Do you love outdoor activities that push you to the limit and give you a hefty adrenalin rush? If you responded ‘yes’ to these two questions, a sedate round or two of golf probably won’t cut it.
To help you find the outdoor activities that get your blood pumping we’ve rounded up seven that will appeal to your adventurous spirit.
Paragliding is one of the rawest and purest forms of flight. Using a glider aircraft that looks like a giant parachute, the pilot sits in a harness suspended by a large, rounded fabric wing.
There’s no engine, so the pilot launches the paraglider by running to get lift. The curve in the wing allows a skilled pilot to glide over great distances and reach high altitudes. Steering is done by pulling handles located next to each shoulder.
Without a doubt, paragliding is one of the most adrenaline-inducing activities. The best part about it is that you don't have to learn how to pilot the craft yourself. There are plenty of paragliding professionals all over the world that take passengers on tandem flights. This means you get to experience the incredible views and rush of flying at any time.
2. Snow Trekking
If you want to push your hiking activities to the next level, you need to try snow trekking. The Himalayas are the perfect spot for this, although there are many other destinations around the world that have challenging trekking routes too. Exactly what it sounds like, snow trekking is extreme hiking.
You’ll trek across high altitudes, through rivers and valleys, and over mountains. Often trekking involves camping overnight en route, and you may have to climb sections using climbing equipment too.
Not for the faint-hearted, snow trekking is an adventure that requires grit, endurance, and a certain level of fitness. If there are sections on a route that requires you to climb, you may need some rock climbing experience too.
3. Rock Climbing
Getting to the top of a sheetrock face, mountainside or summit is an incredible feeling. Rock climbing is right up there with one of the best adventure activities, but it’s also one of the toughest. Scaling a cliff is something that takes time, practice and extreme strength. Whether you’re tackling a section of the Himalayas or an indoor climbing wall, you’ll use every muscle in your body to get you to the top.
There are also different types of rock climbing that you can try. The main types are:
- Mountaineering - Climbing mountain ranges in all conditions (the most dangerous type of climbing)
- Traditional (Trad) - Climbing using protective gear and ropes (can be over very short distances)
- Sport - Using permanent anchors in the rockface or wall to climb
- Top Rope - Using a belay rope and harness, a climber is kept safe on the way down (or up)
- Bouldering - Climbing up and over large rocks with no protective gear or ropes
- Free Solo - Using no protective gear a climber relies solely on their strength to get up or down
As you can see, each offers a slightly different challenge, so you can pick or choose what works best for you.
4. Ice Climbing
Just like snow trekking takes hiking to the next level, ice climbing takes mountain climbing up a notch. You’ll need all the same skills for mountain climbing, but you’ll be scaling new heights in extreme cold and on very icy slippery surfaces.
Ice climbing involves climbing up frozen waterfalls and glaciers, and these can vary in height from a few meters to several hundred. Ice climbing varies around the world depending on the terrain and the climate. There are also different types of ice - hard ice, soft ice and plastic ice, all of which require different techniques.
Utilizing crampons attached to boots for secure foot placements and ice axes or ice picks for secure hand placements, you’ll climb up the ice, kicking and swinging away on inclines that can vary from 50° all the way to overhanging.
5. White Water River Rafting
White water river rafting is an awesome way to explore rivers and tackle rapids of varying classes. But river rafting shouldn’t be confused with canoeing, kayaking, or rowing. It’s a far more intense activity than your average paddle and it requires nerves of steel to navigate waterways that have sudden drops, fierce currents, and unexpected obstacles.
Whitewater rafting in Rishikesh is an adventure junkies' dream come true as the river Ganga has rapids ranging from class 1 to class 5. This makes it ideal for beginners who can tackle the gentler class 1 and 2 rapids, while those with more experience can take on the higher class waterways.
If freefalling from an aeroplane sounds like fun, then skydiving is for you. It’s an epic adventure sport as it gives your body a sensory overload and a huge adrenaline rush.
Usually, skydivers jump from about 4 000m (or 12 500ft) with 40 to 50 seconds of freefall time. Lengthier free fall times can be achieved by exiting an aircraft at altitudes much higher than 4,000m. However, this requires pressurized oxygen in the aircraft and bottled oxygen for the jumpers.
Like paragliding, you don’t need to learn how to skydive. Tandem jumps are popular with adventure seekers and you’ll find diving companies that offer these in many parts of the world.
If you’re looking for an adventurous getaway, why not swap ice and snow for sun and sand? First originating in Egypt, sandboarding is like snowboarding, but on enormous dunes instead.
The challenging part of sandboarding is the initial push, as it’s much harder to get yourself going on sand than it is on snow. Once you’ve got your momentum your ride may be fairly short, but the ride to the bottom will be an adventure. You can pick up a lot of speed in a short time, and it gives you a real rush.
Dune Seven in Namibia is a popular spot for sandboarding, but you can try this activity anywhere you find a vast expanse of dunes. The desert is your playground. The best part about sandboarding is that dunes shift and change all the time, so you’ll find new routes to explore on a regular basis.
There you have it! Our top seven activities to satisfy your inner adventure junkie. If you like a little adrenaline rush while exploring the world, why not give our ideas a try?