Urban Outdoorsman

Urban Outdoorsman: n. Homeless person or bum. One who experiences the great outdoors of an urban setting for prolonged amounts of time.

Ok, definitely not the definition I thought I was going to get, although I have heard the word thrown around during my travels to Portland and Seattle.

I have a different definition. Urban Outdoorsman: n. A sportsman/sportswoman who, because of proximity or lack of access to rural settings, finds outdoor activities in an urban setting.

Hopefully this isn’t some form of appropriation, but I think we can share the term.

I live in Oklahoma’s third largest city. I do make a lot of trips out of town and state for outdoor adventure, however there are some days you only have an hour or two for your sport.

Mine happens to be fishing, mostly with a fly rod. I’ve sniffed out all of the public access ponds in my area, and have permission to fish some HOA lakes. These come in great when I need a change of pace and am short on time. Still working on the golf course ponds.

In Oklahoma we have a Department of Wildlife that believes in public access to fishing. Through ODWC’s Close to Home program, dozens of city ponds and lakes are stocked periodically. I make serious use of these throughout the week, and have caught some nice fish in relative peace. Many are even within biking distance.

If you’re a hiker, there are hundreds of urban trails likely in your area. Many are paved trails but in my area we have several dirt/gravel wilderness areas that let you get around some nature without a lengthy drive.

Nearly every city has indoor and outdoor rock climbing gyms. I don’t climb but I have a lot of friends who do.

I also spend an inordinate amount of time kayaking. Oklahoma City is home to an Olympic trial grounds for kayaking and crew, and with the recent addition of a whitewater rapids park has become a Mecca for paddlesports and rafting.

There are ample opportunities to rent kayaks or SUP’s from OKC Kayak, and plenty of nature preserves like Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge to paddle in.

If you look hard enough, nearly every urban area has a lot to offer outdoors.

What does your city offer? Leave your suggestions in the comment section!

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