Exploring Outdoors

What it is about the outdoors that excites Ross Sanner so? Perhaps it is because of the connection that we, Homo sapiens, have to our natural environment. For us city dwellers, an escape into the open air can revitalize our minds, fill our lungs with fresh air, and bestow a vigor necessary to tackle the difficulties of the day to day.

Perhaps you’re a hiker! Hiking can be as intensive or relaxed as you want it to me. Newcomers may be put off by images of people deep in the woods and scrambling across rocks or uncertain terrain; scaling up the steep slopes of hills and mountains. In case you didn’t know, you can find the difficulty of most trails online, so you know what you’re getting into before you go. Furthermore, many locations have multiple trails, so if you want to take in the scenery, but aren’t ready for the big leagues, you can follow the markings for a trail that will be easier on your body.

Hiking also isn’t just good for your body, it works wonders for your mental health, too! According to a study cited by Huffington Post, hiking can serve as a therapeutic treatment for those struggling with depression. Plus all that time away from the humdrum of daily life will force you to confront yourself at your most real and raw, giving you the clarity of mind to meditate on areas of your life that need improvement.

Ross Sanner is also into fly fishing. He finds the activity fun and deeply connected to human history. Fly fishing is quite and old activity, and with every cast of the rod, Ross feels that he his reaching back into the rivers of time. It’s relaxing, and puts simple technology back into the hands of modern humans. There’s a reason it has endured so long as a bonding activity for parents and children, or between old friends: it allows for the casual atmosphere of conversation, punctuated by the tug of a rod and the potential for some serious excitement.

So you’re ready to set out on your first excursion? Surely you have many questions. You may be wondering what gear you need, where to go, and how to prioritize your items. Lucky for all of us adventurers— novice and veteran— Yoga Mania has compiled a list of all things necessary to make your next camping experience your best.


This is objectively the least fun item on the list, but arguably the most necessary. While preconceived notions may suggest otherwise, camping is rarely as simple as driving to a site and setting up shop on the first piece of available land. The campground is shared and as such, there is no guarantee that an impromptu trip in the car will result in a successful time on the grounds. Furthermore, each campground offers different amenities. Need a shower or shelter? No shame in that (hey, at least you’re getting outside!), but not all sites are created equal. Make sure that each is equipped with what you need.

Camping Gear

Specifically tents. Depending on what kind of kind of terrain and climate in which you will be setting up, different tents will suit different needs. Know the difference between each of them. Also you’re going to need to bring the proper tools to actually set up said tent, like stakes (if it doesn’t come with some) and hammer. Also useful: lantern, an axe or other sharp tool for cutting firewood, a sleeping bag, and material to start a fire. Of course, this list only contains a few examples— there are plenty of more comprehensive lists on the web.

Anything for Good Night’s Rest

If you’ve never slept outside before, you’re in for a shock. Your bodies are most likely accustomed to sleeping on top of a blanket and underneath a top sheet and warm blanket. You cannot expect go camping for the first time and have the same quality of sleep outdoors as you do indoors. Yoga Mania suggests bringing an inflatable mat or a cot. Benefits of the latter? You’re not going to be sleeping on uneven ground and sharp rocks. That’s a plus.


Much like your gear, what you wear is going to be dependent on where you’re going. You probably knew that much. But what is ret ally tricky, is figuring out how to actually pack lightly for a trip. The key? Layering with the exception of socks and other undergarments, you’ll want to pick out durable clothes that can hold their own, yet provide extra warmth and protection when needed.


Preparing food for camping is much different from prep at home. Don’t bring anything that is too involved, or could spoil on the trail. Suggestions include dry goods, or anything of the “just add water” variety. Bring disposable ware, and just enough cleaning supply to treat any pots and pans you may have used. Oh, and don’t forget your utensils!


Linked closely with food is the cooler question. Obviously, this isn’t something you should have in tow during your rugged backpacking trips. But if you plan on car camping, it could be a wise investment. A solid and sturdy choice is a cooler by Yeti. Sure, it may be a splurge, but it store ice for up to three days— without melting.


Camping in the cooler months of Autumn and early Winter is awesome. But if you’re like many people and prefer going in the warmer Summer months, then you’ll need to know how to best deal with bugs. Sometimes, the right tent will do the trick, but if yours is not equipped to repel the tiny-winged onslaught, a good repellent may do the trick.


No harm in wanting to have your furry companion around for your tango with nature. But because campgrounds are public space,, there are certain rules and regulations you must follow in regards to their presence. Namely, make sure you’ve a copy of their rabies vaccination and a leash. They shouldn’t run amok at the expense of other campers’ enjoyment!

Know Your Plants

As in, which may lead to the development of a nasty, itchy rash. I’m not saying you need to become an expert, but you should be able to identify the big three— poison ivy, poison oak, and sumac— and treat their respective rashes.