Find A Group: Outdoor Adventuring For 60+
How do you find a group of kindred souls who like to go adventuring and, better still, would love you to go too? Outdoor activities, NOT couch surfing?
That’s exactly what this post is about.
“I can’t go adventuring because I have no one to go with.”
This is one of the most common complaints slash excuses Muddy Boots hears from prospective limited-budget go-getters. We’re not talking cruise crowds or guided coach trips around Europe, although they might be fun too: we’re talking simple beat-the-bucks “get out and do something” stuff that’ll make you feel good, offer a little socializing, and move the bones, joints, and whatever corporeal thingumyjigs you might suggest. Well, maybe not all….
So let’s talk about how you find out about group outdoor activities that’ll get you adventuring.
Objection! I hear it now burbling through the atmosphere, so let’s head off this one in advance: “You find out about those kinds of groups on the internet, and I don’t have a computer/don’t know how to use the internet/don’t speak Google-ish and the whole thing scares me to death.”
You have a local library? Librarians luuurve to show off their knowledge, resourcefulness, and adeptitude. They have computers at their disposal. And, judging from the Bonner Springs librarians (photo), they are one creative bunch. Perfect. Muddy Boots bets anything you could just take this list to a librarian, and bingo bongo you could have a DCMB-ish kind of adventure within, let’s say, the next 2 weeks.
So here you have it:
#1 Fave: Meetup.
Get yourself an account. Like yesterday. Plunk in your zip code and take a look at the get-togethers that happen in your area. Very often, outdoor groups contact their members this way. And then there are the book groups, the yoga groups, the potluck groups; you get the idea. All kinds of adventures. Some that are completely off Muddy Boots’ radar.
And…..consider what Muddy Boots’ Meetup home page says today. Quote:
“There are 138,554 Meetups happening this week about everything from careers to hiking, parenting, tech, photography and urban gardening …”
Yes, that’s almost 140,000, just this week. Think you could find something interesting in that colossal, magnificent, list?
And, if you didn’t get the link the first time (or the technology is acting up, whichever comes first), try this one: Meetup.
#2 Local Outdoors Groups
This may require a little Google-digging. You need some keywords, right? Try the name of your town, region, or state, matched with whatever activity you have in mind. Could be outdoors, hiking, mountaineering, kayaking, cycling, quilting, reading, snowshoeing, camping, bird-watching, geo-caching, swimming. In other words, whatever strikes your fancy.
While Muddy Boots is on that topic, if you like to swim, try the nearest Masters Swim Club.
Moving right along with the group outdoor activities…
#3 The Sierra Club.
For close-by adventuring, take a look at the listing of the Sierra Club chapter in your state or region. That’s the unit that has the local adventure schedule. You may find yourself counting turtles, picking up trash, or assessing a local watershed but, hey, live and learn: these can be great get-me-out-of-house activities as well. Wonderful exercise, too.
The AMC is an east-coast organization. It has outings by chapter and region. Some chapters adventure quite far afield as well as close to home.
#5 Your local Senior Center, Parks & Rec, Continuing Ed, or Conservation Group.
These require no elaboration from Muddy Boots. You’ll figure them out by your lonesome.
#6 Audubon Society.
See! They even have a section on their website called Get Outside. And birding is a great way to get exercise with a group.
#7 Outdoor Recreation Stores.
Many outdoor stores have outreach programs that take folks out on trips, demonstrate equipment, or teach a skill. As far as Muddy Boots is concerned, the best ones give you a chance to try out “toys” like snowshoes and kayaks that you might be curious about, but never thought you’d have a chance to experiment with. These are often called “demo days.”
#8 The National Parks
Muddy Boots has never met a National Park—not to mention a National Historic Site or National Monument—that doesn’t offer a first-rate guided “Ranger talk”. Frequently, these involve a lot more than just sitting around.
And….finally, for those who have a little more adventuring exposure, you can
Archaeology? Many historical sites need volunteer amateur archaeologists. Generally, they’ll provide instruction and tools. Digging is rigorous exercise! Try your local historical society for information. Sometimes, digs are sponsored by nearby colleges as well. The Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) maintains a list of fieldork opportunities, and your library may subscribe to the AIA’s cornerstone publication, Archaeology magazine
Bureau of Land Management. This pretty much says it all: per BLM, “To carry out the day-to-day responsibilities of public land stewardship, we need the help of partners and individual citizens,” said BLM Deputy Director Steve Ellis. “Last year alone, 32,000 BLM volunteers performed more than 1.2 million hours of service, valued at over $27 million.”
Join the women up top and sign up for the BLM butterfly count at Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument?
Let’s round this out with
The National Park Service’s Volunteers in Parks program. Perhaps you could get a blast from the Shiloh National Military Park by joining their volunteer cannon crew?
Kick butt, and NO self-kicking.
Go adventuring. Get out there. Don’t spend a whole lot of $$$$. And have fun.
One more thing….there are seasonal group outdoor activities ideas at:
And a safety discussion at:
Photo credits. Featured image, Butterfly Identification at Cascade-Siskyou National Monument: CC BY-SA 2.0 by Bureau of Land Management via Flickr. Librarians at Bonner Springs Library: CC BY 2.0 by Bonner Springs Library via Flickr. Dragon Boat: CC BY-ND 2.0 by Mike via Flickr. Condor Release: CC BY 2.0 by BLM via Flickr. Shaker Archaeology, Enfield NH: ©DustyCarMuddyBoots.com, All rights reserved. NPS Volunteer Cannon Crew at Shiloh National Military Park: Public Domain by US National Park Service. I Have Joined the Self-Kicking Club: CC BY-SA 2.0 by Laurel F via Flickr.