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If not now, when?

I'm always under the false impression that everyone on here, in an REI store, or really anyone anywhere already utilizes the many parks and recreation areas our country has to offer. But in reality, I bet a lot of people haven't taken the plunge on a hobby they do eye up. I do the same thing with certain hobbies and over the pandemic I really pushed myself to try out the things I was too scared of or intimidated by to try (ahem....hunting, making sourdough, pickling, and more). 


What are some things you want to do but haven't given it the go yet? Slept outside in a tent? Backpacking? Kayak rental? I bet there are a ton of people in your local community that would make the jump a lot easier, and maybe all the more worthwhile. 

- I'm the best at being me when I'm outside
Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.
17 Replies

Mine would be sky diving 🙂 


Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

Great topic. I'd like to do some longer-distance backpacking trips. So far I've only done overnights, hiking in to a campsite and then out at the end of the trip. I'd love to do a full week through-hike or start section hiking. The other thing I'd love to try is kayaking. My wife and I have talked about taking a basic kayak safety course and then spending some time on the water. And I'd like to do all of those things with my wife and kids.

I'd really love to do a longer trip too, but maybe a few nights in to a spot, and then a few days at one spot using it as a base. Exploring, taking pictures, communing with nature. 

- I'm the best at being me when I'm outside
Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

I have always wanted to backpack the AT, CDT, and PCT, but work was always in the way. So about 3 years ago I started planning to backpack the AT when I retired. Then COVID hit! Fifteen months ago I retired and decided to see what was around me to hike, backpack, cycle, etc. As I was doing that 6 of my grandchildren decided to get involved in Scouting. For right now, I have placed my grand backpacking trips on hold and have become involved in my grandchildren’s Scouting troop. So far I have found great joy in that endeavor because I’m able to teach not only my grandchildren but other children the correct way to enjoy and respect the outdoors. My expertise has been very much welcomed and I’m able to expose young teens to the wonders and benefits of the outdoors. I’m out doing something with the Scouts almost every week and weekend. As a Master Educator in the Leave No Trace Program my skills have assisted these kids in very positive ways. So in hindsight for me, COVID was good because it got me involved with teaching Scouts correct principles  about the outdoors. 

I would like to do more solo backpacking trips, but I just enjoy the company...when the company's good.

I think I have a deep seated fear of having an accident way out in the wilderness.  Preparing for my first big wilderness trip to Wyoming, I read about a backpacker, solo, off trail, who had a boulder roll on his leg while resting on a rock, he could reach his pack, but could not extricate himself.  He wrote a journal over the 2 weeks or so it took him to succumb.  Yikes! I guess this was before rescue beacons, who knows.

I would also like to get motivated enough to just drive out west (I'm in VA), and not be encumbered by flight/rental car schedules...Just hike and stay out as long as I wish, as long as the food holds out!


REI Member Since 1979

I would like to get on a sled again. I had a Panther that was a single cylinder with the carb pointing at your chest. Upgraded to a 340 Polaris Apollo in 1980.


I use about 3 of our local metro parks.  I have used a fourth but that was part of a Scouting trip as that metro park is a good distance out of the metro (surprised me it was a metro park).  I have not done as much since the whole fun started.  I have done quite a bit of car camping and fair amount of backpacking with Scouting.  Not sure about future car camping.  Not really geared up for that per se (mostly it would be that I do not have a real car camping kitchen).  The backpacking is what I am looking at doing more of (hopefully in this new year and beyond).


There isnt much that I want to do that I havent tried, except getting a pilots license.

However there are a few things that I want to take farther and it looks like retirement might come sooner rather than later (60-62, maybe tomorrow if I get an early out) so I should still be in decent shape to get some done.

I want to go distinguished in rifle. I have earned some points and just missed some last year. There arent that many Distinguished Riflemen out there since 1881 and it is doable for me. One of the good reasons to work out and stay in shape. This is really my first priority. I started games style competitive shooting a long time ago, but only have really gotten serious for 3 years now and can almost play with the big guys/girls. I'm not a threat of taking a match from them, but I end up a lot closer than I was a couple years ago.

Learn to roll my kayak the rest of the way, first half i have down pat. I had every intention this summer but besides a early spring float trip and a couple 1/2 days, I never had the time to just work on it. There are no rolling classes near me.

See the stuff I had to drive past. I have been across the country a few times E-W and N-S on the east and west sides. Never had time to do the tourist thing. I have been in Mt Rushmore's parking lot. I bled my brakes and got back down the hill to find a garage. I never saw the mt. I am getting set up for that. Newer truck and travel trailer acquired, just need time at this point.

Ski more. The Coof has screwed the yearly trip up so far. I have a reservation at a place not to far away for this Feb. We will see if that gets hosed up also. As it is, I still have my weekday pass and will use it as time permits.