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Pre-canned adventure: does it really test your mettle?

Sports & Outdoors Posted by jordan 4 years, 8 months ago

Over the last few years, I've noticed that more and more pre-canned adventure events and business have started. The Warrior Dash and other such races have specific obstacles, and groups like these have pre-canned hikes, food and places to stay. These events can certainly be challenging, but everything is planned and orchestrated by someone else. And you can probably get a t-shirt.

In contrast, I've been hiking my entire life, with the last decade focusing on Colorado 14ers. You truly never know what's going to happen, it's personally challenging, and you're ultimately responsible for yourself.

My question: is an adventure really an adventure if you know exactly what's going to happen and what to expect? Is an adventure really an adventure if someone placed all your obstacles at specific intervals and will pick you up for foie gras at the end?

3 replies

  • glen

    I'm with you, but I think if they accept the fact that they're not really doing an adventure but more of a planned tour, then that's cool. But yeah, calling something an "adventure" run/hike/stay/etc. is a bit much.

    For example, an excursion during our honeymoon cruise on a private island in Roatan was one of the coolest experiences I've ever had. But I certainly wouldn't call it an adventure. (The bus ride to the island winding through the mountains with the local driver... now that was an adventure.)

    That said, I don't typically gravitate towards these things because a) it's overpriced and b) not a very unique experience. Hiking up the side of a (free) mountain with the most breathtaking views in the world? Can't beat that. (In fact, I'll take that chunk of change I saved and at the end of the hike spend it at one of the fantastic local breweries that Colorado has all over the state.)


    • glen

      Oh, and I'll add a resource in here that's pretty awesome for finding trails/campgrounds: Hipcamp. I've referenced it before, but it's great. NO GLAMPING ALLOWED! ;)


  • brian

    Wow. "Exploring Napa Valley vineyards" is considered adventure these days? Sign me up.

    I think there have always been fitness/adventure trends but the Internet has greatly magnified the spread of certain aspects of that particular industry. People want to get on social media and brag about their hard core fitness regimen or obstacle course that they've run just as much as they want to post pictures of themselves on beaches or take pics of their fancy meals. This leads to widespread social media attention to things that probably won't be around in 5 years.

    I'm sure those courses are challenging and there is certainly nothing wrong with doing them, but I always think of fitness as something that I do for myself and not to look good or provide a certain impression. I have a lot of friends that do particular runs. I have never had any desire to do a 1/2 marathon or any such thing because it has nothing to do with my personal goals or what I want out of fitness. It's a lot cooler to say "I just ran a 1/2 Marathon" than to say "I've gone for a 30 minute run every day for the last 2 months." Personally, I would be more impressed with someone that has exercised very consistently than one particular accomplishment they did once.

    There is also so much misinformation in the fitness industry. Like with nutrition, so many people are trying to capitalize on people's lack of understanding of what being "fit" is simply because it is so ambiguous.

    I suppose whatever gets you outdoors and doing stuff is important, but I would tend to agree that doing real hikes with real nature around you is way cooler than doing a freaking mud run.