How to Find Adventure in Your Backyard

How to Find Adventure in Your Backyard

When you’ve lived somewhere for long enough, it’s hard to find excitement in hiking the same mountains again and again, or biking the same trails week after week. If you don’t have the time or money for a far-flung adventures, try some of these tricks for finding excitement in an area you think you already know:

Buy Old Maps
Old maps are great because they frequently show trails or roads that have been abandoned. This is a good way to gain new perspective on an area you thought you knew really well – just because the trail isn’t maintained any more doesn’t mean it didn’t go somewhere interesting.

Get a Gazetteer or Atlas
When I moved out to Wyoming, my friend gave me a thick gazetteer of the state. At first, I thought the detailed maps were his way of expressing concern over my driving skills. He later explained that I could use the maps to learn the state: every weekend, I should pick a different page and then drive to that part of the state to explore. This is a quick way to end up on trails or roads that you didn’t realize were there.

Be Curious

Be Curious
I once met a man who canoed under a mall simply because he wondered where the stream went when it dipped out of sight. Because canoes and kayaks will float in only a few inches of water, they are a great way to explore. And unless you live in the desert, there are probably more waterways in your area than you realize. So find a stream and see where it goes!

Try a New Sport
Even though I grew up on a island, most of my adventures were on land. Until I tried kayaking. Now when I go home and paddle the coastline I get a new perspective on a place I thought I knew like the back of my hand. If you’re primarily an uphill person (climber or hiker), try your hand at a downhill sport (biking or skiing). Mastering a new skill not only opens up the options for where you can adventure, it also gives you a new challenge (and new gear).