Here's the second part of the other outdoor activities.
7. Go Camping
Bust out your camping gear and go spend the night outside. Lots of campgrounds require payment to stay there, but did you know that you can camp for free in any National Forest in the US?
Also, there is absolutely nothing wrong with camping out in your backyard. Build a fire, roast some marshmallows and enjoy the outdoors for an evening while you relax away from technology.
8. Go Caving
Have you ever gone underground and explored a cave?
It really is out of this world.
It may not be outside, but it is natural, fun, and can be free if you know where to go. Through college, I was a member of the VPI Cave Club, the oldest club at Virginia Tech and also the gateway and access point to all of the cool caves in the area. All the caves were available to go into for free if you just knew the right people. They would even loan gear to you for free.
Spelunking clubs and caving is a fun way to expose you and your kids to a whole new world that you didn’t know existed. If you have never been before, you really should go with a guide because it can be very dangerous getting lost inside.
The National Speleological Society lists all local cave clubs, known as grottos, and also provides lots more information on caving safety and responsibility.
Have fun and get muddy!
9. Climb a tree
What kid doesn’t want to climb a tree?
I mean really. The most fun thing you probably did in your backyard growing up was climb the biggest tree in it!
But really, it is okay to climb trees. It is not overly dangerous as long as you are careful. Find a big sturdy tree and start climbing. Always keep in mind how you plan to get back down while you are headed up. It usually is more difficult to go down than it is up (safely anyway).
If you are worried about letting your kid climb that tree, you can go up first to make sure it is safe.
There are many types of trees out there. Some better than others for climbing. My personal favorite to climb was the Eastern White Pine which lined my yard growing up. It grows in layers of limbs that are about 3-4′ apart making it perfect for climbing.
10. Go sit in nature
Go outside and find a quiet place away from the traffic, away from technology, away from it all and let your mind wander. Enjoying nature is a beautiful thing.
You can listen to the sounds of the forest, desert, mountains, streams, wherever you may be and use them to help you relax.
Open your eyes and watch the animals as they start to move around you again after you are still. When you first sit down they may not come out, but if you remain there for awhile, they will forget about you and continue with their lives. When this happens, you have become part of nature. Enjoy.
11. Watch a sunrise
Get up early, ugh!…
I hate getting up early, but rising and getting outside in time to watch the sunrise, and possibly even photograph the sunrise is a wonderful experience.
Dress warmly for even in the summer time it may be cool in the early morning as you wait for the sun to rise.
Find a good spot to watch it. Remember the sun rises in the East and sets in the West (more or less). You can use tools like the Photographers Ephemeris to help you to determine the best spots to watch a sunrise if you have never been there before.
12. Watch a sunset
This is one is pretty much the same as watching the sunrise, but this time you don’t have to get up early or stay up late (unless of course, you live way up North in the summertime).
Watching the sunset is always fun. Check out the clouds as time rolls towards sunset and you can tell whether it is going to be a good one or not. You are looking for intermittent rolling high clouds that really help to spread the color across the sky.
A perfectly clear day doesn’t make for that good of sunsets. You need some interspersed clouds to really set it off.
An absolute classic date should include watching the sunset from some romantic spot.
13. Climb a mountain
Have you ever driven past a mountain and wondered what the view was from the top?
Just stop and go for a hike up it and check it out. Hiking is normally about following the trail, but on smaller mountains, there is no need. Just head on over and up you go.
Once again just make sure you are not trespassing on someone’s land while you do. As long as there are no obvious signs you are not trespassing until someone tells you that it is their land.
Be a good steward of nature and no one should mind. Basically, leave no trace.
Leave nothing but footprints. Take nothing but photos. ~Anonymous
14. Go free climbing
Mountains are fun to walk up to the top, but what if they are steeper and covered in rocks?
This is when it becomes free climbing as opposed to just hiking up a mountain. The difference between free climbing and normal rock climbing is the absence of ropes, harnesses, and gear.
It’s just you and the mountain.
It is a blast to head up the mountain and climb up a rock face towards the peak.
Like climbing a tree, always make sure you keep in mind how you are planning on getting down from these dizzying heights and if you ever feel uncomfortable, you should turn back.
If you are careful free climbing can be an excellent way to explore a mountain and gain a new perspective that most never get to experience. It takes you away from the hoards of people and gets you in the backcountry to experience nature in all of its glory.
Enjoy and be careful.
15. Go rock climbing
Now, for those of you that are a little less daring when it comes to climbing without ropes, you can always climb with ropes.
No doubt this is an expensive sport full of specialized equipment, but you may have it already and all it takes is being in the right place. Like so many other activities the sky is the limit on the amount of money you can spend, but you do not have to spend any to start.
Go out with friends that have the gear or with a club on a free trial to get a taste of rock climbing and see if you enjoy it.
Never feel guilty about using all the free trials that are out there for the taking. If you use them all you will never have to pay for anything (though you may spend all your time looking for free trials…).
Many rock climbing gyms will give you one or 2 free weeks of membership to test out the gym. This can be an excellent way to try something new and have a good time without spending money.
I hope you are able to get some ideas for activities to participate in or do outside for free.
Get out there and enjoy!
What is your favorite (free)outdoor activity? Let me know in the comments.