Why we do it: 5 reasons to explore the outdoors


Facing challenges, a sense of freedom, unique adventures… we look at how the outdoors inspires us to explore more.

Exploring the outdoors

No two adventures are the same – every trip throws up new challenges and fresh experiences.

Being outdoors and connecting with nature always has benefits for both mind and body. Here are just a few of them.

Meditating and de-stressing

When I’m here I get time to reflect and think about things or even just completely zone out and not think about anything at all.” – David Love, adventurer, expedition leader and mountaineer

Health, money, work, lack of sleep – they’re all causes of stress in our increasingly screen-focused society. Research shows that 85% of UK adults suffer with stress regularly, something that can have an adverse effect on health.

Getting into the outdoors can be a way of switching your focus to something outside of yourself. Climbing, mountain biking, kayaking or hiking in the forest, you’re living in the moment with no worries about the future, no obsessing over the past. Just a route to follow and a destination in mind.

Durable, outdoor Explore phone | Land Rover Explore

The Land Rover Explore phone has mapping and GPS in one waterproof package, so you don’t need to worry about finding your way. Instead, you can completely immerse yourself in the experience and let your mind go free to think about things without pressure.

Need more proof?

Researchers have shown that ‘forest bathing’ – the Japanese term for just taking in the atmosphere of the woods – lowers pulse rate, blood pressure and the stress hormone, cortisol. But if you’re an adventurer, you don’t need science to tell you about the beneficial health effects of nature – you can feel them when you’re in it.

“To be on the river is a really special feeling,” says sea kayaking guide Gregor Zadravec. “The water is very calm so you can think about things that happened during the day, about your plans for the future. It’s basically a meditation in movement.”

Stimulating creativity

Exploring more feeds the beast of being more creative” – Miranda Ioannou, hiking leader.

The outdoors has inspired artists from Monet to Hockey. If, like them, you feel the urge to capture what you see, the camera on the Land Rover phone makes it easy. But the influence of nature on creativity isn’t just in the moment.

Explore phone on the water | Land Rover Explore

A Danish study explored how nature can enhance creative ways of thinking. It found that connecting with nature makes us more able to get new ideas, more curious and more flexible in our thinking.

It’s especially effective in the early stages of the creative process – the preparation and incubation phases where you’re starting to process and synthesize your ideas. Adventurers know how the outdoors can fire the imagination – and these thoughts can be the seeds that grow into artworks and other creative projects.

Going somewhere most people don’t

“Adventure is accessible to a lot of people, more than they think it is. It’s about the feeling inside. You can do that quite locally.” – David Love

Hiking in the mountains of Snowdonia | Land Rover Explore

There’s a thrill in arriving at a fantastic view and knowing that you got there under your own steam. And a quiet satisfaction of seeing things that other people never will that you’ll be able to carry with you forever. But adventure doesn’t have to be limited to uncharted paths.

“Some people say you can’t explore anymore because everything has been explored. Well actually, if you’ve not been there before and you’ve not been on that path, that’s exploration,” says David Love.

So whether your adventure is a one-day kayaking trip or a month-long trek, if the experiences are new to you, there’s always something to discover.

As Gregor Zadravec says: “If you break the routine, if you open your eyes, you might see a lot of new things again.” ­

Stepping up to the challenge

“I like the fact that every day brings a new challenge and I look for that when I go into the outdoors.” – David Love

Overcoming obstacles builds inner strength, control and resilience. And if done with others, it can create a unique sense of trust. It’s all part of what psychologists call hardiness.

Seeing a challenge as an opportunity, a gift to oneself, is something lovers of the outdoors are familiar with. Exploring more means not knowing what each day will bring, rolling with the punches, stepping out of your comfort zone and seeing a bigger picture than everyday working life has to offer. It allows you to be in the moment.

It’s all part of the reward of setting yourself a goal and pushing hard to achieve it. But being outdoors is also about the experience itself

“The peak is not always the purpose,” says Miranda. “The purpose is getting out there and letting it soak in. You gradually, as you immerse yourself in nature, find yourself and actually hear yourself.”

Inspiring others

My parents were people who were very into nature. I have memories of being very little and them carrying me out into the mountains and forests and doing different activities. I’ve carried that around with me.” – Miranda Ioannou

Miranda in nature with the Explore phone | Land Rover Explore

Adventurers often say their love of the outdoors goes back to childhood. It’s something that many adventurers like to share with others, inspiring them to share their love of a challenge.

“It’s very important for me to be able to give back to people,” says Miranda.

“I channel this passion I have for the outdoors into bringing people out into nature every weekend. Seeing these people getting to their first week was an awesome moment because it conveyed to them that they can achieve something if they put their minds to it.”

Learn more about the Land Rover Explore phone