Wild. Here.'s Intro to Urban Wild Exploring

Urban wild exploring can be done anywhere.

  • It can be as simple as being in the city park down the street and exploring the plants and insects that are just under your feet.  
  • It can be visiting a new green space that is just a bus (or bike) ride away, whether it's for scouting for the best park bench for reading or for trying a new multi-use path for jogging.  
  • It can be trying something new like stand-up paddleboarding and exploring the city's water routes allowing you to see the city from a new perspective.
  • Or it can be choosing a new subject for photography such as sunsets that can get you looking for the best locations and vistas.  

There are so many ways to explore the wild, green locations that can be found in the city.


Urban wild exploring can also be surprising.  

  • Surprising to find small pockets of untame areas right here in the city between streets and structures and paved over locations.  
  • Discovering areas that feel wild and hidden and unbelievably green without a structure in sight. Vast sweeps of green right in the city.
  • Surprising to go off path with friends and discover a small glade of flowers or an urban creek that is not on any maps.  
  • Incredible to witness various annual phenomena that happens only once a year or to visit a favorite spot and see how different things look with snow or in the fog.  



It's a great feeling to come upon a place that you've found on your own volition, to stumble upon something surprising and to feel like you are discovering something for the first time due to your own curiosity and adventuring spirit.

We miss quite a bit driving in our cars and taking our regular routes.  Sometimes it's even by changing our typical habit and checking out a new location or a different path that we find some place great that is worth exploring.

Tell me what you've found when you started to explore new wild spots in your own area!


I've got some tips and tricks that I can share with you in upcoming posts on HOW to find great places to explore, WHAT to bring including apps that will help you out and WHO to hook up with if you don't want to do all the groundwork of finding new places yourself.  (Every city has lots of experts who lead walks or do volunteer work to take care of the wild urban spots!) Stay tuned!


But first and foremost, feel free to refresh yourself in terms of the following...

TIPS FOR YOUR COMFORT AND SAFETY

Depending on how tame or adventurous your urban wild exploring is and also how far you go, how much time you plan spending outdoors and how familiar you are with the place you are exploring, you may want to review these common sense tips:
  • If you can, the best time in the warmer months to do exploring (especially if you'll be out for a few hours) is during the cooler parts of the day (morning or late afternoon, early evening). 
  • However the best time to go out during the winter months is mid to late afternoon when it is the warmest (and remember the saying - there's no thing as bad weather just bad clothes).
  • Urban exploring (especially in unfamiliar areas, off path or in secluded spots) should be done as a pair or a group - it is much more fun and safer with friends and a great idea also to let others know your plans and whereabouts.
  • Stay on city maintained paths especially if you are unfamiliar with off path situations such as being able to identify poisonous plants or being tick-aware.  Yes you can find these, even in urban area.
  • Explore off path areas at your own risk.  Even though you are in the city there are still many hazards that may not be visible under thick grass or covered by snow.
  • Confirm ownership of the area you are exploring.  Find out if it is municipally owned, owned by another government agency (Parks, National Capital Commission (in Ottawa), etc.) Do not go on private property.
  • If you are a photographer or overly curious, never risk your life for an amazing photo or for curiosity's sake.  Assess the situation and obey all signs and barriers.  Or buy yourself a drone!
  • Do not get too close to or in fast running water (especially in early spring).  Spring banks can be unstable, rocks can be slippery and water deeper than expected.
  • If you plan on being out for a few hours or more, know the general distance and/or time you plan to be outside and be familiar with the location of the closest public washroom.
  • Despite areas being urban, you still need to be prepared like you are going on a nature hike with bug repellent, sun screen, water, etc.  You'd be surprised with how many mosquitoes you can find in your local park!
  • Do you have any tips or tricks for safety and comfort for other urban wild explorers?


Photos 1, 2 & 4 taken by Viliam Glazduri (InstagramFlickr500 pxContributing Creative to Wild. Here.

Happy Exploring!

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