Hobbies That Will Take You Off The Beaten Path

Everyone has a hobby, some way or another to occupy a little spare time and let off some steam. Some people enjoy going to music festivals or dance clubs while others enjoy quieter, more solitary pursuits like getting out of the city and into the wild to truly leave stress behind. For those wilderness spirits who prefer to seek the bare necessities of life as a means of soothing savage souls, here’s a list of pastimes that will get you into Mother Nature.

There are a wide variety of activities that will allow the pursuer to both get away from it all and avoid more typical destinations like beaches or ski resort s. Now, each of these will get the user far enough away to be out of touch in the event of an emergency. Thus, for anyone who gets involved in any of these hobbies, it would be a good idea to take a look at satellite phones to buy or rent that will solve both of those problems.

Ice Climbing

Ice climbing is perfect for anyone who wants to nearly freeze and defy gravity simultaneously. Originally developed as a means of allowing mountain climbers to summit insurmountable mountains, it’s developed into a bit of a sport of its own. The truly adventurous of this breed choose to climb frozen waterfalls, an entirely seasonal and weather dependent endeavor. Although normally this isn’t a hobby to recommend to just anyone, devoted mountain climbers can develop their skill to this level to take your mind off of the rat race.


Canyoneering is a bit like the inverse of rock climbing. Instead of climbing up rock faces, you’re repelling down into rock canyons. It can be obscenely dangerous and simply awe-inspiring. Some of the scenery found in isolation at the bottom of a canyon cannot be described. It’s a bit like spelunking in that it takes a certain form of insanity to think climbing down into a crack in the ground and swimming through near ice-cold water is a good time. Still, while you’re doing it, there’s nothing going through your head other than the task at hand.

River Rafting

East of the Appalachians the river rafting is generally one-day, guided, low-flow rivers of high technical difficulty. Also, there are generally a few other people in the raft with you at once. East of the Rockies, however, on rivers like the Salmon, the Snake, the Green, or the Colorado, the boats are bigger, the trips longer and more often unguided. Oarsmen replace paddlers and there are no hotel stays at the end of the night. Big water rafting is like a combination between backpacking and technical rafting and allows you to drift away from your troubles — at a surprisingly fast clip.

Urban Exploration

As people continue to build more and more intricate cities there are an increasing number of places that are forgotten along the way. Urban exploration is the hobby of finding the depths of the urban jungle and reveling in it in ways that will give you a new perspective on the places everyone knows. There are a wide variety of published guides on interesting places. Though it may seem like you’re safer in an urban or semi-urban environment, be aware that this is possibly the most dangerous hobby on this list and should only be tackled by very skilled individuals who know a thing or two about rope work, wilderness survival and emergency plans. Perhaps the best perk though is you can still make that dinner date after exploring an abandoned subway line.


Certainly the safest on this list, but also perhaps the oldest form of getting some time in the wild, backpacking has seen a resurgence in recent years. As cities continue to grow and people continue to build larger resorts in all the destination towns of the world people still need some time to themselves. Thus, they turn to backpacking. Whether you’re hiking the Pacific Crest Trail or communing with early naturalists in Muir Woods, there are hikes of any length and skill level across the globe. By backpacking, a person is able to see that the true bare essentials necessary are little more than a way to stay warm, a place to sleep, a bit of food and water, and a dependable pair of hiking boots.

All of the above hobbies have their rewards and drawbacks. Many of them are very technical, some very uncommon and others simply dangerous. With all of them, you’ll certainly get away from it all for a little while but here’s the real beauty of the situation: You can lessen or even mitigate a lot of the potential detriments of these hobbies by bringing along a rental satellite phone. You can get help in an emergency and you can remain a last resort contact in the event of a business emergency.

Written by Steve Manley