Romantic ladies and fellas of the outdoors world, we all certainly salute you. Being outside can be incredibly sexy, what with the summer sun kissing skin and bleaching hair, or winter winds making cheeks rosy. When you’ve found your fling, you are probably pretty excited to take them on your first date, right? And, being that they’re outdoorsy too (lucky you!) it would probably impress them to do something active that will (hopefully) get them into some skimpy, form-fitting outfit… or at least allow you to show off some of your sick skills.
Unfortunately not all first dates are created equal. The point of the “outdoorsy first date” is to make them like you even more than they already do, right? Well unfortunately, some activities, though planned with the best of intentions, can really send a budding romance straight into the dirt. The good news is, you can and should avoid them. Not necessarily permanently, but maybe…just maybe, save these until you’ve gotten to know the person a little better.
Skydiving is awesome. When you planned this surprise first date, you were probably thinking ‘oh man, what a SICK idea. (S)he is going to think I’m so cool and exciting, not to mention mind-blowingly hot. Awesome.’ Look, I’m not here to rain on your parade, but surprising someone with skydiving isn’t always the best idea. Especially if you don’t know whether or not they actually even WANT to go skydiving. This is DEFINITELY something you want to talk about with them beforehand, if only to allow them time to get properly hyped about the experience.
No offense to spelunkers, but caving isn’t for anyone. It isn’t what everyone would call sexy, either. It is wet, dark, cool, and can be kind of creepy. Not to say that crawling through caves on all fours isn’t one of the coolest thing a person could do, but it isn’t necessarily the best place for romance to flourish. I’d save this one for a few dates in at least.
This is how this date generally starts.
Person A: “Oh, you like backpacking? No kidding, me too! We should totally go together sometime!”
Person B: “Uhh…okay that sounds cool I guess”
Personally, I love backpacking. But venturing into the woods with someone that you actually don’t know that well for a few days could lead to disaster. Not to mention, sleeping arrangements can go one of two ways: you either sleep in the same tent, or you don’t. And while in THEORY sharing a tent sounds awesome and sexy, the first date? That can definitely make you seem like an overeager creeper. Best to steer clear of this one.
Teaching someone to ski/snowboard
The results are in, and the verdict? Snowboarding is the most dangerous outdoor activity a person can do. How do we figure that? It is the sport that sends most folks to the emergency room. Skiing is in the same boat. And unless you are a ski/snowboard instructor by trade OR you have the patience of Gandhi, teaching someone how to carve it up can get pretty dull. So best case scenario, (s)he doesn’t end up in the emergency room, but you’re both freezing and pissed off at each other at the end of the day. Not the best odds.
Running a race
Working out together as a couple is a healthy thing. A little competitive spirit can be fun, too. But in a race, the point isn’t necessarily to stay together. It is actually to NOT stay together. Also, referring back to bad date #4, different skill levels in this activity can be hugely frustrating and anxiety inducing. Don’t think it is too hard to see why this might not be the best idea for a first date.
Cold weather camping
This is one of those ideas that may not even SOUND like a good idea, but let’s be clear. Cold weather camping might be one of the least sexy dates you can bring someone on, much less a first date. It can be a beautiful and wonderful experience to go cold weather camping, but first of all, not everyone even has the necessary equipment to do it properly. Second, cuddling is awesome, but huddling for warmth in necessity to survival? Not as awesome. Save those uncomfortable, runny nosed, icicle bearded adventures until you know the person a little bit better, and are completely confident that they would enjoy it.
Ocean Stand Up Paddle boarding
Put this first date into the category “painful and frustrating.” At first glance, stand up paddle boarding in the ocean sounds like a sweet challenge. You get your crush into a swimsuit (plus points) and you’re out on the water. Perfect. But wait… stand up paddle boarding in the ocean is actually completely different from your attempts on a calm lake. The waves make it incredibly hard to stand up, causing you to fall, a lot. It can be funny the first time, maybe even the first ten times…but after your skin turns red and starts to welt, remember I told you so.
Do I need to explain why bringing your date into the woods equipped with weapons may be a bad idea? Really? Okay. Well I’ll just put it this way—I can’t imagine much of anything less sexy than getting dressed up in camo gear, shooting an animal, and dragging its lifeless, smelly carcass back to your vehicle. And that’s ASSUMING your date is into hunting. You’d be better off taking them to minigolf.