When you think of hobbies, knitting, puzzle solving and collecting may come to mind. But try thinking outside the box—or better yet, think outside the house. Opt for an action-packed hobby like hunting, whitewater rafting, or climbing to pass the time. Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a full-time adventure seeker, these hobbies will satisfy your yearning for the outdoors.
Join more than 13 million hunters by picking up the sport of hunting as your next pastime. From outings in the desert to excursions in the deep woods, hunting offers plenty of unique opportunities to explore the outdoor world around you.
There are plenty of reasons to hunt. It’s good for the environment by helping to control wildlife population, and American hunters contribute to the economy through the purchase of gear, goods, and travel costs. The U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife reports that hunters contribute $200 million each year to support wildlife conservation across America. Hunting is also a sustainable way to attain natural foods that are totally unprocessed.
Before you take to the mountains, be sure to complete a state-specific online hunter education course. You’ll learn the basics of hunting and firearm safety, all from the comfort of your own home.
Adrenaline junkies and thrill seekers will love soaring through roaring rapids in an inflatable raft. Whitewater rafting became popular in the 1980s, and today men and women enjoy this activity as a way to get out and connect with nature.
There’s no shortage of pristine locations in the U.S. to enjoy whitewater rafting. From the Colorado River in Arizona to West Virginia’s Gauley River, there are numerous destinations to explore across the country.
If you’re thinking about taking up whitewater rafting as your next hobby, you’ll need gear like helmets, life vests, navigation, a raft, and oars for your trip. Before you set out on your own adventure and try to paddle through class six rapids, it’s recommended to attempt whitewater rafting with a touring agency in your area. These tours can teach you proper paddle signals and prepare you for obstacles like strainers, waves, and sweepers.
Rappelling & Climbing
Known as the most dangerous part of climbing, rappelling is a hobby that agile hikers and climbers can pick up to test their limits and explore the outdoors.
Get familiar with specific climbing techniques and test your body’s limits by visiting a local climbing gym. Climbing gyms are the perfect venue to learn new skills and try your hand at climbing and rappelling in a controlled environment. Remember to bring a friend along with you on your adventure. This person will be your belayer and holds the rope as you rappel down.
The outdoor retailer REI offers an outdoor rappelling and climbing course that teaches students the necessary skills for a successful climbing adventure. Take advantage of lessons from a professional, which can prepare you for the skills you’ll need to safely navigate such a dangerous, yet thrilling sport.