We all have those certain friends who say their idea of roughing it is staying at the Holiday Inn. But we really know if they got outside they would realize that adventure travel is too good to pass up! Convincing said friends to #OptOutside is the hardest part. Because once they get outside you can just let the beauty of nature do the rest of the work. So how do you get your indoorsy friends to get past the door?
1. Really play up the best shower in the world or the best burger in the world. Keep their eye on the prize.
Those who have not gone days on end without a shower don’t yet know how good that shower is after a week in the wilderness! That shower is the best shower in the entire world and worth your days-on-end stank.
The same goes for that victory meal. Once on a backpacking trip with my brother, we decided on a big juicy burger and fried mushrooms from a restaurant called Purple Cow. (My Arkansas peeps will know what I’m talking about!). Every time he’d get tired or wanted to quit, I’d whisper “Purple Cow.” So yes, that victory meal will be the best burger you’ve ever had too.
And I mean who could pass up the promise of the best burger and shower of your life?
2. Take them glamping first. Ease them into adventure travel.
OK, OK, so maybe a four-day hike up a 14er isn’t the best first backpacking trip to take your non-outdoorsy friend. So try to invite them on a glamping trip for their first adventure travel trip. That way you can ease them into sleeping outside.
Yes, they are still sleeping in a tent, but there’s a bed, running water, and prepared meals. For the next outing maybe step it down a bit, say a glamping tent but add in some dehydrated meals.
3. Make sure they have the proper gear
Nothing can ruin a trip like a 50-degree sleeping bag and the temperatures that drop down in the 30s. Actually, the wrong sleeping bag is enough to make me miserable.
Yes, yes, these are your indoorsy friends, and they do not already have all the things. They will probably borrow a pack from you, and that’s fine. But you’ll want to make sure it fits them well enough so it doesn’t rub blisters or distribute the weight improperly.
Pro-tip, make sure your gear is up to speed. Using something like Nikwax for cleaning, conditioning, and waterproofing to take care of your gear.
4. Have an easy-out plan
Say you finally get your indoorsy friends geared up and thinking about the trail. Having an easy-out plan or a way to bail out, will give them the confidence to take that first step. They will know if worse comes to worst, they won’t be stranded and have to live like Man Versus Wild. And there’s a bonus. If their whining just gets to be too much, it’s a great way to ensure your friendships last the trip.
It is also a great way to help ease them into it.
5. Just lie to them
Tell them it’s not going to be hot or cold or wet, and then when they get out there, they will see how beautiful the scenery is and forget their discomfort.
If you don’t feel confident that the best shower in the world, the best burger or a semi-structurally sound tent with real mattresses will convince your indoorsy friends to go outside with you, just lie to them. Once they get out there, the scenery will sell itself.