I didn’t grow up in a very outdoorsy family so, unsurprisingly, I wasn’t a very outdoorsy kid.
I remember doing the occasional short bushwalk with family and friends in my younger years, but then I also remember the poorly managed outdoor education camps in year 9 that could easily have put me off nature for life.
Fortunately, those early bushwalks must have planted a seed or something because now I can’t live without some kind of semi-regular outdoor adventure in my life. The problem is that, whether due to the aforementioned school camps or not, I’m acutely aware of the danger associated with many outdoor pursuits. Sometimes I have trouble shaking the fear.
If you’ve read Bushwalking Blog for a while, you’ll know how much I love hiking and geocaching. I’ve also been abseiling a handful of times. I went canyoning once, too. I’ve done the Canyon Swing at Shotover Canyon in New Zealand and tried my hand at skydiving, kayaking, caving, skiing and trail running. Getting past that fear feels amazing, but it’s still hanging around.
There’s no question that one of the reasons I’m so into hiking is the comparatively low chance of injury or death, but I’m still keen to conquer the fear, so I have a bit of a bucket list of other things I’d love to try.
I went skiing a couple of times as a kid, but not often enough to get very good at it. I did love the snow though and, since I was into skateboarding throughout my teen years, I’ve always thought snowboarding would feel more natural to me. On skis, I constantly felt on the edge of losing control, and the thought of plowing down a crowded slope is terrifying. Snowboarding doesn’t seem like it would be quite so bad.
It doesn’t help that a trip to the slopes is so expensive. One day, when I’ve got a bit more disposable income to play with, I’m intent on mastering them. Hopefully when I do, I’ll look more like this…
How fun does this look?
One of my mates got into mountain biking a few years ago and I was jealous, at times, of how much trail he was taking in on a day trip. The thing that really attracted me to mountain biking, though, was the thrill of these narrow downhill trails you see people ride.
When my mate started giving those a go, it was only a matter of weeks before he’d come off his bike and injured his knee. This led to an operation, and eventually a blood clot that left him sitting on the couch for way longer than I could bear.
That’s not to mention the danger of the wild animals…
Rock climbing (or better yet, ice climbing)
I’ve tried the indoor version a bunch of times and loved it, but I’ve always fantasised about rock climbing. Even more so about climbing a frozen waterfall. I was just about ready to give it a go until my most recent abseiling trip when I got spooked for some reason. Now I think it’s something I’ll have to work up to again with a few more indoor rock climbs. Something tells me I’ll never match this chick though…
And the more I watch this, the more likely I am to chicken out on the ice climbing…
A few years ago I watched a documentary called Miracle in the Storm, about a paraglider who narrowly escaped death in the Swiss Alps when she was stuck in a storm. Strangely, for some reason I’ve wanted to go paragliding ever since I watched it (no doubt this was helped along by the fact that she survived but, as the title suggests, that was nothing short of a miracle). My brain works in mysterious ways. I think the appeal is how completely you’re giving up control to nature. It must be an incredible feeling to be taken away by the wind.
When I think about how difficult it would be, I can’t imagine how people ever get this good…
If I ever get into it, I can definitely imagine myself doing something like this though…
Okay so not everything on my bucket list is potentially life threatening, although this little guy might disagree…
I have actually been fishing a handful of times. It’s just that this has usually involved sitting on Station Pier in Port Melbourne, swilling whiskey from a hip flask, and not catching any fish at all. My friend Matt has some more interesting tales to tell, about bush bashing through the lush valleys on the edge of Victoria’s Alpine National Park to fish for trout. That seems like a hell of a lot more fun.
I guess the other positive about fishing is the zen factor. I could sure go some zen right now.
This article is brought to you by Bushwalking Blog and MOTackle. If you decide on fishing for your next outdoor adventure, check out MOTackle for everything you need.
How do you enjoy the outdoors when you’re not hiking? If you have anything to say, please let us know by commenting below.