The benefits of time spent outdoors are overwhelming. While Americans have the benefit of an expansive national park system, Asian countries have actually moved to having doctors prescribe time in nature for people with depression or anxiety. In the States, of course, we have the space and the supplies to do this on our own and for leisure. But before you go outside, make sure to stop at a sporting store or an outdoor outfitter.
A visit to a sporting store can be overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re looking for, so it’s best to go in with a plan. While many sell goods from archery supplies to kayaks to baseball gloves, you probably won’t need all of those on one trip — although if you are, that sounds like one heck of a trip.
Where to Begin?
Let’s say you’re going for a camping trip. Camping equipment racks up a nationwide sales total of almost $2 billion in the United States each year. If that seems like a lot, that’s because it is. However, the good news for those who buy camping supplies is that they generally get a lot of use out of their adventure gear. An average “camper” goes camping about five times per year, so spending a few hundred dollars at the sporting goods store can be a sound investment.
What will you do on your trip?
A standard camping trip probably includes a tent, a backpack, a campfire, and a decent amount of hiking. Footwear, fire-ready cooking supplies, a waterproof backpack for your tent — these are all things you’ll need before taking off. If you’re more adventurous, you might need to include climbing gear, hunting gear, or fishing tackle. The good news is that your sporting store will still be able to have you covered. The bad news is that if you’re planning to do all of these things on one trip, your shoulders are going to get very tired because your backpack will weigh about 100 pounds.
In a lot of cases, outdoor trips are social events. About 70% of trips — in general — are taken with friends. The stereotype of sitting around the campfire with friends exists because it’s a nice thing to do.
For hunting, the average hunter spends nearly $2,000 per year on the hobby. Some of this expense is on bows or rifles while some of it is on camouflage clothing and deer-spray.
Even so, when you stop at the sporting store you can stock up on adventure clothing, camouflage gloves, or almost anything else to help you blend in with whatever surroundings you want to blend into. From hiking boots to jogging shoes and from sandals to mountain-bike helmets, they’ll have you covered.