There are so many outdoor adventure companies just waiting to suck the money out of you. What you need to know, is exactly how to pick which one is right for you. Choosing an activity that actually fits your personality can save you from a complete day of agony. It might even lead to new friends. Here are aspects to consider when deciding between activities.
1. What season is it?
If it is winter, your mountain activity must include snow. Your options are automatically narrowed to snowshoeing, skiing, or snowmobiling. Summer brings much warmer options such as rock climbing, hiking, biking, festivals and so much more. Choose the season and your opportunities are endless.
2. How good of shape are you in?
Let us be honest with ourselves, being realistic about how in shape we are is never more important than in the mountains. Do you really want to crash through Class Five rapids backwards on a raft your first time? Knowing your own strength will keep you from making terrible decisions. There are always easier hikes, smoother rapids, and fewer hands on activities to try even in the mountains. Analyze your ability and cater the activity to your specific needs, not the person who is teaching you.
3. Have you ever spent any time at higher elevations?
For every thousand feet in elevation change above 5,500 feet, your body requires a day of acclimation. A first trip above this elevation can cause unfortunate affects in the body. Treat your first trip with care. In other words, if you plan to go backpacking, make sure you have planned a sufficient amount of time to adjust to the altitude changes. Drink plenty of water before your trip starts and this will alleviate most of the side affects upon arriving.
4. Are you looking to explore or revel in the local culture?
The mountains are full of scenic views, unique towns, and history. Choose first if you prefer to explore by foot or by vehicle. After this decision is made, you can narrow down your options. Picking to backpack across the mountainside may be very daunting and call for a lot of preparation. However, you will be exploring land that you would never see by car. If a vehicle is more your fancy, you will still have spectacular views and get to know the rugged folks who thrive in the villages throughout the mountains. A welcome into the culture of the locals’ lives is in store for your driving adventure.
5. Is your goal to make local friends?
Festivals are very common in mountain towns, especially the smaller ones. They celebrate the culture of the people with naked bike races, bluegrass festivals, or markets dedicated to the local farms of the region. These are the kind of festivities locals thrive for and are among the best ways to become acquaintances with the natives. Everyone is obviously out to socialize and willing to share their passions with strangers. It will give you a chance to breath in the culture and decide if what you are looking for is some strenuous activity.
6. What daily activities do you enjoy?
What you mainly want to consider is how much strenuous activity you actually enjoy. If you are the type of person that enjoys a challenge, you may enjoy rock climbing, mountain biking, or backpacking. If strenuous activity and fun do not coincide, a round of yoga on the mountainside or a relaxing afternoon of fishing may be more your cup of tea. Pick something you would be proud to write to your friends about, but not something that would cause you too much physical pain. You actually want to enjoy your trip.
The mountains are an enthralling place. They drag millions of people in every year, but the activities are why the locals live there. Partaking in one or more of them is a true way to learn the culture. Whether you pick a guide to show you the ropes or befriend a local that is an expert in his trait, you will not be disappointed by the amount of both physically demanding and simply picturesque opportunities of any mountain range you visit.
Are you a mountain girl? What’s your favorite outdoor activity?