You have the itch to explore, but how do you start?
It's surprisingly hard to just go on an adventure if you don't know how. Here are some ideas that might help.
Go With Friends
The laughter that accompanies recollecting past trips together seems to prove this point. So, who's a good fit for your adventure?
Hard Workers: You want to find people who are going to work their butts off in the planning stages and who let loose around a wilderness campfire. These people communicate well and train for the demands of your adventure.
Patient People: Adventures often require long drives and patience. I've grown to treasure the long silences, choruses of laughter, and backseat raves. You want to go with people who make boring moments feel special.
Constructive Contributors: You're going to need people who are confident enough to voice their concerns but keep their complaints to themselves. When my friend Billy and I go climbing, any potential mistakes and dangers are communicated, but the minor cuts, blisters, and burns only get seconds of attention from our first aid kit.
Buy a Map
Actually, you're going to need to buy much more than the map. The idea is that every adventure needs an investment and a plan.
For example, if you're going backpacking, get a backpack that fits you. It's totally fine to borrow gear, but understand and research what you're borrowing.
Creating a good plan is at the core of every successful trip. If you don't plan, you'll still have a great time, however, you may lose the opportunity to do what you wanted. Here are some things you may want to figure out before leaving your home: schedule, where you'll sleep, gear lists, and transportation.
It's not uncommon for many experienced hikers to spend 10 hours planning a 5 day backpacking trip, so don't worry if your first plan takes a little longer.
Roll With the Punches
The plan is important because it prepares you for the minimum demands of the trip, but the adventure starts when the plan ends.
The simplest way to roll with the punches is attitude. When things go wrong (especially in dangerous situations), it's easy to second guess your strengths and to stop working together. Talk to your team about your concerns, then get to business. Listen humbly and speak carefully.
When things are just dandy, you can take advantage of the special things around you. It's not every day that you have the opportunity to nap in a field of wildflowers or plunge into that icy lake.
Adventures aren't all high-fives and fist-bumps. It's work at home and humility in the elements. I often have "I want to quit" moments during long climbs and hard hikes, but, as my friend Milo tells me, "crawl into your pain cave." Adapt to the pain and push through.
Because the challenges are worth it. Because the early morning summit views and hot coffee around a fire are worth it. Because the adventure is worth it.