What to choose for your next sports adventure

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ice climb waterfall
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Tips to choose next sports adventure

The great outdoors is yours to explore. No more daydreaming about rafting through the Grand Canyon or waking up on top of a mountain snug in a sleeping bag, cradling a cup of coffee. It's time to take action.

Make the best list ever

This is an occasion for breaking out your travel bucket list or starting one if you havenít already. Take a few minutes and add all outdoor adventure activities Ė rock climbing, mountain biking, surfing Ė as well as destinations - New Zealand, Hawaii, Portugal - that come to mind. There are no wrong answers when it's time to choose next sports adventure.

Donít worry about making any decisions while in this dreamy stage of possibilities. For a few minutes, forget about budget and logistics. If you could go anywhere and do anything right now what would it be?

Use the bucket list as a guide

Now itís time to factor in real life limitations. This is the not fun part, but it must be done. What will result from this process is a planned sports adventure you can actually enjoy in the near future.

You donít need to win the lottery to choose next sports adventure and have the trip of a lifetime. Before narrowing down the possibilities, itís worth checking discount travel sites. Who knows? If thereís a deal on trips to Iceland, you could be volcano boarding in a few weeks.

Money and time are the main limitations for many would-be full time adrenaline junkies. That doesnít render the bucket list irrelevant. While you save money for that trek across New Zealand, research budget-friendly versions of these ideas.

Adventure awaits

Accessible adventures that belong on your radar include canyoneering and skiing in Utah, mountain climbing, ice climbing waterfalls or hiking through Glacier National Park in the Pacific Northwest. The following activities are packed with adrenaline and guarantee stunning views.

Ice climbing

Ice climbers use axes and special equipment to ascend frozen waterfalls. Part of the thrill comes from the sheer joy of climbing a temporary formation. Try this in an ice park in Colorado or Canada.


Climbing boulders without the use of safety equipment is one of the fastest growing outdoor adventure activities in North America. It requires an enormous amount of upper body strength and practice, and most certainly will lead you to gorgeous deserts and parks from Joshua Tree to Yosemite Valley.

Mountain biking

Ski bunnies know Canadaís Whistler Blackcomb as a major ski result. Once the crowds clear, thereís still good times to be had as the ski trails turn into wild and scenic biking tracks. Youíll need a full-suspension bike, previous experience and guts to glide over roots and rocks.


Advanced snowboarders and skiers find the challenge their looking for in heli-skiing. You guessed right. Athletes launch themselves from a helicopter. Ideally they land on soft, deep powder. Note this sport is banned in much of Europe, but popular in North America.


If zorbing doesnít look like a good time then nothing does. This New Zealand invention basically entails rolling down a hill. The twist is that youíre inside a transparent ball while doing so. This is a fun sport for non-competitive types looking to try something on the zanier side.

Do your research

Consider the time of year youíre traveling as many trails arenít open in winter, likewise hiking up a glacier in July isn't the best idea. If a national park is your destination, remember that there will be crowds. You may even need to apply for a permit to hike and/or camp on popular treks like the Appalachian Trail.

Once you decide where to go, use the information available to arrive prepared. Guidebooks, travel blogs and social media are excellent resources for updated information. Refer to lodging and restaurant reviews, as well as what your fellow travelers have to say about operators and guides. 

Before investing in quality equipment, take an honest look at your health and fitness. Many adventure sports require a high level of fitness and experience, or at least someone on your team with serious know-how. 

Choose next sports adventure with care. It should be an activity within your capabilities, or something you can train for in the time given before the trip. While you may not know exactly what's ahead, training and planning will ensure you're ready and able to rise to the occasion.

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