So you moved to a major urban center like New York City and worry that you will now only be able to experience natural places through your dirtbag friends’ Instagram feeds. As a city-dweller, accessing the great outdoors isn’t impossible; you just need a few good hacks.
Here are eleven tips to help urbanites get outside.
Tip 1: The Hydration Bladder Space Saver
No place to hang out wet hydration packs to dry? Throw them in the bottom of your freezer to stop bacteria from growing and save closet space.
Tip 2: Use public transit to find the open road
Check out your city’s rules regarding bicycles on public transit. In New York, you can buy a $5 bike pass (no expiration) to trains that go from the center of Manhattan to over 60 miles north of the city. That means more exploring and less traffic.
Tip 3: Decorate your walls with your favorite maps
Cartography is trendy these days, so store your maps on the wall. Your new art will serve as a daily reminder you need to plan another trip, plus the dirt and rain damage will give your new decoration a “vintage” look.
Tip 4: Create your own bus route
Do some research on bus route options in your area. While it’s relatively easy to get a bus driver to drop you off at an unplanned stop when you’re already on the bus, it’s trickier getting a pickup that afternoon (or the next day after camping out). Bring a smile (and maybe a six pack) on the way to the trailhead. Chances are he’ll be doing the route again the next day and if you ask nicely he’ll make an extra stop on his ride back to town tomorrow. Get there early, wave him down, and bam: you have your own camping chauffeur.
Tip 5: Get comfortable in your slippers
Are you really supposed to carpet your entire apartment? That sounds expensive. Grab your down slippers and your downstairs neighbor will never know you spent your money on a new rope instead.
Tip 6: Invest in a multi-use helmet
You have limited space and a lot of gear. Next time you’re purchasing a helmet look for one that will cover you for more than one of your sports.
Tip 7: Make your bike multi-purpose
Speaking of multi-use, invest in a bike that fits your city-self and outdoorsy alter ego. Forget the fixie. Use your mountain bike to slay local potholes during the week and single-track on the weekends.
Tip 8: Concrete training
What cities lack in rugged summits they make up for with stairs. Finally, make working in midtown worth it and use your office security key to access the building on weekends. Follow the emergency exit signs to the stairs, lace up your running shoes and push your VO2 max. Plus, if it’s a newfangled LEED building you can hit the stairs before work and be showered and ready to go before the boss gets in.
Tip 9: Get into the hospitality game
You live in a city so you probably pay a hefty amount of rent. Why not use some of that for your next trip? Sign up with Airbnb and have a fellow adventurer stay in your pad and help finance your whitewater trip.
Tip 10: Stuff your boat under your bed
Foldable kayaks & canoes mean easy access to the water. Unpack, unfold, inflate, and paddle. You can even find a put-in accessible by public transit and paddle back.
Tip 11: The corporate outing
Nonchalantly float the idea of kayaking or climbing as a great team building experience to HR. Next thing you know, your company will be paying you to hang out the crag.
If you live in New York City and love the outdoors, be sure to check out Outdoorfest, May 30-June 8, 2014.