Being a Beginner Outdoors

So I've figured out that I love the outdoors. Maybe you have too! I've taken the leap to learn as much as I possibly can about all outdoor activities (although, if you read further, I just broke one of my rules). That's how this blog was born! Maybe you've decided this is something that tickles your fancy too. Here's what you don't do: look at blogs/Instagram/Twitter endlessly and wish you were as great as these people and whoa I will never be able to do that and I don't have any of that gear so why am I even attempting this what if I hate camping after all and why can't I breathe anymore?

Writing this run-on sentence killed a little part of me, but was necessary to make a point.

People/bloggers/Instagrammers out there are GREAT. They can be fantastic sources of inspiration as well as information. It's perfect! But if you're a beginner to the outdoors, you're a beginner! And it's really easy to get caught in a comparison trap. But you have to start somewhere. Here's where I'm starting.

How to Be a Beginner Outdoors

Be Specific

After last week's post, I decided that if I'm ever going to get that big, grand adventure...I had better pick a big, grand adventure to shoot for! Spend some quality time with that journal of yours and figure out a goal that your heart wants to go after. There can be multiple goals if you want, but try to narrow it down. When you do this, it's easier to take actionable steps to accomplish said goals.

Take Classes

I actually have Outdoor Beginner to thank for lighting this fire under my butt. As soon as she mentioned taking classes at REI, I jetted over to their website to see what my local store offered. I'm signed up for bike maintenance (finally), lightweight backpacking, international adventure planning, and I'm debating signing up for a Backcountry Navigation course. So many classes! I also suggest signing up to be a member, especially if you will be frequenting there at all. It's awesome.

Talk Local

Okay, so I am aware that I just told you about the bazillion classes I am taking through REI. HOWEVER. If you can, I encourage you to Shop Local too! I am so lucky to have discovered Fireside Camp Supply. It's ridiculously convenient for me to visit, they have a rental service, tons of knowledge, AND s'mores nights. Come on. Can that get better?

Plus, it gives you a chance to find people in your area that like to do the same thing. If I can make a new friend, I'm down.


Goals are much easier more likely to be accomplished if you tell people about them! Maybe you'll even find a buddy to adventure with you or just borrow their stuff. If they're a pro in whatever activity you want to learn, all the better. If you don't have any friends that dig your new set of activities, try a site like Meetup! Depending on your area, there are a ton of outdoor-loving groups. (Thanks Katie Levy for inspiring me to try this one a while back!)


Outline baby adventures to achieve your grand adventure. And then make them happen! Reserve a camp site, procure your gear and friends and GO. This part is definitely shaping up to be the most fun for me.

Built in adventure buddy!

Built in adventure buddy!

What steps did you take when you were a beginner outdoors? If you're still a beginner, what steps are you taking?