Camping: Pick your Sport

By Shelby Kisgen

Camping is considered a leisure sport because if all you want to do is eat and sleep outside that is perfectly acceptable. If you want more rousing entertainment, it is a good idea to pair camping with other outdoor activities. This provides more comradery and memories than just simply sitting outside a tent for hours on end. The list provided is a simple guide to picking a camping-oriented sport based upon your personal preferences.


Is your favorite part of camping the scenic view driving to the campsite? Do you enjoy long walks, full of silence one moment and rousing conversation the next? Does the thought of walking off some of those hot dogs sound appealing? Then the sport for you is Hiking. The best part about hiking is that it is done at your own pace, at your own skill level. If you want to leisurely stroll the trails with little effort, a meandering walk is perfectly fine. If you want to stride out early and reach the summit by sunrise to view the most extravagant landscape of your life, go for it. Hiking is good for all ages and all fitness levels. Take your time or push yourself, it does not matter, just enjoy the journey.


Do you enjoy hiking but find yourself feeling unenthused about the pace? Do you want to build stamina and cardiovascular endurance? Do you want to strengthen your tendons and ligaments and feel adrenaline coursing through your blood as you fly down the mountain? Then maybe you should try Trail Running. Be cautious about pace and distance when you first begin trail running. The woods or meadows are invigorating and you might find the euphoria pushing you to greater speeds. That is great and useful for training, but beware that you do not get injured. The rocky terrain can lead to rolled ankles and the gopher holes to a sprain. Make sure that your mind is whirring as fast as your legs and you will be fine. You might also need to adjust your stride: that long-gaited paved road lope is too regimented for trail running. The key to safe trail running technique is quick, short, light-footed steps. This length of stride allows for inevitable adjustments for tree roots and crevices not found on sidewalks.


Do you enjoy silence? Do you enjoy being near or on calm, peaceful waters? Is patience one of your best attributes? If so, give Fishing a try. As you bait and cast hook after hook, a sense of tranquility will steal over you. The challenge of finding the next best fishing hole or the perfect lure for a specific type of fish will keep the thrill in this relaxing sport. If you want to invest in a boat or fancy rods, you will see a big return in the quality of fish you catch. If you want to save money and just enjoy nature, any ole’ rod and hook can snag you a hungry blue gill. Fishing is as exciting and expensive as you want it to be; so go ahead, get a bite!


Does adrenaline fuel your life? Do friends describe you as reckless or adventurous? Do heights invigorate rather than terrify you? Are you a speed demon? If yes, Mountain Biking might be the sport for you. Full of hops and jumps, legs pumping up hills and flying down the other side, mountain biking is literally full of thrills and spills. Please protect that pretty head with a helmet. There are a plethora of trails ranging in difficulty, so start small and as your confidence builds, so can the difficulty.


Are you into adrenaline but not the best biker? Do you have great upper and lower body strength? Or do you want to build it? If so, try Rock Climbing. This is for those who want a hobby with a partner or group of people. The more the merrier and safer. The people on the ground hold the ropes as you climb higher than you ever expected.


Do you love the water but can’t imagine hurting a little fish? Are you not patient enough to wait for a bite at the end of the line but dream of spending the day on lake? Try Kayaking. It can be as relaxing or exhilarating as you wish; just pick a river to suit your personal speed. Head to the white-water after loads of practice or stick to the lakes for a tranquil float. Kayaking is fun in any body of water and affordable after the first investment of the initial raft.

This list encompasses the most popular outdoor sports people participate in while camping: hiking, trail running, fishing, mountain biking, rock climbing, and kayaking. There are loads of resources to get started in any of these popular sports so pick your favorite, research them, and give them a try!