With 2020 just getting started and a whole year of exciting expeditions on the horizon, Sterling offers below his top 5 tips you should consider when venturing beyond your couch:
1) Do Your Homework
Before embarking on any journey, it is important to do your research. Read about the reviews and experiences of others, and utilize this information to create a plan. Make sure all your questions are answered before you go to ensure you are totally comfortable with what awaits you. Read up on where you are going and what you can expect, as being armed with such information can only improve your experience.
2) Set Boundaries
Everyone has a different comfort zone, and a big part of having a satisfying adventure is ensuring it is right for you. Really ask yourself what you are ready for, both physically and mentally. It is OK to challenge yourself, but don't ignore what you truly feel in your gut is not a good idea. Mentally prepare by taking some time to visualize yourself participating in the activity you want to try. If it feels too daunting or fills you with dread, it's OK to say no.
3) Pack For Success
The list of items you may need for your adventure will vary depending on the specifics, but for starters should include personal items that complement your adventure and correspond to the needs of your destination. I like to pack light, bring my own water bottle and pack extra socks. I also always travel with my passport, my phone and emergency cash and/or a way to access funds. In many outdoor adventure scenarios, it is also often smart to have a rain jacket, a headlamp, a compass and sun protection. A few days before your trip, make a master list of items you will need and keep it close at head to add to as ideas pop into your head.
4) Be Responsible
Being responsible while on an outdoor adventure means following the principles of Leave No Trace.This policy follows guidelines extrapolated from the latest insights of biologists and land managers, and includes disposing of waste properly, leaving what you find, minimizing campfire impacts, respecting wildlife and being considerate of others. Following these simple steps helps to ensure the integrity of natural areas, trails and parks.
5) Have Fun
It may seem like a simple concept, but it is important to remember to experience your outdoor adventure in a way that feels fulfilling to you. Perhaps that means keeping a journal, or completing a self-imposed photography challenge. Maybe instead you desire to conquer a physical goal, or set a milestone for yourself. Whatever it may be, enjoying both the journey and the feeling of accomplishment is an important aspect of any outdoor adventure, and goes a long way towards having fun.