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Australian Geographic Outdoor - - Contents -

The awe­some out­door com­mu­nity

IT’S TIME TO SIT down, grab a cof­fee and pon­der this ques­tion: what is your favourite ad­ven­ture or out­door ac­tiv­ity? And why? Sure, it’s a loaded ques­tion, but not in a neg­a­tive way. It is just to con­firm one of my favourite the­o­ries and some­thing I have al­ways re­garded as truth. No mat­ter what your poi­son, whether you’re a cy­clist or a hiker, or your most mem­o­rable ad­ven­tures are camp­ing with the kids at a nearby car­a­van park, the main thing to re­mem­ber is that you are still part of what is un­doubt­edly the best com­mu­nity on the planet: the out­doors.

I have been a part of this awe­some com­mu­nity for decades and I’ve en­joyed ev­ery minute of it, as I am sure all AGO read­ers have, along with any­one else who gets ‘out there’. I can­not put my fin­ger on pre­cisely what it is, but one of the pri­mary fac­tors in this en­joy­ment is how the out­doors com­mu­nity seems to look after its own. I have needed help on more than a few oc­ca­sions – whether to jimmy a bro­ken trekking pole back to­gether or to change a flat tyre on my bike – and I have been nearly knocked over by the rush of peo­ple will­ing to lend a hand.The old adage “many hands makes light work” sure does ring true when you need a third hand to re­con­nect that trek pole point or wres­tle that tyre back onto its rim. It’s a real strength of the out­door com­mu­nity, and it’s good to know that help­ing out where pos­si­ble is an easy job that will be re­turned with in­ter­est if you get stuck your­self.

The other im­pres­sive thing about the out­doors com­mu­nity is how none of us are re­ally just ‘a hiker’ or ‘a pad­dler’. Most of us en­joy the out­doors in a va­ri­ety of ways, us­ing a va­ri­ety of equip­ment and meth­ods to do so.And even if we are not a mad­keen hiker or bike rider, we still ap­pre­ci­ate the fact that the per­son ‘do­ing it’ that way is still fo­cussed on the same thing we are: en­joy­ing the out­doors.

This was con­firmed in AGO’s re­cent reader sur­vey; even though hik­ing is still our read­ers num­ber one ac­tiv­ity, the spread of other ac­tiv­i­ties across the read­er­ship, from moun­tain bik­ing, 4WD tour­ing and fam­ily camp­ing, to fish­ing, road cy­cling and pad­dling (of all dis­ci­plines) was pretty even.

I guess that means that all of us in the out­door com­mu­nity are pretty damn lucky; hav­ing a num­ber of dif­fer­ent ways in which to get out and en­joy an ad­ven­ture means we’ll never, ever, get bored with be­ing out­side.And that’s the way it should be.

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