5 Ways to Find Outdoor Adventure in Cities
For the outdoor adventurer, urban spaces can be claustrophobic. We find ourselves craving fresh air, big open landscapes, and the sound of silence. But there’s a lot more to cities that first meets the eye, and outdoor adventure in cities isn’t completely out the question. Follow these tips to find the great outdoors in concrete jungles.
1. Use Google Maps
Google Maps is one of our best tools for finding outdoor adventure in cities – it’s a great starting point. This will allow you to find the right landscapes and open spaces for thrilling activities.
Take a look at your city on a map and zoom in and out to patches of green and blue. These large areas of green space and water are ideal for outdoor adventure, and they come in all shapes and sizes. You may well surprise yourself with what you can find even in the most urban, central parts of town.
Also take a look at smaller sections of waterways and canals and research what you’re allowed to do on them. Boating or kayaking down a canal will give you a fresh perspective on a city.
2. Change your routine
Variety is the spice of life. Mixing things up and finding new ways to discover is a top way to itch a need for the great outdoors when we’re in urban spaces. Perhaps you’re an avid walker and find yourself always strolling through parks, or a keen cyclist who hops on a bike to work every day.
It’s time to try something different. Look for an activity that’s completely new to you to open up different spaces in a city. The way a walker sees a city is completely unlike the way a wild swimmer sees a city – use that to your advantage. Try something different every week or month to keep you on your toes and completely entertained.
3. Find meet-up groups
There are plenty of people around us in a big city that crave outdoor adventure just like we do – find them. Having partners to go on mad trips with will not only gives you some company, but also motivates you to get out there and gives you someone to bounce new ideas off.
Search Facebook for local groups of hikers, kayakers, swimmers, climbers, and more. These groups exist to facilitate the bringing together of likeminded people with the same passions, so use them.
4. Look to the suburbs
It’s a given that it’s more difficult (although not impossible) to find outdoor spaces in the denser parts of a city. Take a look at your nearest subway or bus route, and think about the end of the line – what’s out’s there on the fringes of town?
Typically these parts of a city are more likely to be home to large parks or lakes, where adventures galore await you. Pick a stop that you’ve never got off at before and go exploring, with Google Maps in-hand, to see what you can find. When you come across something with potential, think about the ways in which you could use that space.
Seeking outdoor adventure in this way opens our eyes to new possibilities. Even if you find nothing suitable, you’ve at least had the experience of discovering a new part of home.
5. Be creative
To find new ways of discovering the outdoors in a city, we must push ourselves to be creative and look at spaces with a curious eye. To the expert adventurer, a park isn’t just a park and a canal isn’t just a canal.
Think creatively about how you can use that space and do your research into what you’re allowed to do there. Look for places where you can throw together a camp fire and toast marshmallows with friends one evening. Use a map to follow an urban river out to the suburbs and see where you can go and take a dip.
In cities, adventure is right there before us as long as we’re willing to make the effort to find it.
What would out add to this list of tips for outdoor adventure in cities?