Some people like the outdoors and people who love the outdoors. You can easily tell them apart. The people who like the outdoors also like to talk about the outdoors more than they do outdoor things. They put up an umbrella and rush to the car at the first sign of rain. They use a gas grill because they are unsure how to build a proper cooking fire and don’t want to take the time.
You can also distinguish the likers from the lovers by the gear they carry. Those who like the outdoors often overspend on things that aren’t important, while underspending on things that matter. They don’t know the difference between the two.
They spend for the sake of style and branding while knowing little about quality and safety.
That said, there is nothing wrong with liking the outdoors. You have to like it before you love it. You have to try it before committing to an outdoor lifestyle. Just be open to new information and new possibilities. Like all hobbies and passions, an outdoor lifestyle can be expensive. Here is some advice on how to be sure you are spending on the right things:
Protect Your Eyes
There are no blind hunters, dirt bikers, skiers – you get the idea. There are plenty of people who engage in those activities who later develop serious problems with their eyes because they didn’t spend the money on proper eye protection.
When you are engaging in an activity like off-road racing, there is no such thing as 100% safety. Your eyes are exposed to blinding sunlight. When you are blinded, you can’t see that branch that threatens to separate your head from your expensive riding jacket. Squinting through a long ride can also lead to the kind of migraines that make you wish you had spent a little more on the right goggles that could have saved you from all that.
The right outdoor sports goggles are not the ones that make you look like a movie star. They are the ones that provide maximum clarity through the full field of vision despite Sol staring you in the face for long stretches at a time. The right goggles are resistant to scratches and breaks. The right goggles have a quick-release system for changing the lenses. The right goggles keep you in the game longer and safer. Protecting your eyes is worth every penny you can put into it.
Protect Your Hearing
Now hear this: BANG! That is the last sound you will hear if you shoot without the best ear protection. Some will argue that total silence is not the worst outcome. Sufferers from tinnitus: that constant ringing in your ears, would say that being deaf is preferable to never being able to shut out the crazy-making noise. Who’s to say which is worse? The point is, you don’t want either.
That means that you have to take ear protection a lot more seriously than headphones for enjoying music. If you want to enjoy music in your old age, you have to protect your hearing right now. It is not just the firing range where protection is required. When you hunt, you have to be able to switch between shutting out the noise of the rifle and being able to hear your surroundings. The perfect shot to take down a buck is meaningless if you don’t hear the bear right behind you. The right ear protection offers versatility that can save your hearing and your life. Don’t skimp.
Protect Your Hands
When you think of gloves, cold-weather protection is likely the first thing that comes to mind. But quality gloves do much more than keep you warm. If you do a lot of advanced trails, you will need gloves to help you get through sharp thickets. If you are riding, you will need gloves to help you maintain grip. If you are lifting, you need gloves to keep you from damaging your hands. It is worth the extra you will spend on good ones.
If you love the outdoors, don’t be too hard on the posers. They want to love it. Help them by providing recommendations that protect their eyes, ears, and hands. Most importantly, be safe out there.