Outdoor Diary: Here’s 2 Types of Help for Going Outside

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Humans Outside outdoor diary woman and kid skiing

Just because nature is right outside your front door doesn’t mean everything you want to do in it must be done alone or leaning only on your own experience and knowledge. There’s a world of people out there who want to assist you if you just ask them. That can be a hard mindset for Amy, who likes to do things on her own. But asking for a little help has made her outdoor time much better than it was when she was trying to fly solo. In this episode she talks about two easy ways you can get help with heading outside.

Some of the good stuff:

[:45] Amy’s solo mindset

[1:15] Why asking for help can make outdoor time better

[2:15] The first kind of outdoor help

[3:59] A second type of help

[5:00] Help from the Humans Outside 365 Challenge

Connect with this episode:

Here’s an edited transcript of this installment of Amy’s Outdoor Diary. Listen to the episode on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or wherever you find your favorite podcasts.

I’m a do it on my own, figure it out by myself kind of girl. Self-taught. Self-made. I don’t need help to learn how to do something, right? I can figure it out, or I can’t. And if it’s something I don’t want to figure out, or don’t think I can or should figure out, I hire someone to do it. It’s why I don’t fix my own plumbing, install my own gutters or fix my own car. These are things that are not in my personal wheelhouse.

And that’s that attitude I brought to my outside time back in 2017 when I first started figuring out how to become an outdoor lover through my 20 minutes a day. After all, it’s just nature right? How hard can it be? Anything I wanted to do out there, I should be able to figure out for myself.

With more than four years under my belt, I now call that attitude “doing stuff the hard way.” Yeah, I probably can figure out almost anything for myself. And there are plenty – PLENTY – of things that do not require or even hint at needing any help whatsoever.

And then there’s everything else.

But what if by simply asking for help you could expand your outdoor horizons? What if you could eliminate some of the fear factor of taking big risks or trying new things simply by using the lived experience of those around you and, as a result, discover all sorts of wonderful new things about being outside?

As it turns out, community and leaning on other humans is just as much a part of having a great outdoor experience as using nature to spend time solo is. I’ve made a practice of asking people for help heading into nature or doing things outside. And I want to challenge you to do the same and see what happens.

Getting help with outdoor stuff can fall into two categories, and you should think about using both as needed.

The first is, in my view, the best because it builds that community I mentioned above, which is a life-enriching experience for everyone. And it is simply asking. No matter what outdoor thing you want to do, someone in your region is an enthusiast who cannot wait to share their knowledge with you. Want to start a garden? You likely have a master gardener or farm extension office nearby, and those folks are just waiting to tell you their best tips. Looking for trail advice? Local Facebook pages abound with tips and tricks on the best nearby parks, trails, hikes and even playgrounds. Can’t decide what the best gear might be for your area? Those same types of pages are a wealth of advice if you just ask. Looking to try a new sport? Try searching for a local nonprofit club where enthusiasts gather. Here where I live we have clubs for anything you can imagine from skiing, cycling, snow machining or snowmobiling, canoeing, hiking and so much more. Live near an REI? They offer free classes on gear, backpacking, staying safe in wildlife country and so much more. If you attend one you might meet other people who are into the same things and, bam, now you have new outdoor-minded friends.

And guess what? By listening to Humans Outside you’re already taking part in asking for help, even if it’s passive. You’re open to learning and hearing more about heading into nature and how to do it because you’re here listening. And I’m so glad you are.

The next method is actually hiring help. This could look like paying for a local class or workshop, a typically inexpensive way to gain some supplies and pay back into your community. I’ll be learning more about foraging this year by taking an inexpensive local class so I can learn about what to eat in the woods and not poisoning myself with mushrooms. It could look like booking a few lessons in whatever sport you’re trying. My local nonprofit ski club offers $15 lessons and let me tell you how worth it THAT was. I could’ve spend my life trying to figure out a skill an instructor showed me in two or three hours this winter. And finally you could hire a guide for a big adventure. This is the priciest option, but if it’s a big skill with a lot of pricey equipment that you aren’t sure you want to spend a lot of time doing in the future but DO want to try, this might be worth it. Guides are great for whitewater rafting, waterskiing, ice and rock climbing outside, deep sea fishing and so many other things, for example. You don’t want to buy a river raft or major fishing tackle, but you might want to try that stuff once.

Another way to get simple help outside is to sign up for the Humans Outside 365 Challenge. I still have all levels of the Challenge marked down right now, with sign-ups starting at $19.95 for the Ground level. That price is going away really soon, and it gives you tips, tricks, insight, a challenge tracker, a downloadable guide, monthly help written by me just for challenge participants *and* an exclusive finisher decal. You can find all the information about that at HumansOutside.com. That’s less than $2 a month for help making a one-year, life changing outdoor challenge happen for you just like it did for me.

And if you want a little bit more, a little more motivation, the Mountain and Sky levels include some really great swag, and are also marked down with prices increasing soon. For $39 you get the Mountain level with everything included in the Ground level PLUS a really cool, full color custom Humans Outside finisher medal that you can have to remind you of what you just did. Ive got mine hanging in my office so I can see it every day. Pretty soon that price will increase to $45. I even mail it in a package specially marked for you to open it after your year.

And the top level tier, the most in it to win it tier, is the Sky level. Right now that’s marked down from $69 to $52, and it includes that exclusive help and finisher decal just like the Ground level, that finisher medal just like the Mountain level AND a Humans Outside decal and the softest neck gaiter or buff I’ve ever had, with the Humans Outside logo. It’s perfect to keep your hair back, ears covered on a chilly day, around your neck, around your wrist, or whatever else you use buffs for. Mine have cleaned up spills, dried hands on the trail, warmed my neck or ears, kept my hair at bay, soaked up sweat, sat twisted around my wrist to take care of a dripping nose, you name it. But that $52 price is going away, just like the others, so if you want this stuff you should get it now.

No matter what kind of help you get with going outside — whether it be from your community, from this podcast, from a guide or from the Humans Outside Challenge — I hope it enriches your outdoor time just like it has mine.

Speaking of outdoor time, if you want to see photos of mine, you can do so by visiting HumansOutside on Facebook or Instagram. And of course share your time, too, by tagging me with #humansoutside365. Until next time, we’ll see you out there.

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