Stories / Blog Posts / How Outdoor Activities Prepare You For Life

How Outdoor Activities Prepare You For Life

One of the best ways to prepare yourself for life’s stresses is to experience the extraordinary. Outward Bound Canada offers a variety of expeditions across the country that will help you feel confident, calm and prepared in other areas of your life. To help you choose, we’ve taken a closer look at some outdoor activities and showed their closest application to regular life. Just pick the one(s) that’s right for you! 


Your greatest tool for survival is yourself. Backpacking teaches you to think ahead and predict every piece of gear you might need to mitigate risk when you’re deep in the woods or high in the mountains. Backpackers also have to know their limits and pack strategically: a pack that feels too heavy on day three will be a huge burden by day seven. Pace is equally important; an experienced backpacker understands how quickly exhaustion can set in and adjusts their speed in order to make it the entire distance. Backpacking helps people to understand their capabilities and limitations, and the importance of good planning.  

Rock Climbing

Think you’re good at managing stress? How about on the side of a cliff? When you start at the bottom of a sheer rock face and emerge victorious after the final reach for the top, the achievement feels monumental. You’ll have to plan a route carefully, execute precise movements from one hold to the next, and keep yourself balanced the whole time. You also need to ensure you’re using the proper gear and protective equipment. Rock climbing can teach you to be strong-willed, adaptable and able to solve complex problems under pressure. 


Kayaking is one of the most exhilarating activities. Whether you’re paddling through the open ocean or navigating quick turns in fast rivers, bravery is a requirement when your boat is not much bigger than your own body. Another requirement is perseverance: although waterproof containers exist for food and valuables, it’s not easy for a kayaker to stay dry on a multi-day journey. Kayaking can teach you to be brave, tough and quick-thinking. 


Nothing says teamwork like navigating rivers and lakes in a canoe with a friend. Canoeing teaches you that it’s okay to ask for help and rely on assistance in order to accomplish a big goal. Canoes are often too large to control by yourself, and too small to take more than two people and all their gear, so learning to work together is imperative to becoming successful paddlers. Communication is a big part of this, as listening to your partner and telling them when and where to paddle can mean the difference between a quick trip and a long journey. Canoeing can teach you to relax, communicate and work in a team. 

An Outward Bound expedition can equip you to excel in other areas of your life, and take some pressures off your day-to-day challenges. Check out our 2021 courses to learn more. 


Article contributed by Adrian Schaap.