How to be an Outsdoorman
March 13, 2006 12:35 PM   Subscribe

Whats a budding outdoorsmen like me supposed to do?

So I spent the first 23 years of my life in Raleigh, NC playing on my computer, watching TV, drinking and partying, socializing and basically being a pretty normal city boy.

However, 6 months ago I moved to the beach (Wilmington NC) and bought an awesome house right on the water. Suddenly I found myself canoeing out to the ocean, wanting to build things with my own bear hands, wanting to fish and camp etc. I've fried my own turkey and built a bonfire out of matches and driftwood on an uninhabited island, and I've loved it.

I'm a really social guy, so most things I can do I'd like to be able to take a friend along (although not everything).

I am hoping to build a list of great outdoors ideas I can start accomplishing, and I wanted to get some recommendations.
posted by ZackTM to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
A pig roast is a great excuse to get a bunch of people together. You'll get a lot of stares when you haul a 160lb carcass from the butcher/slaughterhouse and lots of teamwork getting the thing on a spit (if you're not doing it in a pit) and then comes the art of cutting up the roasted pig. Lots of lessons to be learned in that one.
posted by furtive at 12:43 PM on March 13, 2006

Hike the Appalachian Trail. This can be done alone, but preferably with some friends.

(who knows, your bear hand might come in handy there)
posted by caddis at 12:57 PM on March 13, 2006

You could learn to sail and take people out on your boat, the boat that you build yourself.

Also, how do you hold a hammer? Don't your claws get in the way? I kid, I kid, I am not one to pull the Eats, Shoots and Leaves stuff!
posted by Pollomacho at 1:03 PM on March 13, 2006

Find a hunter. Have him teach you.
Hunt wild hogs/feral pigs. (Non-native species)
Barbecue them. (Great idea, Furtive)
Have a doctor check out your bare hands and see if you can get some human ones off a corpse. Opposable thumbs rock!

Damn, caddis and pollomacho. Do take advantage of the AT. Even if it is only day hikes to begin with. The Appalachians are one of the most beautiful places in the States.
posted by Seamus at 1:04 PM on March 13, 2006

1. Join a climbing gym and plan on making it to some outdoor sites in the apps this summer with the people you meet there.
2. Take a sea kayaking class and go on some group trips.
3. White water rafting!!
4. Learn to ride a horse and hit the trails.
5. Plan weekend trips and send the itinerary to your friends via email- see who shows up. Usually you can get at least one or two other people to go.
6. Sierra Club hikes are usually fun, although crowded.
7. Volunteer for the local park or community group- this has the added bonus of taking you places you often wouldn't be able to get to: private land, wilderness areas etc.
posted by fshgrl at 1:07 PM on March 13, 2006

Buy a copy of the Boy Scouts of America Handbook. The older the better; the newer ones have a bunch of forgettable chapters about urban and surburban life.
posted by ikkyu2 at 2:41 PM on March 13, 2006

I've had some of my best outdoor experiences while hunting, and by hunting, I mainly mean taking a gun for a walk 99.9% of the time. Of course it wasn't the fact that I was hunting, it was where and when I was going out. If you are going on a hike, you look for a trail with something scenic on it (a waterfall or overlook) and go at a resonable hour. When hunting, you start before dawn and head out cross country, specifically heading to where you hope not to meet anyone else. And you spend a lot of time doing it. So I would substitute a camera for a gun, take friend, and see what sort of wildlife you can photograph. Just prepare yourself for lots of trips where you might not see anything.
Here is an example, I was hunting in Bear Trap canyon near Ted Turner's Flying D ranch. Bear Trap is a famous stretch of the Madison river in Montana, chock full of dayhikers and flyfishers in the daytime. I was walking along the river before sun rise, when I heard a strange grunting noise. I froze and looked around, and then saw an otter climb on to a rock about 15' out in the river. He looked right at me and grunted again. Then another climbed up, then another, then one with a fish in its mouth climbed up on another rock. They all looked at me and I at them for a while, then I continued on my way. A few hours later plenty of other people would be passing by that same spot and never see an otter.
Another idea, get a book like this one, and go out looking for interesting rock and gems.
posted by 445supermag at 3:28 PM on March 13, 2006

Rock climbing is the single best outdoor activity ever devised. Take it up if you live anywhere near a cliff.
posted by teece at 3:34 PM on March 13, 2006

"wanting to build things with my own bear hands"
I think you'll find it much easier with opposable thumbs, but suppose doing things the hard way can be more satisfying.
posted by crabintheocean at 3:44 PM on March 13, 2006

You could enter the Great Oudoor Fight. Your bear hands would give you a decisive advantage.
posted by insomnus at 6:44 PM on March 13, 2006

Join a mycological association and go mushroom hunting!
posted by oneirodynia at 8:47 PM on March 13, 2006

I am also a nerd turned outdoorsy type... so much so that I now own a tractor and am building my own house on 50 acres on top of the Niagara escarpment.

My suggestion: get four guys together, rent two canoes, and head off into Quetico (Canadian side or American side for ten days right at the beginning or end of the season (to miss the crowds and the bugs). Fucking amazing. We were the last canoe through the part two years ago. There is something, um, interesting, about knowing that if one of you breaks a leg, it is a two-day canoe-out for your buddies to fetch help... since there are no canoes behind you. Lying in your tent at night listening to bull moose charging each other in the nearby swamp... very cool.

And make sure to watch DELIVERANCE before you go.
posted by unSane at 9:04 PM on March 14, 2006

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