I’m a classic lateral entrant as far as the topic of outdoor travel is concerned. Stumbled into it, found great pleasure on it and since then often “outdoory” on my travels without much appreciable knowledge about it. Honestly, I personally feel miles away from being a “true outdoorer” – but: my day may come. So if I do not just roaming some cities, I travel increasingly in an outdoor style. However, more and more my friends ask me, if I will sleep in a hotel, when I travel to a city. But more about this weird question a little bit later.
What does “outdoor travel” mean at all?
If you just take the word for itself – “Outdoor” – it is simply the opposite of “Indoor” and means “outside”. If you are referring to the overnight stay during a trip, for example, in the tent or in the nature without a tent, then one can use the term outdoor indeed for my way to travel. Whenever possible, I travel with a tent and try to avoid hotels, hostels or other “indoor sleeping places”. In addition, I prefer much more the “wild camping” instead of official caming places (which I only use, when I need electricity or a shower). And when it’s possible to sleep completey without a tent, just with your sleeping bag and mat, I personally prefer and like this way the most.
There are many reasons to go travelling with a tent or sleeping outdoors even without a tent. The reasons that are most relevant to me are:
- Independency: I come and go whenever I want and I don’t have to sign up anywhere, etc. #wildcamping
- Fresh air: as comfortable as a bed may be, nothing beats a night under a clear (stars) sky or at least with just a thin-walled tentplane around you.
- Money: those who always complains about a holiday costs a fortune, should simply try camping especially wild camping. This accommodation saves you a lot of money. 😉
However, the term “Outdoor” is much more often equated with remote nature and adventures in nature. Then it fits only partial to me. What also applies to me is the subject of outdoor activities. When it comes to outdoor sports, I love doing nearly everything – whatever it is. Hiking, mountain biking or even kayaking.
In the case of remote nature, it becomes a bit more difficult. Many days or even weeks in isolated nature, without any contact to other people, a supermarket or a snack or gas station, is challenging. And until now, I haven’t tried this kind of outdoor travel by my own (but planning is in process). For example, the logistical challence of a pure nature hike shouldn’t be underestimated. Considering that you have to carry (all by yourself) the complete camping equipment for sleeping (tent, sleeping bag and mat), for food (stove, pots/pans, gas for the stove), the food itself for several days (or weeks) and the personal stuff that you need, can quickly gets you to a point where you (as a solo-travelling woman without any essential outdoor experience) ask yourself “How the hell shall this work!?!” Concerning the topic of travelling alone, we will get to this in the next blog post.
My first touch with Outdoor Travelling
As a child I had absolutely no camping experience and I even didn’t had any camping or outdoor enthusiasts within my friends during my teenage years in Karlsruhe. Thus, I came into contact with this form of travel very late. The year 2009 was “my outdoor season”. In this year, for the first time in my life, I bought a sleeping bag with an isolation mat and slept in a tent for the first time. And I really enjoyed it. Shortly afterwards, I bought my first hiking boots together with my first “weatherproof” outdoor jacket. Having been equipped with these simple basics, I went to the Scottish Highlands in August 2009 with three of my friends from Freiberg for my first outdoor trip ever.
Ok, we had a rental car (so this is not the absolute maximum of outdoor experience), but we had backpacks, a tent, stove and stuff, and of course the hiking boots with us. We went on several hiking tours through the Scottish Highlands and the Isle of Skye. After my positive first “sleeping-in-a-tent” experience a bit earlier, I also liked it to leave the cities, going into the nature, hiking up on mountains and setting up the tent in the nature. I enjoyed this form of travelling and being in nature in comparison to the usual city trips, sightseeing tours and overnight stays in hotels.
Finally, I was infected with the outdoor virus.