Summer is the perfect time to experiment with new outdoor adventures. But we can’t all train for a triathlon or ride an ocean wave out our door. There is life—and it comes with some limits.
To discover and trial a new activity often requires something akin to an “easy button.” So, without further ado, here are three summertime adventures that anybody can try—without an advanced degree in athletics.
Standup paddling: This hugely popular outdoor water sport—one of the fastest growing in the world—is making waves because of its low barrier to entry. If you can swim—and stand up—you can probably SUP. There are an increasing number of lakes and flat-water sites where you can rent a board and paddle to give it a try for a day. If you’re up for SUP long-term, purchase a convenient, packable inflatable board to take with you on all your summer treks.
Downhill mountain biking: Mountain bike parks are proliferating around the country—and for good reason. They rank high on the adrenaline scale, but require low endurance training. For example, a ski-area lift can send you to the summit for a screaming downhill ride, or a shuttle van can assist you in skipping a nasty climb to the goods. Don some body pads and helmet, and pick some beginner downhill terrain to get your legs under you first. Then increase your speed with your confidence.
Car camping: This isn’t strapping a hulking pack to your back and traipsing into the woods. That’s backpacking. This is stuffing your car with a tent (owned or borrowed) and some basic camping utensils—and hitting the road. You can call ahead to book a tent site at a lake, mountain or beach campground along the way, or you can wing it by asking around about free dispersed camping options. That’s about as easy as adventure gets.