- Living outdoors is a great way to improve your physical and mental health.
- It’s essential to be prepared with the right clothing, footwear, equipment, and vehicle for your chosen activity.
- Common activities for those living an outdoor lifestyle include hiking, camping, and water sports such as kayaking and canoeing.
- When spending time in nature, respecting wildlife by giving them plenty of space is important.
Are you tired of being cooped up inside all day? Do you crave fresh air, exercise, and adventure? Then you may want to consider trying out an outdoor lifestyle. Studies have found that spending time in nature provides not only physical benefits but also mental health benefits.
Research conducted by the University of East Anglia in 2020 looked at over 140 international research papers. It concluded that people who spend more time outdoors report higher well-being levels than those who are rarely outside. The study showed a direct correlation between time spent in nature and reduced stress levels, improved cognitive functioning, and greater self-esteem.
Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or a beginner looking to dip your toes into nature, this comprehensive guide will provide you with everything you need to know to live your best life in the great outdoors.
Benefits of an outdoor lifestyle
Before diving into the practicalities of outdoor living, you need to know more about its benefits. Studies show that spending time in nature can positively affect your physical and mental health. Here are just a few:
Improved physical health
Living an outdoor lifestyle means more exercise and movement. Hiking, biking, swimming, and other outdoor activities help keep you fit and healthy. Exposure to sunlight also boosts your vitamin D levels, which is essential for strong bones and overall health.
Nature has a calming effect on your mind and body. Spending time outside can reduce stress levels and improve mood. Studies have shown that even just looking at pictures of nature can have a positive impact on your mental health.
Exposure to natural light during the day helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle, leading to better sleep at night. Plus, physical activity during the day can tire you out well, making it easier to fall asleep at night.
Getting started: essential gear
Before heading out into the great outdoors, ensuring you have the right gear is important. Here are some essentials:
Dress appropriately for the weather conditions — layers are key! Have sufficient base layers (avoid cotton), insulating mid-layers like fleece or down jackets, and waterproof outer layers like rain jackets or snow pants.
Invest in sturdy footwear that is appropriate for your chosen activity. Hiking boots with good ankle support are essential for hiking trails with uneven terrain. If you plan to do water activities like kayaking or rafting, ensure your shoes are water-resistant.
The equipment you need will depend on what activities you plan on doing. For hiking or camping trips, basic gear includes:
- A tent
- Sleeping bag and pad
- Cooking supplies like a stove or fire starter kit (if allowed)
- A backpack to carry everything in
Preparing your vehicle
Having the right vehicle is essential when living an outdoor lifestyle. In order to get your car ready for outdoor adventures, there are a few things to consider. First, ensure that your vehicle is in good condition before heading out. This means checking your oil and other fluids levels, inspecting belts and hoses for signs of wear, and ensuring that your brakes and tires are in good condition. Additionally, you may want to have it serviced by a professional mechanic if needed.
Certain vehicle types are also more suited for an outdoor lifestyle compared to others. SUVs provide you with a larger space that can accommodate all your supplies. If you don’t have an SUV, you may want to look into pre-owned SUV options to start your journey. Perhaps it’s time to make your dream a reality. Buying a used vehicle has many benefits, so it’s best to learn about your options through research and talk to professionals so that you can make an informed decision. Make sure the SUV is in good running condition and is ready for frequent, long trips.
Finding your outdoor passion: activities to try
There are countless ways to enjoy the great outdoors — here are just a few ideas:
Hiking is one of the most popular outdoor activities because it’s accessible for all skill levels. Trails range from leisurely strolls through meadows to challenging mountain climbs with steep inclines.
Camping is another classic outdoor activity that allows you to fully immerse yourself in nature, from car camping at established campgrounds with amenities like bathrooms and showers to backpacking deep into wilderness areas without facilities.
Kayaking and canoeing allow you to explore lakes, rivers, and oceans from a new perspective while getting some exercise in as well. Water sports also include surfing, paddle boarding, and rafting, among others.
While living an outdoor lifestyle is incredibly rewarding, it’s important not to forget about safety. Here are some tips:
Before heading out, plan ahead by checking weather forecasts, trail maps, and park regulations. Take enough food, warm clothing, a first-aid kit, and any necessary equipment. Make sure someone knows where you’re going and when they should expect you back.
Dehydration is common when participating in outdoor activities. Bring plenty of water, take frequent breaks, and avoid alcohol which dehydrates your body.
While wildlife sightings can be exciting, it’s important not to disturb their habitats. Be aware of animal behavior. When encountering wildlife, give them space.
Living an outdoor lifestyle can be incredibly rewarding and beneficial for both your physical and mental health. With the right gear, vehicle, and safety precautions in place, you’ll be ready to easily explore nature’s wonders. Whether it’s hiking trails or kayaking rivers, plenty of activities will allow you to make the most out of your outdoor adventures. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start living an outdoor lifestyle today!