bucket list

4 Reasons To Hate Adventure, and How To Get Over It

Don’t get me wrong, most of us love a good adventure. But sometimes there are reasons to hate adventure. I’ll give you four examples today, and offer solutions on how to fix them.

1. Fear & Anxiety

Adventure is largely about the perpetual pursuit of pushing your limits, always aiming your sights on the next big rush. Sometimes in the middle of doing this you realize you’re in too deep, and there’s nothing you can do about it. This is exactly when fear and anxiety sets in, two dreadful and common feelings found in adventure.

It’s happened to me many times. I only got a few hours of sleep one night on my last whitewater trip because I already got my ass kicked twice by the river and we were headed into a remote wilderness section called Adrenaline Ally in the morning. No backing out. Sweet dreams, right?

The Fix: Focus on what you can control. In my whitewater example, I made sure I ate a good breakfast, stayed hydrated, and laid off the beer until we were done with Adrenaline Ally. You better believe I immediately cracked open a cold one afterwards, though.

2. One-Upsmanship

The next guy is always going to attempt to one-up you, whether you’re in the field or swapping stories at the bar. It’s a fact of life in the adventure community, and sometimes it’s just plain annoying.

This exchange is enjoyable when two parties are sharing valuable information, but it’s irritating when your adventure accomplishments are constantly belittled. “You bungee jumped at an amusement park? Weak sauce, bro. I BASE jumped off El Capitan.”

The Fix: Easy. Ignore the competitive one-upper and move on. Or one-up them with unrealistic tales. “You BASE jumped off El Capitan? LOL! I sailed around the world on the backs of killer whales, surviving on box jellyfish along the way.” If they try to top that, you know they’re full of shit.

3. Bucket Lists

Bucket lists. I don’t mind them, necessarily. It makes sense, wanting to jot down every last adventurous thing you can think of and then feeling satisfied when you cross items off your list.

I just think the concept has been blown out of proportion. 100,001 “must-do” activities on your bucket list? Really? To me, it’s a slightly rigid, inflexible approach to adventure.

The Fix: Hear about something cool you’d like to try, and then make arrangements to try it as soon as you can. This works best for those of you with a “go with the flow” mentality. Hardcore list makers? Not so much.

4. Gear

Gear can be a touchy subject. There will be times when you are made to feel inadequate because you can’t afford top of the line equipment. The dude at the shop is just doing his job when he suggests the thousand dollar upgrade. The twerp on the trail is just doing his job when he talks down on your cheap tent.

The Fix: Go with what works best for you. Always. Experiment with different set-ups. If a piece of gear fails, dump it. It’s OK to have different set-ups for different scenarios. And it’s more economically feasible to amass your gear collection over time, rather than going all out right from the get-go.

Now stop being a hater and go do something fun today.

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How would you describe your dream adventure?

Maybe you have a mile-long “bucket list” of things you’d like to do someday, which indicates you’re off to a good start.

The problem with those bucket lists though is how everything is supposed to be done before you turn into worm food, not all at once. The enthusiastic bucket lister might compile a list thousands of ideas long. All fine, except it doesn’t describe your dream adventure, the most awesome day (or weeks) of adventure you can possibly think of.

What a bucket list really is a bunch of loose ideas you’re hoping to get to before you die.

(It’s also minor confirmation that your a devotee of Zen Masters Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman.)

What if you consolidated a few of those loose ideas to create your dream adventure? Maybe this could be a way to pick and choose all the cool stuff on your bucket list and make an adventure out of it.

Let’s say, for example, that your bucket list includes quintessential requirements such as skydiving, bungee jumping and NASCAR racing. Your day might look like this: skydive onto a bungee jumping platform positioned above a NASCAR racing course, where you’ll jump, hop in a car, and lap every last Dale Earnhardt wannabe out there.

Sounds pretty much impossible, but you get the idea, right?

Describing your dream adventure might be difficult considering part of why we love adventure is because of the unexpected. But we all have badass stuff we’d like to do someday, and I bet some of those loose ideas on your list would fit together perfectly.

So, how would you describe your dream adventure?