FREE SHIPPING on all Orders | Pay in 6 with PayPal Credit

How To Manage Your Outdoor Fears

How To Manage Your Outdoor Fears

How to Manage Your Outdoor Fears

I  was recently talking with a friend of mine who has always wanted to get into longer-distance hiking and backpacking but her fears of being out of shape, unprepared, and trying something new have kept her from actualizing her goal. When it comes to outdoor fears, even as an experienced hiker I’ve dealt with them all. Through these experiences, I’ve gained some great insight on how to manage and overcome these fears and not let them keep you from getting outside.

Fear of getting lost

Sometimes you might misread a sign, get caught up in a conversation and miss a turn, or the weather makes landmarks look different than usual. Once you realize you may have gone the wrong way, it’s important to not panic but rather stay calm and think rationally. In order to prevent yourself from getting lost in the first place and/or making it simple, safe, and easy to find your way back, here’s what you can do:

  • Pack a map and compass
  • Download a digital map
  • Pack the essentials in your backpack: map, hydration, hiking layers, sun protection, protein snacks, first aid emergency kit, flashlight, mini solar panel, multi tool
  • Tell someone where you are hiking and when they can expect to hear of your return
  • Be alert and aware so you don’t get lost in the first place
  • If you do get lost: stop, think, observe, and plan

Fear of not being prepared

The best thing you can do to negate this fear is to prepare as much as you can and then roll with the punches. You can’t control everything that nature throws your way, but you can prepare for various ‘just in case’ scenarios

  • Do your research you have an idea of what to expect and how to prepare
  • Check the weather so you can dress accordingly and always bring back-up layers for colder or wetter weather than expected
  • Bring plenty of water and snacks

Fear of wild animal encounters

It’s important as outdoor enthusiasts that we respect the natural areas we adventure in and the wildlife who call these areas home. Although encountering a wild animal may be scary, it’s likely that they’re more scared of you than you are of them. That being said, it’s important that you:

  • Research what kinds of wild animals live in the area you’ll be exploring
  • Get familiar with the best way to avoid or defend yourself from them
  • Carrying bear spray is always a good idea

Fear of being a beginner/out of shape

Spending time outdoors can not only help you to become stronger and healthier, but it can also boost your mood and your confidence. Try not to worry about other people’s opinions, they’re more than likely not thinking about you. The first step is the hardest, but it will get easier and easier from there on out.

  • Start small and build your way up
  • Prepare yourself physically by training at home
  • Get the gear you need to feel comfortable
  • Go with supportive friends

Fear of the unknown

This is the spirit of the adventure, getting yourself out of your comfort zone. Sometimes we're so unconsciously used to living what we know and the idea of something completely unknow can be scary. Think of this as an opportunity to surrender yourself with the wonders of nature; something that will help you in many ways:

  • Get to know yourself better
  • Create an encounter outside of your comfort zone pushing your limits
  • Self empowerment to overcome your fears

Remember, the critical factor in helping you overcome your fear, whatever it might be, is preparedness. The more you plan and prepare (even over prepare can be a good idea), the more you will increase your level of confidence where if anything goes wrong, you have a plan for it. 

We hope this read was of help for you. If you have a comment or question we'd love to hear from you!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

What are you looking for?

Your cart