Something that survivalists or homesteaders forget in their emergency prepping is their fitness. It is important that you don’t expect to go from couch potato food hoarder, to someone that is now expected to care for yourself and others with physical labor and long days, without much stress and misery. I am not talking about someone going to the gym everyday (although I definitely agree with that) because this is a post about HOBBIES, not hard exercising. I am talking about finding things that you enjoy doing by yourself and with family and friends. These are things that will get you fit, get you in the weather or wilderness, or help you prepare. As I discuss these, I will give tips on getting started frugally.
Why is this the first thing that I am listing? Because it is FREAKING AWESOME!!! First thing about mountain biking (MTBing), is the fact that it is incredible fun. This is my main hobby . Not only is it fun, but it is easy to start if you have the ability to ride a bicycle. It is very safe if you stick to cross country biking. It requires alot of endurance, which means that you will get endurance. You will also build lots of leg strength, and good overall fitness. If you are new at it, you will go slow. Well, it is tougher when you go slow, so you will build more strength and less endurance. I am not here to tell you all about it so go to www.singletracks.com
and you will learn all about it.
THE EQUIPMENT: Helmet- You MUST get a helmet. If you MTB without a helmet, you are a freaking idiot. It WILL save your life. If you want a cheap one, that may be ok because they meet minimum safety features, but quality and fit will suffer. Bike- You can go frugal, but you CANNOT go cheap. No walmart specials here. Trust me. I have never had one of those last me more than a month at a time. Go to a local bike shop and get an inexpensive bike there. You will get a heavy, very basic, hardtail bike. Hardtail means no suspension on back wheel. You don’t need it for cross country and some all-mountain biking. These are the best types of MTBing for those wanting to get into shape. Many MTBers get into road cycling and motocross/trail dirtbiking. Pack- Packs
are important, because you will end up carrying water, all-in-one bike tools, food, and other essentials. With this in mind, you will need a pack with a bladder (for water). This is probably all you will HAVE TO HAVE to get started. When you do, you will learn more about it.
TRAIL RUNNING AND HIKING
Trail running gets you fit and in the wilderness. You will not end up carry packs of preparations for the trails, because they can be bad for your knees. Hiking will get you used to walking in the wild for long periods of time which can get you ready for an on-foot hike.
THE EQUIPMENT: Shoes- very important to have the proper footwear. Good trail running shoes for the trail running or good hiking shoes/boots for hiking. If you use the wrong footwear, you will regret it over time. Hydration Packs / Water Bottles / Hiking Packs- Important to have the proper hydration packs or bottles for running and having hydration and hiking packs for hiking.
This is the ultimate mix of hiking, treasure hunting, and computers. Lots of hikers, like me, and lots of hide-in-my-room computer gamer types both get into this. It is incredibly dorky and involves wilderness on most occasions. You will look for hidden caches (full of goodies) based on their GPS location, then you trade an item in your posession for an item in the cache. Equal or more value! I don’t want to see your crappy business card when the cache started with coins and other nifty things. If you want more info, visit www.geocaching.com
THE EQUIPMENT: Computer- Typically, you will want a computer to get on the geocaching website. So why didn’t I mention a GPS in any of these activities? Because these hobbies should ALL have a GPS (I like my Garmin Dakota 20
, but you can get cheaper GPSs) or GPS-enabled phone with proper app, a map of the area you will be in, a compass, and the knowledge of how to use a map and compass. (You ARE a survivalist, aren’t you??? So use the correct means to get home when the batteries are dead!)
I hope you guys enjoyed this post, and I hope I gave you an idea of what you can do for a hobby, some fun, and maybe to keep you in shape.