Large chunks of ordinary people’s lives are spent indoors, sitting in front of computers and television screens. Lives like these are extremely unhealthy, physically and mentally. Unless you make a proactive effort to change things you could wind up developing diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and even Alzheimer’s. Instead of sitting around, get outdoors, the benefits are endless.

Outdoor activity stimulates you, creating new motor neuron pathways. Studies also show that it can significantly reduce an individual’s chances of developing depression or anxiety, two conditions that are prevalent in society today.

Here are six pieces of equipment you will need to bring with you if you are planning on getting outdoors:

Sleeping Bag and Tent

When purchasing sleeping bags and tents it is important to shop around and find waterproof models, as rain can be hard to predict. The type of sleeping bag and tent you buy should depend largely upon your region’s climate. You need specific gear for cold, temperate, and hot weather. You cannot use a tent made for Antarctic cold in the Sahara desert and vice versa. You can learn all about camping gear on a blog or site dedicated to the topic, as there are many other things you need besides tents and sleeping bags. Ensuring you have all of the right equipment will keep you safe and comfortable outdoors.

Bringing A Compass

Unless you can read the stars, you are probably going to need to bring a compass with you. A lot of individuals new to outdoor activities overlook the importance of compasses, especially in the United States. In places like the United Kingdom where there are not really any vast expanses of wilderness, a compass has no real purpose. In America however, where there are forests that stretch for thousands of miles, compasses can save you from getting lost. Don’t just buy a compass and stuff it in your bag, however. Ensure you know how to read it too. A compass is useless if you do not know how to use it.

Proper Hiking Gear

You will need proper hiking gear if you are going out, even if you are just camping. Comfortable shoes, trousers, and tops are all essential. Wearing clothing not suitable for hiking on an outdoor adventure is a very bad idea. Not only will such clothing make you uncomfortable, in the case of shoes it could actually cause you to develop friction blisters. On long expeditions into the woods or expanses of wilderness, friction blisters can get infected. Infections, if untreated, can turn into sepsis, a fatal condition and one of the world’s leading killers.

Understanding Threats

Moving away from equipment for a moment, in the United States predatory animals are common things. Hikers and adventurists regularly encounter bears, wolves, lynxes, and other wildcats like mountain lions – grizzly bears are probably the biggest threat to hikers, however. Unless you are aware that these animals exist you could end up having a nasty encounter when you run into one. Most experts advise bringing a firearm along with you on hikes, in case you have to fight for your life; it is also advisable to bring bear spray and some kind of alarm so you can notify people in case you get hurt.

Signal Booster

Out in the wild, the signal is not guaranteed. However, if you get injured and have no signal on your mobile device then you could find yourself unable to call for help. In such situations, the likely outcome is death. Many hikers die each year because they are injured and do not have the means of calling for help. Signal boosters are small compact devices you can fit in your pocket. If you get injured you can then activate them and get a signal on your phone, no matter where you are – these devices are a great investment for hikers, backpackers, and mountain climbers.

Additional Sports

Going hiking is fun. Complimenting a hiking trip with some fishing, hunting, or mountain climbing is even more entertaining. On your expedition why not take up a sport as well? You do not need company or friends to pursue any of these activities. However, to go hunting you will need a permit. Permits are issued at the start of each year and tend to sell out fast. Be sure to get yours as early as you can if hunting is an activity that interests you. You do not usually need a permit for fishing.

Getting outdoors and improving your physical fitness is something you can do with minimal equipment. As long as you do not plan on going camping then all you need is comfortable clothing, a signal booster, and a sidearm for protection. These items can be bought for next to nothing, especially on the used market.