of outdoor equipment you don’t stand much chance in surviving or making the most of the adventure. When choosing from a wide array of options, it’s important to focus on lightweight designs and useful features so you don’t take much load with you to slow you down.
Light Source – Whether you’re out tent camping in the most remote areas, hiking or mountain climbing, you need a light torch to make your way through, signal in case of emergency, use it as self-defence trying to distract an enemy or wild animal to prevent an attack, break glass or even start a fire.
To be sure you buy torch for outdoor use, it’s not only necessary to consider the brand and price but get into the features too. Don’t forget to check the performance, specifically the light output (the intensity of light in lumens) and beam distance (how far the light shines). This is followed by impact and water resistance, run time, battery type, modes (e.g. low, medium, high, boost), size, weight, and materials.
The cheap plastic torch with low run time may be good for repairs at home but in the wilderness it won’t serve you too well. Additionally, it’s advisable to also check for flashlight accessories you’d most like to use. If you think you’d do good having an extra lighting source, a headlight is a nice option since you don’t have to hold it.
Tools – No, you don’t have to carry along your whole box of tools. But a multitool can sure come in handy in the wild. Even if you don’t have to use it, it can give you the peace of mind that you’re prepared if it ever comes to an emergency.
Same as with flash lights, along with price and giving brands a thought, choosing from the best multitool brands like Leatherman, what matters is size, weight, features and materials. Depending on what it is you want in the device, you can choose from the most basic ones without hinges or moving parts, or the more complex with various tools (e.g. toothpicks, tweezers, magnifying glass, scissors, whistle).
Remember to also consider the purpose and ease of use in your purchasing decision. Trying to narrow down the tools, I found it easier writing down all of the uses I could possibly imagine needing on an outdoor adventure. If you want quality that would save you in the nick of time and serve you for years, then it’s worth investing more.
Clothes and Shoes – How prepared you are depends on the type of clothing and outdoor footwear you have as well. Wearing your usual casual outfits won’t do – you need adequate clothes and shoes created for the outdoors.
This is so because they can withstand the elements and provide you with the needed protection from sun, wind, rain, slipping accidents, discomfort and foot issues like blisters. Likewise, quality equipment also guarantees breathability, a property often overlooked yet is most welcome in both summer and winter adventures.
Preparing Body and Mind
Having the necessary gear is a step forward in the preparations but certainly not enough. You can’t consider yourself ready if you simply buy torch, multitools, footwear, and clothes but don’t work on your body and mind too!
Getting Fit – Your body will go through a great deal of effort when outdoors, so you need to have the stamina and strength needed for the kind of adventure you’re focused on. Core strength training along with lower-body workout are equally essential as cardio so don’t skip on them. If you think you’d take longer to get in the physical shape needed for the challenge, then start working on it months in advance.
For best results, you can’t overlook food either, knowing how crucial it is to have a suitable nutritious diet to build lean muscle mass. Eat as many fruits and veggies as you can, and when in difficulty getting the wholesome meals every day, get the help of a meal plan.
Getting Mentally Fit – Part of your readiness is mental, so if you think you can’t make it, then you probably won’t. It’s advisable to nurture positive thoughts, and if you feel like you still lack the mental fitness for such an adventure, take the time to prepare for a life in the grand outdoors with some exercises.
For example, it’s good to challenge yourself to go through emergency drills, Bear Grylls style, learning how to start a fire and how to signal, so you’d know how to react if you get to go through something like that. Also, try to push yourself to the extremes by bathing every three days or so with colder water (imagine bathing in a river), as well as thinking of going to the bathroom outside.
If you can’t read maps, it’s time you learned how to do so, because there might be situations when your smartphone or GPS device could fail on you and it’s best to know how to pull it off when disconnected. And finally, think of the meals you’d have outside, come up with recipes based on whether you’d have your own supply or count on nature’s ingredients.