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We’ve been locked up in our homes enough lately trying to avoid exposure to the coronavirus. Spring is soon approaching and it’s time to make some plans to get outside, get some fresh air, and make some new memories.
When you get outside in nature, you consume more oxygen, which releases serotonin in your brain and allows your body to function using less effort. Plus, research shows that spending time outside can improve your blood pressure, digestion, and immunity. This means that when you spend time in nature, you’ll gain some serious health benefits from the fresh air that’s (hopefully) free from pollutants and full of oxygen.
If you’re looking for a new hobby that will keep you in the habit of going outside, we’ve rounded up 25 ideas here of outdoor activities that you can do on a regular basis. Read on to find the activity that suits you the best.
25 Outdoor Hobbies to Have Fun Adventures Outside
If you’re stuck inside all week while at work, hiking can be an especially helpful hobby to help build resilience against your confinement. Put your technology aside and get out into nature to gain the benefits of connecting with the outdoors.
Hiking has so many benefits including the pleasant sights, sounds, and smells of nature, plus you’ll get a good cardio workout. Walking on uneven ground can work muscles that you don’t typically use, which will help improve your balance. And, according to WebMd, hiking up even a small hill will increase your heart rate to help you burn more calories–just a 5% incline will give you a 30% boost in calorie burn.
2. Host Outdoor Movie Nights
Since the beginning of the coronavirus, my neighbor has hosted outdoor movie nights/football days every weekend for his family and friends. This is a great way to get outside while also socializing at a safe distance. Plus, watching a movie under the stars is always something you will remember.
By planning nighttime activities outside, you can make the most of your time outside, especially during those hot summer days. Set out individual chairs or grab a few big sheets, some drinks, and some popcorn to give your loved ones a unique summer screening experience.
Resource: This blog post will show you how to host outdoor movie nights in your backyard.
3. Go Camping
Camping is a great way to get some exercise while also getting a chance to stop and relax in the great outdoors. (It's also one of the most popular family hobbies.) There are lots of benefits of camping, such as:
Going camping lets you get exercise in a new environment, far from your everyday running route or designated elliptical at the gym. Plus, no two camping trips will ever be the same, so this hobby will never get boring.
While you may think that sleeping in a tent might be rough, a study conducted by the University of Colorado found that quite the opposite is true. Spending a few nights sleeping under the stars is all you need to reset your body's internal clock, which can help you sleep more soundly if you find that you’re constantly tired during the day.
Resource: Here is a beginner’s guide for your first camping trip.
4. Join a Sports League
If there’s a sport that you particularly love to play but you never have a team to play with, find a league in your area–or start one yourself! Joining a sports league is a great way to enjoy friendly competition, get some exercise, make new friends, and add something new to your routine.
As an adult, recreational sports leagues involve some competition, but they involve an equal amount of socializing and having fun. Socializing happens both on the field and off, as many go off to a local bar after games to recap the great plays of the night.
The types of leagues you will find will vary depending on where you live. Larger cities will offer more of a variety than smaller towns, but no matter what you can find, socializing while getting some exercise is the perfect combination.
Resource: Plug your zip code into this website to find a sports league near you.
If you’re into nature, gardens, and helping the environment, beekeeping is a perfect hobby. As you’ve probably heard, the bee population is declining at unprecedented rates. This is mainly due to loss of habitat because of human development. Research shows that developed land doesn’t provide the foraging and nesting sites that pollinators need to survive, and because of this, hobby beekeeping is growing in popularity.
To provide community pollination in your area, foster honeybees on your property. Not only will you have a great story to tell, you will also be helping the environment and benefitting from hive by-products such as honey and beeswax. To help your bees thrive, plant a garden that will attract bees and generate a large population.
In turn, your bees will boost the health of your garden by offering pollination. What’s more, bees can pollinate up to five miles away from their colony–so you really will be helping your entire community.
Resource: This video will show you how to start your own beehive.
6. Take Your Kitchen Outside
Looking past your everyday grill, portable kitchen gadgets are increasing in popularity, diversifying outdoor cooking from your usual burgers and hotdogs. You don’t need to build an entire outdoor kitchen (although you can, if you want) to be able to make some of your favorite foods outside while spending time with your family or entertaining guests.
You can make an alfresco culinary experience with the space you have now. And think about how easy clean-up will be, plus you’ll avoid lingering food smells in your kitchen!
Resource: Here are 8 new ways you can cook outside.
7. White Water Rafting
If you’re looking for a great outdoor adventure, look no further than white water rafting. Aside from the exercise you will get as you’re paddling with all of your effort to avoid going down the wrong path, you’ll also be working your muscles as you’re continually maintaining your balance in your raft.
In addition to the exercise you will get, you’ll have a blast doing this adrenaline-pumping activity as you fly through the air and crash into waves. And during those few calm moments, you’ll have a chance to enjoy the wildlife around you, the wide array of vegetation and plant life, the scenery, and time spent with loved ones.
Resource: Here are some tips to know before hitting the water for the first time.
Your outdoor hobbies don’t have to be limited to when the sun is out. Astronomy is a science that anyone can do, even if you have no experience yet. This sublime activity is both enjoyable and inspirational, as you look out into the galaxy and think about all of the mysteries that are out there.
Grab a blanket or a chair on a starry night and find a comfortable spot where you can sit for a while and just look up. There is a low barrier to entry for this hobby because you really don’t need any special equipment aside from your eyes to get started.
Once you learn your way around the sky, you can get some binoculars or a telescope to find stars that are more distant. What’s more, it doesn’t matter where you are in the world–there’s always something up there to see!
Resource: Here is a guide to get you started with stargazing.
9. Build Something
Depending on where you live and what the season is, you can create your own adventure by building something with your friends or family. Whether the conditions are right to build a snowman, a sandcastle, or a treehouse, you can always find something to build outside.
If you want to build something practical, create a unique bookcase or bench that you can use in your home. Or, you can build a planter box to go in your backyard to start your own little garden. This is a fun activity to get your kids involved in too, especially with the growing popularity of STEM education, which focuses on teaching creativity, innovation, problem-solving, critical thinking, and collaboration, which are a few of many skills required for success.
Photography is a great hobby to pick up that you can really take with you anywhere you go. There are endless things to photograph in the great outdoors, so this hobby can even be used in conjunction with another one on this list.
Exploring new places in your area to take unique pictures is a great way to get outside and discover your city. Turn your focus away from your everyday problems and concentrate on getting that perfect picture of a freshly blooming flower or your child’s hair blowing in the wind.
Plus, getting behind the lens can give you a sense of confidence as you use your imagination to document your journey through life. Spending this time being creative will benefit your physical health, and you’ll end up with beautiful end products that you can display in your home.
Resource: Here is a beginner’s guide to photography.
There are so many benefits to going fishing, from absorbing the vitamin D from the sun to getting a full body workout. That’s right–while fishing may seem like a sedentary hobby at first glance, it actually provides you with a low-impact cardio workout that can be as intense or laid back as you want. As you’re using your upper body strength to reel in tonight’s dinner or balancing while you’re standing on the boat in the wavy waters–you’re definitely giving your body some unique exercise.
Being out on the water also helps reduce stress as you breathe in the oxygen-rich air and enjoy the scenery. And after spending a day refreshing your mind and body on the water, hopefully you’ll be able to enjoy the fruit of your labor by cooking up a fresh fish dinner. Fresh fish is full of essential vitamins and minerals, from omega 3 fatty acids (which are good for everything) to vitamin B12, to pure protein.
However– this hobby is definitely more about the process than the end result, so don’t worry if you come up short. The joy you will get from baiting your hooks, practicing your casting skills, and feeling light tugs on your pole are all worth it in the end.
Resource: Check out this beginner’s guide to fishing.
This freeing hobby offers a great excuse to get outdoors and experience an adventure. Sailing is exciting, relaxing, and challenging all in one, and you can enjoy it with friends and family as you create life-long memories.
It’s not too tough to learn the basics of sailing, and there is always more to learn once you get the hang of it. It’s a great hobby to take up to keep your mind active. And, while it can be expensive, it doesn’t have to be if you have a place where you can rent boats to take out for the day.
Resource: Check out this step-by-step beginner’s guide for sailing.
Geocaching is the modern day treasure hunt, with an app to go along with it. This outdoor hobby will take you on an adventure through your city to find “caches” in places that are marked by GPS coordinates. All you need to get started is a membership and maybe some comfortable shoes.
Once you enter your zip code into the “Hide & Seek a Cache” page on the website, you can pick the cache that you’re going to go after and then go find it! Once found, add your name to the logbook and put it back where you found it. Then share your adventures with fellow cachers!
You can also leave your own caches for others to find! Just get a waterproof (and weatherproof) container and put a small treasure in it. Add a logbook and a pen and mark the coordinates on the website. Check on it every few weeks to see who has found it!
Resource: Here is your complete guide to geocaching.
14. Go to the Dog Park
If you have a dog, locate your nearest dog park or dog-walking group and become a regular! This will allow both you and your furry friend to get some exercise and some socialization into your day. This is also a great bonding activity to do with your pet, especially if you’re separated all day due to long working hours.
Dog parks offer a safe space for you to exercise your dog, and watch him play freely. These unique parks can facilitate socialization among a variety of dog breeds and allow adolescent dogs to expend the energy that they’ve built up during the day.
Resource: Here is a link to help you find dog walk meetups near you.
15. Go to Live Music Festivals
If you enjoy listening to live music when the weather is nice, make a hobby out of searching for and attending live concerts and music festivals. You will probably find some local talent who is looking to share their craft along with some bigger-named bands who are touring the country.
People travel far and wide to attend music festivals too, which is sure to be an adventure. Grab a few friends and go in on this hobby and experience together–as music is a unique tool that really customizes the human experience. And, when people from all different backgrounds come together to appreciate this artform together, it is an occurrence that’s unlike anything else.
16. Keep Free-Range Chickens
As urban areas grow in density, food deserts start to grow, leaving people miles away from having access to fresh food. Rather than having to take the trip, people are looking to their own yards to obtain the nutrition they need for their families. And with a chicken coop, you can definitely create some memories with your new project and all there is to learn about maintaining your nesting box.
The low cost of baby chickens quickly offsets the high cost of eggs. While chickens take responsibility and care to stay healthy and continue to provide you with vitamins and minerals, many people enjoy taking care of their chickens and watching them through their life cycle.
Resource: This is a great beginner’s book for raising chickens in your yard.
You don’t have to be training for a race to run outdoors on a regular basis. This is a great hobby for people of all fitness levels, as you can go at your own pace and you can decide how long you’re going to hit the pavement. Plus, you’ll get major health benefits from this hobby–both mentally and physically.
Many people who have taken up running as a hobby claim to have really dreaded this activity at first, so if you think you’re “not a runner”–you’re not alone. But after getting into it, you may find running to be a stress-relieving activity that could also relieve your body of some extra pounds.
Whether you choose to run alone or you want to join a group to make it more of a social hobby, the activity will definitely give you a break from your everyday life while also keeping your body in shape. Plus– the barrier to entry for this hobby is extremely low–all you need is a good pair of shoes!
If you love the wild (and possibly think the end is near, and who’d blame you with all the post-apocalyptic books, TV shows, and movies?), bushcraft could be just the outdoor hobby for your adventuresome self.
Learning and practicing bushcraft (also called wilderness skills) is all about living in the wild and remote country (aka the bush). You know exactly how to best use what’s out there in nature to protect and sustain yourself.
While bushcraft isn’t the same as survival (though the two overlap to some extent), you’ll be prepared for emergency situations so you can stay alive and get yourself back to civilization.
When you attend bushcraft classes, you’ll learn how to meet your basic physiological needs for shelter, warmth, protection, food, and water while out in the wilderness. Loving hiking, camping, fishing, or hunting will give you an edge when you try bushcraft.
Resource: Unleash your inner Bear Gryllis, and take a class in bushcraft to get started. Various classes are on offer, depending on the company. You can learn basic bushcraft, advanced bushcraft, blacksmithing, camp cooking, identifying wild edibles and medicine, and more.
Spelunking sounds like such an awesome word, and it’s also known as caving (or potholing if you live in the UK). Caving is a real hobby where you explore wild cave systems.
Curiosity is the number one driver for why hobbyists like to go caving, and another main reason is the sense of adventure and excitement that accompanies it.
When you go spelunking, you need to:
Resource: This “What You Need to Know About Spelunking” guide from the Travel Channel will help get you started. Also consider signing up for a caving class to see what spelunking is all about.
20. Outdoor Yoga
When you think of yoga, you may picture a serene indoor setting with an instructor and fellow students. Or you may just think you can do yoga in the inner sanctuary that is your home. But imagine all the benefits of yoga and practicing it out in nature you can gain…
You can practice outdoor yoga anywhere: in your garden, in the local park, on top of a mountain, or even on a rooftop with panoramic views of the city. This can also be a solo activity, done with your family or close friends, or in a class setting.
Most often, outdoor yoga takes place early in the morning so you have a good start to your day, or you can rise earlier and catch the sunrise as you do a warrior, triangle, tree, or standing bow pose.
Resource: To get started with outdoor yoga as you breathe in the fresh air and feel the sun on your skin, first read these best tips for practicing yoga outdoors.
Find your inner Robin Hood and take up archery as your outdoor hobby of choice. When you practice archery, you use a bow (a recurve bow, compound bow, barebow, longbow, flat bow, horse bow, or crossbow) and shoot arrows at a target.
Besides deciding what kind of bow you want to use for your archery hobby, you can also choose between various archery sports:
To excel at this hobby, you need patience, concentration, determination, coordination, balance, endurance, strength, flexibility, and agility.
22. Horse Riding
If you love animals, getting into horse riding is highly rewarding. It can be relaxing or competitive, depending on what you are into and how well you ride.
You can buy a horse and take care of it and ride, or you can opt to go for riding lessons at your local equestrian center.
To start, sign up for some lessons, read about horseback riding, watch some YouTube videos, and choose comfortable and appropriate clothes. You’ll need horse riding tights, a T-shirt, boots with a one-inch heel, and a helmet.
You can also prioritize your safety and invest or borrow an air vest. Later on, you can buy your own saddle, bridle, halter, saddle pad, and whatever else you need for your specific riding discipline.
Once you start riding a horse, you’ll learn that there are many disciplines you can enjoy. There’s hacking, trail riding, endurance riding, dressage, hunting and jumping, eventing, reining, combined driving, vaulting, rodeo riding, cross-country riding, and a few more.
Resource: If you are ready to learn how to ride a horse and want to know more, check out US Equestrian’s “Start Riding” video and get the information you need as a newbie horse rider.
Whether you are looking for a chilled or adventure-filled outdoor hobby, kayaking will suit your needs.
When you kayak, you need a kayak to take you over a moving body of water (such as a lake or river), a paddle, a bilge pump, a coast guard-approved personal flotation device (PFD), and proper clothing. You can also take snacks, a first aid kit, sunglasses, lip balm, sunscreen, drinking water, and a signaling whistle in a dry (waterproof) bag.
If you don’t want to buy your own kayak and some of the gear, you can rent what you need and take a few classes to learn the ins and outs of kayaking, such as the different types of strokes so you can navigate on the body of water, and how to use skegs and rudders.
24. Flying Drones
If you’ve always wanted to control something high up in the sky but piloting isn’t right for you, then flying drones is an excellent outdoor hobby. The best thing of all is that you have various types of drones to experiment with, and from there, you can see which one(s) best suit your needs and preferences.
To start your drone hobby, you will need to buy a drone, learn drone terminology, learn the rules, get your Remote Pilot Certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), register your drone, and start practicing.
Resource: Check out all the information from the FAA on how to register your drone, learn about the rules (such as where you can fly), how to get your Remote Pilot Certificate, and more.
If you want an outdoor hobby that will make you fit and push you to your limits, then climbing is it. When you climb, you use your hands, feet, and other body parts to climb or ascend a boulder, wall, or mountain.
You can start your training indoors to get comfortable scaling a vertical object, or you can sign up for some lessons and see what outdoor climbing is all about.
You’ll also have to choose what kind of climbing you’d like to do, or you can experiment with two or three different climbing disciplines and see what works for you. There’s:
The gear you’ll need depends on what kind of climbing you do. In general, you may need a harness, ropes, climbing shoes, chalk, a helmet, a carabiner, and a belay device.
Resource: Ready to learn what you can about rock climbing before you head out? Check out this Condé Nast Traveler “How to Get Started with Rock Climbing” guide with info on the types of climbing, the gear you’ll need, venues for climbing, and how to stop feeling nervous.
Final Thoughts on Adventurous Outdoor Hobbies
Spending time outside will improve your mood while giving you an opportunity to get some exercise and sunlight. Your outdoor hobbies can get physical while also exercising your brain.
Being actively engaged and experiencing adventures outside is a powerful way to contribute to your overall health and well being. So pick one or two of these hobbies to start with as the weather begins to turn and enjoy spending the time becoming one with nature.
Lastly, if you're in need of a little more inspiration to start an outdoor hobby, check out these songs about going on an adventure.
Connie Mathers is a professional editor and freelance writer. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing and a Master’s Degree in Social Work. When she is not writing, Connie is either spending time with her daughter and two dogs, running, or working at her full-time job as a social worker in Richmond, VA.