Preparing for the Outdoors

Outdoor summer and winter adventure activities have become increasingly popular over recent years as people discover new and exciting ways in which the great outdoors can be enjoyed and conquered. Although many outdoor adventures do not necessarily involve dangerous or physically demanding activities, such as family camping trips and nature trail walking, it is perhaps fair to suggest that the majority of outdoor adventures comprise elements of a thrill-seeking nature. Indeed, the adrenaline rush that is associated with activities such as mountain climbing and biking, abseiling, kayaking and hiking, in addition to various winter sports including skiing and snowboarding, offers a powerful and addictive incentive for extreme outdoor adventure enthusiasts to continue to push beyond their limits.

Accordingly, it is only sensible that those people who intend to embark on an extreme outdoor adventure activity fully prepare themselves for the tasks ahead.  Preparing for the outdoors is paramount to the enjoyment and safety of your experience.  Indeed, it is often the case that serious injuries are inflicted upon those who fail to address the demands of their chosen activities or, in fact, nature itself. The world is already a dangerous place and nature can kill human beings effortlessly, so it is always important first and foremost to recognize the dangers posed by the natural environment. Of course, when extreme sports and activities are also undertaken, the risk factor facing outdoor adventure enthusiasts is magnified enormously. Thus, physical conditioning is also key to effective preparation for enjoying extreme outdoor adventures.

In respect to personal fitness levels, it must be stated at the outset that no two people are identical and it is always sensible to seek professional medical advice before undertaking any kind of strict exercise regime. Notwithstanding this, it is generally advisable to exercise the body on a regular basis in order to maintain a basic standard of fitness and good health. Of course, where extreme outdoor adventures are concerned, advanced physical conditioning is usually required. Thus, swimming, running and other cardiovascular exercises, in addition to a moderate weight training routine, ought to be regularly undertaken ahead of an extreme outdoor adventure. Moreover, it is useful to train in preparation of a given set of conditions. For example, if training for a snowboarding holiday, it is worth running in the cold morning air – preferably on a hill or mountain – in order to condition the body effectively.

Likewise, dressing appropriately is key to enjoying a successful, fun and safe outdoor adventure activity. In the spring and summer months, it is important to focus on controlling body heat in order to avoid hyperthermia, which refers to a dangerously elevated body temperature that can be caused by heat stroke. Equally, in the colder months, hypothermia, which refers to a dangerously low body temperature, is a significant threat to hikers and mountain climbers who fail to dress appropriately. Base layers and insulating fully waterproof jackets are key to avoiding hypothermia, whilst summer outdoor adventure enthusiasts ought to wear clothing that helps to wick sweat away from the body. Furthermore, it is essential that certain outdoor adventure gear is brought along on any such trip. For example, mountain equipment may comprise protective and insulating down jackets, body warmers and trousers in addition to ski gloves and mittens, beanies, mountain tents, down bags and various communications and navigational equipment.