Fun Summer Outdoor Activities With Friends

 

Summer is Fast Approaching

Summer is fast approaching and you’ll get as much sun as possible in these 3 months so what better way to have fun, be healthy and celebrate with your friends? Try and find the best fun summer outdoor recreational activities.

I did some research and list some of the top fun outdoor activities you can do either as a beginner or just overall goofing around with friends and family.

It should also be noted that all ages, gender can participate in the activities listed here and if you’re working inside a cubicle then you need to go and spend some rest and recreation during the summer to avoid burnouts.

Also an article over at metroparks which states the Importance of Leisure & Recreation for Health.

It has several advantages such as physical benefits as well as mental health improvements.

“Taking part in recreational activities, especially outdoors, can greatly improve physical health. People who take part in-park activities such as walking, hiking, or skiing, schedule fewer office visits, maintain lower body fat percentages, and have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.”

This list is now way in any order just because it’s been stated first doesn’t mean it’s the best recreational activity out there, of course, some of these are based on my biased and what I think should be tried.

Geocaching

Geocaching is one famous recreational activity first played on May 3, 2000, in Beavercreek, Oregon.

Participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) or mobile devices to either hide or seek containers often referred to as “geocaches” or simply “caches” hidden at a specific location using coordinates.

Players looking for specific caches that look like small waterproof containers, once located the geocacher signs using it’s unique code and dates it in order to validate and prove they have found the cache.

Afterwhich geocachers return it at the exact location where they have found it.

Though it is not totally limited to small caches, there are times where geocachers use plastic containers to store items or trinkets.

Items found inside varies but it is worth noting that they are of sentimental worth rather than monetary but generally it contains a logbook a pen or pencil.

It should also be considered that there are certain laws and regulations for the placement of caches. The Virginia Department of Transportation and the Wildlife Management Agency, for example, forbids cache placements in any land that is under the agency.

Some towns and cities only allow caching in recreational areas with little to no restrictions but some require permits.

When playing the game you should consider safety in placement or hiding of cache not only for you but also for the other players. Because in 2009 a 79-year-old man fell to his death in Dishman Hills Geocaching.

GeoCaching

Notice the stylized spelling?

A variation of the game is called GeoCaching, though almost the same, the main difference is that it is an urban game but has specific time limitations and hints.

This urban game is part of the Encounter Project. It is an international network of urban games.

Scavenger Hunt

Another famous outdoor recreational activity is called the scavenger hunt, it is also considered as a party game in which the organizers write down a list of specific items for them to seek out and gather.

Easter egg hunt is one example of a scavenger hunt.

Camping

Camping is one of those famous outdoor recreational activity that has been gaining popularity in recent years.

According to google trends during the summer it peaks around 100 interest and dips down to 26 around December time, highly expected as people spend time with their families and of course it’s Christmas.

If you’ve been living in the city you’re entire life chances are you want to escape maybe on the weekend and experience the serenity, calmness in the wilderness surrounded by friends, drinking beer in a fire pit.

Surrounded by friends, cooking over a fire, talking about anything and stargazing, given the weather cooperates then you have a recipe for a very good time.

Once in awhile everybody should go camping just to detox.

According to USCAmpgrounds, there are 13,000 public campgrounds in the entire US and Canada.  USCAmpgrounds.info has the most comprehensive guide to local campgrounds.

There is an interactive campground map you can use to locate specific camping site you want to go to.

Things to bring when camping.

Tent

Types Of Tents and How To Choose One

There’s a whole lot of different tents available and you have to consider the tent to purchase for your camping experience.

Most tents are built to handle different seasons, from heavy rain and light snow.

3 Season Tents

If your backpacking over the weekend then I would suggest a 3 season tent since those are constructed with lightweight materials and offer good breathability and airflow and of course protection from the unpredictable weather and bugs.

You should also consider how easily these tents can be set up.

You have to look at which environment your going to use a particular tent before deciding which one to purchase.

4 Season Tents

This particular tent is designed for extreme weather, keeping them safe from intense winds, frigid temperatures, and heavy snow.

If you don’t see yourself camping over snow and frigid weathers then just get yourself a 3 season tent.

Cooking utensils & First Aid.

A reliable camping stove, lighting, and kitchen utensils round up the accessories needed for a superb camping experience.

And in case of emergency, a proper first aid kit should be brought in as well, it’s better to have and not need it, rather than need it and not have it.

Backpacking

Another great outdoor recreational activity is backpacking. According to Wikipedia backpacking involves carrying one’s gear in a backpack, while hiking for more than a day.

What is carried depends on backpackers to backpacker but mostly it is the essentials such as, food, water, clothing and cooking kit. Weight management is also important for backpackers, therefore, lightweight gear selection is of the utmost importance.

Unlike camping, backpackers may or may not end up camping, but some places have simple log cabins spread across the area.

If you’re seeking out adventure and checking out the sight backpacking through the wilderness might be for you.

Types of Equipment Needed

Backpacking gears begins with an adequate backpack and since weight management always comes into mind when selecting the proper Equipment, compact and lightweight gears should be considered.

Backpack

For this gear, you have to consider whether this is a quick hike or are you going to stay for a week, or maybe even longer.

Proper backpack selection is crucial in order for you to carry all necessities like food, a cooking kit, and first aid.

According to the website thebrokebackpacker.com, these are the factors you have to consider when picking the best hiking backpack.

  • Comfort
  • Cost
  • Weight
  • Durability
  • Frame
  • Volume
  • Material
  • The Cool Factor

Spot on is the comfort, since your walking for hours and hours it helps that the backpack not only looks good but feels good as well.

Cost is something you have to decide for yourself if you’re serious with backpacking then spending more will yield you a better backpack overall. Cost equals Better in this case and it helps that a quality backpack doesn’t come cheap.

Waterproof

Most backpacks today are designed to be tough and durable but you should also find something that is water-resistant to protect your stuff from sudden heavy rains.

Volume

The general rule for this one and it’s quite simple, go with a small backpack. The explanation is that, if you’re going to be using large backpack chances are you will fill it up with things you will likely not use.

The key here is being economical, pack only the essentials, that is why it’s called essentials because their presence is necessary to your backpacking. Things like food, first aid, water, and cooking kit and not to mention It makes you more mobile carrying light backpacks.

Hiking Stick/Walking Stick

Another optional gear for backpackers are hiking sticks, pick one that is lightweight and collapsible.

Water Bottle

A steady, clean water source is just as important to any backpacker, as dehydration is just as lethal on a person as it can be.

A reasonably sized water container one that can be carried or hang on your backpack is a good choice, you have to consider that the bigger the water bottle the heavier it will be.

Hard plastic and metal water container offer a more rigid structure, it’s orientation is not an issue as long as it’s properly sealed and you can be sure water would spill over.

You can choose between water bottles, hydration bladders, you should stay away with soft bottles and it doesn’t have the rigidity vs hard plastic or metal water bottles.

The hydration bladder is a different thing but you have to consider that you will have to wear pretty much like a backpack, and wearing double backpack it pretty uncomfortable if you ask me.

Food

Food is something you have to decide for yourself since each person has a different palate, for quick munching consider getting some protein bars, look for something that has natural ingredients, calorie pack and of course one that tastes good.

Table Tennis

Table tennis is another recreational activity that you can play both indoors and out, there are also several clubs across the United States where you can play and test your skills with experienced players.

If you’re a beginner seek out clubs that welcome novice players, put in proper time to practice and make friends with fellow club members.

Though you will have to learn basic terminology like, what is a let? Or the mercy rule in table tennis.

Table Tennis Paddles

Don’t forget to bring your own equipment when playing with others, it’s better to have a number of paddles on hand, you can purchase a pair of rackets online, it’s doesn’t matter what you get, whether professional level or not, though the professional level paddle will cost you more so it’s up to you.

But you can be sure of the quality of these expensive paddles and may last you years versus buying the cheap kinds.

Table Tennis Balls

For this one, you can buy heaps online too, there will be several packs that have 100s of it, just be careful and avoid stepping on them or that ball will be of no good.

Basketball

This one is a personal favorite of mine, basketball has been on a steady rise these last couple of years because of stars like Lebron James and Steph Curry.

The best thing about basketball is anybody can pick it up, though not all will be good but fun especially if played with a couple of friends.

In America, there are numerous basketball courts scattered throughout the neighborhood and you can bet that there will be someone playing, adults or kids, male or female, it doesn’t matter as everyone can play.

You can play 1 on 1, 3 on 3 or 5 on 5, you can play it both indoor and outdoor, with varying rules in between.

Ball

There is not that much variation in terms of what type of basketball you’re looking to purchase, there are replica NBA basketball, official game ball, but regardless of what you purchased you can use it both indoor and outdoor.

The two main difference between indoor and outdoor ball is that the indoor game ball is constructed using leather to maximize grip and the outdoor game ball is made for more durability (rubber).

Basketball Hoop

If you want to practice your shots in the backyard you can get yourself with one of those portable basketball hoops which can be easily set up.

Biking

Biking needs no introduction as most of us is fairly familiar with it, do you remember back when we’re kids, the pleasure of learning how to ride a bike is second to none, from starting with balance wheels to taking one to eventually riding with no assistance.

Though some of us learn the hard way we learned nonetheless save for some minor scratches and bruises that are all part of our childhood.

Now we can take it a step further, from biking through the woods to tackling downhills, the sport of biking grew in popularity these past years.

From BMX riding, mountain biking to just a casual stroll anyone can enjoy this timeless outdoor recreational activity, the most fun with friends of course.

Proper bike selection is also important for a more enjoyable experience, choose from mountain bikes, road bikes.

Mountain Bikes

Mountain bikes are designed to be used off-road, they are constructed more rigidly than ordinary bikes to sustain hard use, though they are similar to other bikes but with additional features for durability.

Road Bikes

You have to ask if you’re new to biking about road bikes, in general terms all bikes can be ridden on the road, but road bikes are specifically designed to be driven on paved roads, they are often referred to as race bikes.

Safety Gears

You should never disregard wearing safety gear when riding your bike, whether on-road or off-road.

Trail Running

Trail running is another outdoor recreational activity, it consists of running on uneven terrain or any unpaved surface, it is a combination of hiking and running.

It normally starts in a good trail and which progresses to much more difficult terrains but ultimately the trails themselves are easy to follow though it will involve a little bit of navigation, the majority of the paths consist of ascending trails.

In terms of popularity, trail running races grew by 1,000% from 2008 to 2018, from 160 to 1800 worldwide.

Trail Running Shoes

Compare to ordinary road running shoes, trail running shoes are constructed differently, it has to be more rigid than ordinary running shoes to sustain the user through harsh uneven terrain.

So that concludes my list of fun summer outdoor activies you can do with friends, did I miss anything? I do hope not.

This list was very fun writing and I hope to make another one in the future. I will include new outdoor activities that we need to try, basically, I’ve tried most of what is on the list. The most fun, of course, is Basketball but the most challenging is trail running which if you’re not fit will be brutal.

I hope you had fun reading the article as much I’ve had fun writing it.

Photo by Alexis Antoine on Unsplash