15 Most Adventurous & Thrilling Camping (Outdoor) Activities

Are you looking for something to do this summer, spring, or even fall? Whether you are looking to do so something independently, with your family, or with your friends, have you ever thought about camping activities?

The vast expanses of wilderness, mountains, forest, canyons and coastlines lend themselves to a wide range of outdoor pursuits.

From trekking in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, whitewater rafting through the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River, canoeing down the Mississippi River, fishing on the Great Lakes, sailing in Florida, diving in Hawaii to skiing in the Rocky Mountains, every camping activity can easily be arranged.

Here are the most fun and thrilling outdoor and camping activities.


camping activities


Before there were Land Rovers and mountain bikes, there were hiking trips. The inclination to pack it up and hoof it for long distances can be traced back to our days as nomadic hunter-gatherers, and the goal is little different now than it was back then: Traveling to exciting and unseen places powered by will, stamina, and whatever provisions you can carry on your back.

Today, getting there is all the fun, what with newfangled backpacks to ease your burden, allowing you to drink up the unfolding scenery and let your mind wander.

hiking trips


When it comes to sex appeal, the canoe always seems to lose out to its sexier stepsister, the kayak. Be it the boat’s relative clunkiness next to the kayak’s sleek lines, or just a quirky, passing trend, canoes have somehow come up less cool.

Yet the underdog status just seems to add to the canoe’s appeal, especially among advanced paddlers, who argue that paddling a canoe takes more finesse.

camping activities

Scuba Diving

Prepare to get hooked on scuba diving the moment you slip below the water’s surface into the peaceful silence of the undersea world.

You’ll finally understand what Jacques Cousteau was raving about all those years as you swim alongside graceful manta rays large enough to eclipse the sun’s filtered rays, or when you come face to face with a hammerhead sizing you up.

Fortunately, 70 percent of the world is covered in water, so there’s never a shortage of great dive sites to feed your submarine cravings.

camping activity

Mountain Biking

It’s easy to spot mountain bikers–they’re the ones with scab-covered limbs talking animatedly about bonking while riding a wicked singletrack.

Indeed, they are a peculiar lot, but only because of their passion for the sport. They don’t seem to mind the murderous workouts–they actually celebrate sore muscles–as they attack intense rolling trails in pristine wilderness.

The exhilaration of nailing a technical ride in the world’s most stunning places is more than enough fuel for mountain bikers.

outdoor activities

White Water Rafting

For those who gaze at their washing machine’s spin cycle and hear the call of roaring rapids, paddling is more than a pastime, it’s a passion.

And who could blame them: Whitewater serves up heart-pounding thrills and adrenaline-pumping action in some of the world’s most spectacularly beautiful spots.

outdoor activity


Planning a ski vacation, whether alone or with the whole family, starts the fun that you will get from the actual trip. Skiing is basically using gravity to move downhill by gliding over snow conditions using two long and thin boards to keep balance and control.

Snowboarding is a similar snowsport which uses one wide board instead of the two thinner boards that skiers use. Skiers use both boards to coordinate their movements and control their speed and direction. Balance, weight, and edge control are the tricks of the trade in Skiing.

camping activities


outdoor activities

Bird Watching

A camping activity that was once considered to be something of a ‘nerdy’ practice, Bird Watching has now become a pastime that encompasses both young and old and allows both experienced ‘twitchers’ and novices to come together in pursuit of some of most common and indeed rarest birds.

You can organize your own Bird Watching excursion to coincide with a camping trip. Many people think that there is a lot of equipment necessary to go Bird Watching but really the most important elements are a decent pair of binoculars, a bird handbook, a notebook and pen, and a keen eye for detail.

Fly Fishing

Camping and fishing often go hand in hand. Whether it’s a young child simply trying to catch a few sticklebacks with a piece of string with a hook tied onto a tree branch to the full blown night sight and sound equipment needed by the serious overnight angler, fishing is certainly one of the most popular camping activities.

As fish often tend to bite earlier in the morning, you’ll want to try to choose a site that’s as close to the action as possible as you’ll be getting up early enough as it is.

outdoor activities


For all the natural wonders above ground, don’t forget about the ones below. Visiting the depths of a cave offers an experience you just can’t find anywhere else on earth.

Far below the surface, rocks that look like popcorn, butterflies, and bacon strips hang from the ceiling. Explorers of the subterranean realm can wander through the cold shell of a lava tube, listen to musical stalactites, or take in the spectacle of a huge underground waterfall.

camping activity


Under your own steam, at your own pace, and requiring fewer technical skills than mountain biking, cycling is the best way to experience a new place. When you travel by bike, with panniers carrying your necessities, you become part of the neighborhood, village, province, or country.

As you leave behind the confines of the car, every hill and valley you conquer comes alive.

outdoor activities

Sailing and Yachting

Sailing is one of the ultimate outdoor activities. After all, it’s how the explorers of old used to travel.

Today you might not discover uncharted waters, but you can certainly reach unknown lands–or at least lands that are unknown to you. Whether you’re cruising in the Caribbean, the Seychelles, or the Mediterranean, you decide the where and the winds decide the when.

True, you are at the mercy and whim of Mother Nature, but setting off into that great blue is the truest test of your mettle and where you’ll find your greatest freedom.

outdoor activities

Horseback Riding

There’s nothing quite like seeing the world from the back of a horse. We humans have been riding for 4,000 years, but ever since the introduction of the Model T, we seem to have completely lost touch with our equestrian past.

Thankfully, trekking across the countryside on horseback is a surefire way to reconnect with those bygone times. Let your trusty steed take you across the steppes of Mongolia, explore the game reserves of Kenya, or practice your roping skills on a Wyoming cattle drive.

Wherever you go, you’ll have fabulous fresh-air views, completely unencumbered by that steel-and-glass box–you know, the one that gets us there quicker, but without all the fun.

horseback riding

Wildlife Viewing

We are all attracted to outdoor activities for a variety of reasons. However, one of the things most of us have in common is our love of the abundant wildlife that surrounds us on our adventures.

When the mountains give way again to the deserts and plateaus of the West, you probably thought you had veered off the road and into an alternate reality, where the earth is pink and rocks stand on end.

Pleasing as this scenery is to look at through the car window as you speed along the interstate, it’s much, much more. That’s habitat you’re looking at, full of living things.

outdoor activity

Source: iexplore.com, flickr

More Resources:

America’s Most Spectacular Day Hikes

World’s Best Adventure Vacations

Cycling Gear Trends

Best US RV Parks for Winter Camping