Outdoor recreation involves any activity done outside, typically with the context of being done in nature. This refers to leisurely activities that are meant to provide you with a separation from your daily life to give benefits to the body as a means of physical activity, as well as for the mind and spirit as it is a time to disconnect and unwind.
Benefits of Outdoor Recreation
Outdoor recreation provides a plethora of benefits, including, but not limited to:
- Physical fitness – physical activity goes hand in hand with outdoor recreation, and if you do these activities with regularity, there will be long term benefits as your fitness improves.
- Relaxation – nature provides a peaceful, quiet setting to unwind and escape from your everyday stressors.
- Adventure – these activities can be stimulating, push your limits, and provides some fun.
- Personal enjoyment – If you appreciate the outdoors, outdoor recreation can bring your happiness as you can enjoy the historical and natural features of the world around you, such as the wildlife or plant life of your area.
- Appreciation of Nature – spending time outdoors encourages an appreciation of the world around you and stimulates a desire to better understand and care for nature. This is especially the case when exposing children to nature.
Land Based Activities
Camping is a great way to spend some time outdoors leisurely. This can be a night, or a few, and many campsites have walking/hiking trails that you can take advantage of. Make sure you have the gear you need. From personal experience, you need to have a tent, sleeping bags, firewood, water, good walking shoes, and food. Do some research on local campsites and make an educated decision on where you setup camp.
Walking your dog is a simple way to spend some time outside. You can run, walk, jog, etc. with your dog to get yourself, and your pup, some exercise. If you have a dog, you already need to let them outside so often to use the restroom, so take the opportunity to spend some longer time with your pet outside! You can even head to a local park to throw a ball around for some added fun.
Photography is a creative way to get outside! There is no need to spend a ton of money on a camera, especially if you are starting out, use your phone to snap some shots! If you find that this is an activity you want to pursue, consider investing in a camera then. You can combine photography with any of these activities, snap some shots on a walk, or on a hike, while kayaking, etc.
Rock climbing is another option. Pictured right is what you’re going to find locally, and you can typically partake in this for a small charge. Rock climbing pictured left takes some training, but with experience, can be a rewarding activity.
Skateboarding is a simple way to get outdoors. All you need is a skateboard and some safety gear, and you can pick it up! Be sure not to omit knee pads, especially if you are just starting out.
Geocaching is a completely free outdoor activity. If you are not familiar, it is essentially an outdoor scavenger hunt where you locate the geocaches. Inside them, there will be various things those before you left behind. Bring a small item with you to leave in the geocache!
Trails are another free way to get outdoors. Pictured left to right is hiking, nature, and bike trails. Various state parks, national parks, and other trails are located across Georgia for you to take advantage of. Be sure to be aware of the hours of the parks if that is where you will be heading to because many of them will close at 5pm.
High ropes courses are an exciting, thrilling way to spend some time outdoors. Many of them have a zipline as well if you are interested in that feature. There is typically a fee to do so, so plan accordingly and enjoy your day! Many ropes courses have other activities on site as well.
Bird watching is another fee activity that you can do just about anywhere. Binoculars are typically used but are not necessary. You can bird watch at a local lake, on a trail, in your backyard, literally anywhere.
Archery is a spot you can pick up if you are interested in it! Equipment can be rented or bought, just be careful of your surroundings as the arrows are sharp. Do so in an open area where no other individuals are in your shooting range and practice your target skills!
Paintball and laser tag are other outdoor activities that are great for those that are competitive. You do typically have to pay for these activities, but if you are willing to do so, they can provide enjoyment for all involved!
Running is free and is another activity you can do just about anywhere. You can do so in your neighborhood, on a trail, down the road, anywhere.
Horseback riding is an activity great for those that love horses. You can typically do this at local farms, or other locations like stables that offer it. Find a place you are interested in, and they will usually have the gear you need as well as someone that will assist you in the learning process.
Kite flying is a low-cost activity that you can do with friends and family. Find an open space and let it fly!
Sports are one of the most widely known form of outdoor recreation. Football, baseball, tennis, soccer, basketball, and lacrosse are all pictured here and are not even all of your options. All you need is the equipment! There are many free recreation centers that will have fields or nets, and you can even do these activities in your backyard.
Water Based Activities
Swimming is a free way to get some exercise in. Spend a day at the lake, or head to a local pool to clock some swim time in. In most cases, this is free.
Canoeing and kayaking are great options for those that love to be on the water. If you don’t have your own equipment, you can rent your gear. You can do this on a lake, on a slow-moving river, or at the beach. This is my personal favorite!
Rowing goes hand in hand with the previous but is opened to any type of boat that you need to paddle. This can be done alone, or in groups, to get some great upper body exercise in. Again, if you don’t have the equipment, you can rent it for a small cost.
Floating and rafting are river options. Floating down a river is extremely inexpensive, as you can get a sturdy float from Walmart for around $10. Rafting is another option for faster-moving rivers, but be sure to stay safe and have protective gear as things can get shaky on rapid portions.
Fishing is a widely used form of outdoor recreation. Whether you’re on a boat or on a pier, or somewhere else, this is a great way to get some alone time or get some family time in your day.
Boating is another option, and you can spend a day on a lake with a boat rental so long as you understand how to drive it. Paddle boats are a cheaper alternative, and are another option to get in some rowing and leisurely activity with your family.
Boat activities include tubing and water skiing. Both have a rope attachment to the boat that allows you to be pulled behind it. Many boat rentals can include materials for either of these activities, so if you are interested, inquire!
Active Outdoors, My Cool Blog, Georgia.gov, and Visit Coastal Georgia and other websites have more information on outdoor recreation that you should check out if you are interested. We hope this article has inspired your next outdoor activity! Leave us a comment with your favorite option on this list, or a different option we did not cover.