The great outdoors are great for a reason. People all across the globe head outside for recreation, adventure, and travel every single day in staggering numbers. From hiking to biking to climbing Mount Everest, there are endless options for outdoor recreation, and endless amazing facts about the wild outdoors! Here are 100 amazing facts about adventure travel and outdoor activities.
Table of contents
- There are over 172741.1mi of official trails in all of Canada.
- Ontario has over 49709.7mi of trails.
- The longest trail in the world, the Great Trail, crosses an incredible 9266.5mi from one coast of Canada to the other.
- If you hiked 18.6mi per day, hiking the entire Great Trail would take over two years. From St. John’s to Victoria, you’d be hiking for two years, two months, and one week. Now that’s a trip!
- The longest pedestrian bridge in North America is 1001ft long. The bridge is located in Trail, British Columbia, suspended between two 100ft towers. The bridge is part of the Great Trail.
- In 2013, 35 million Americans went hiking. This was up from 30 million in 2006.
- The Appalachian Trail is visited by 2 million people every year.
- The biggest hiking boot in the world is 23ft long, 8ft wide, and 14ft tall.
- In May 1996, Italian Hans Kammerlander completed the fastest-ever ascent of Mount Everest. He climbed the northern side, going from base camp to the summit in a mere 16 hours and 45 minutes.
- It’s scientifically proven that hiking can make you happier! Research has shown that hiking can positively combat symptoms of stress and anxiety. As Gregory A. Miller, PhD, President of the American Hiking Society says, “Being in nature is ingrained in our DNA, and we sometimes forget that.”
Guinness World Records
Travel and Leisure
The Great Trail
- Rock climbing first became a sport in the late 1880s in England.
- Now, there are over 400 indoor climbing walls in the UK alone.
- The most technically difficult rock climb in the world is Silence in Hanshelleren Cave of Flatanger, Norway. It has a proposed rating of 9c.
- One of the most famous natural rock climbs in the world is considered to be the 2999ft El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. Several different climbing documentaries and films have focused on the wall.
- The first artificial climbing wall, Shurman Rock, is believed to have been built in Seattle in 1939.
- The tallest artificial climbing wall is at BaseCamp Climbing in Reno, Nevada. The Wall tops out at 169ft tall, boasting a climbable surface of 164ft.
- Rock climbing can burn up to 900 calories per hour.
- A research study showed that climbing is about as beneficial to your cardiovascular system as running at a pace of 8-11 minutes per mile.
- Children can benefit from climbing- it improves motor skills, coordination, and balance. Climbing can also foster social relationships.
- Climbing can actually make your hands bigger!
- Czech climber Libor Hroza set the world record for climbing speed, ascending a 49ft speed course in just 5.73 seconds!
- Will Levendoski set a one-day climbing record in May 2011 when he climbed 29131ft in 24 hours.
- Rock climbing will debut as an Olympic sport in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
- There are over 14 different kinds of recognized rock climbing. These include bouldering, top rope climbing, ice climbing, and free climbing, just to name a few.
- The largest cam ever developed is the Black Diamond #21 Camelot.
- The most common climbing injury is referred to as “climber’s finger.” It happens when finger tendons are damaged by overuse.
The Climbing Guy
Planet Air Sports
Rock Climbing Central
- Christoph Strasser of Austria completed the fastest cross-USA bike ride in just 7 days, 15 hours and 56 minutes. He rode from Oceanside, California to Annapolis, Maryland.
- The longest tandem bicycle seated a whopping 35 people, and it was over 66ft long.
- China has more bicycles than any country in the work, with over half a billion within its borders.
- There are two times as many bicycles in the world than there are cars.
- Keeping a bike in riding shape costs twenty times less than maintaining and driving a car each year.
- Cycling is the most profitable sports goods category in the world, worth about $51 billion each year.
- On average, an individual can lose around 13 lbs (5.8 kilos) in the first year of cycling to work.
- The first people to use mountain bikes were likely the Buffalo Soldiers in the 1890s.
- Mountain biking became an Olympic sport in 1996.
- The largest mountain bike race in the world happens each year in Norway, hosting up to 15,000 participants each year to ride 282ft.
- The longest mountain bike race in the world stretches over 2699.9mi from Canada to Mexico.
- In 2017, Eric Barone broke a record by cycling 268 km/hr (141 mph) on a mountain bike.
Guinness World Records
Bill Bone Bike Law
Out There Colorado
Adventure Travel Facts
- The average person living in the United Kingdom has visited 10 countries. The average German has visited 8, the average French individual 5, but only 29% of Americans have ever travelled abroad.
- France is the most-visited country in the world, with over 82 million international travellers coming to visit each year. The United States and Spain are numbers two and three on the list of the top destinations, respectively. Each has about 75 million visitors each year.
- Jet lag is more debilitating if you travel from west to east, losing hours along the way.
- There are normally 61,000 people in the air over the United States at any given time.
- Introverted people are more likely to choose mountain locations for a holiday, and extroverts are more likely to holiday on the beach.
- The longest flight you can take is 18 hours and 45 minutes long, going from Singapore to Newark on Singapore Airlines.
- The safest place to sit on a plane is actually near the back, in economy class.
- Planes have round windows for a reason! Sharp corners create structural weak points, causing windows to crack more easily. Round windows don’t have these weak spots, making them more likely to stay intact.
- Travelling can strengthen your immune system by exposing you to new germs, which your body creates new antibodies for.
Far and Wide
Ski and Snowboard Facts
- The first snowboard was called a “snurfer.” Sherman Poppen from Michigan bound two skis together to create the first snowboard for his daughter, and got the name from the idea of surfing on snow.
- Because of that, the first snowboarder (or snurfer, technically) was a girl- Sherman’s daughter.
- About a million snurfers were sold in the first year of their development. They were steered using a handheld rope and had no bindings.
- The word “ski” comes from the ancient Norse word “skíð” which means a split piece of wood.
- You could be able to ski on the moon one day! When Harrison Schmitt was on the moon in 1972 as part of the Apollo 17 mission, he noticed that the rim of the Sea of Serenity was mountainous and ideal for skiing.
- Jamie Pierre set a world record for his 256ft cliff jump on skis at the Grand Targhee Resort in Wyoming.
- Ivan Origone set a speed record on skis in March 2016 when he clocked 254 km/hr (158.4mph), which is faster than most passenger cars can travel.
- Stefan Kraft holds the record for the world’s longest ski jump, sailing 832ft in Vikersund in 2017.
- Cross-country skiing is as much as 22,000 years old, dating back to the Paleolithic era.
- Cross-country skiing has been in the Olympics longer than alpine skiing has. Cross-country was added in 1924 and alpine in 1936.
- Knee injuries are the most common in skiing, representing around 35% of all injuries sustained from accidents.
- Snowboarders have to watch out for shoulder and upper arm injuries, which are the most commonly sustained in a fall.
- Of the 50 states in America, 40 of them have a ski resort.
- There are 14 different mountains on earth that reach over 26247ft above sea level.
- In 2018, Mount Everest porters had to bring down 14 tons of human excrement from the mountain. That’s a dirty job!
- As of 2018, over 5,200 people had successfully climbed Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world.
- 295 people have died on Everest as of 2018, and 1 in 10 summit attempts currently results in the death of a climber.
- For a while, women who climbed K2 were thought to be cursed. The first woman to summit K2 was Wanda Rutkiewicz, who died on her next climb. The next four women to summit K2 either died on their descent or on their next climb. The curse has since been broken, thankfully!
- Kilimanjaro has been climbed in a wheelchair-twice! South Africa’s Bernard Goosen summited the mountain in 2003 and 2007 in a wheelchair, taking nine and six days, respectively.
Rock Climbing Central
- Rainer Predl of Austria spent 7 days on the treadmill, setting a record with 530.3mi covered over 168 hours.
- The world’s longest race is the Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race, which covers 3100.0mi. It actually circles just one block of New York City, which runners circle over and over.
- Wayne Botha holds the world record for barefoot running. He ran 131.1mi in 24 hours without shoes in Auckland, New Zealand.
- Strava logged 240.7 million runs worldwide in 2017, which was a 46.2% increase from the prior year.
- The world marathon record was run by Kenyan Eluid Kipchoge with a blazing 4:38 mile pace.
- Runners used to drink champagne before races! In the Victorian Era, runners believed that alcohol enhanced athletic performance.
- The winner of the 1904 Olympic marathon actually drove most of it in a car. Frederick Lorz pulled out of the race after nearly 9.3mi because of the sweltering heat. He had his coach drive him to the stadium, but the car broke down just shy of the doors. Lorz walked across the finish line and was crowned the winner, and decided to play along until it was discovered that he didn’t actually run the race.
- Each step you take while running uses 200 different muscles.
- The largest camping tent in the world, the Ozark Trail Cabin Tent, sleeps 20 people
- Camping is one of the most popular outdoor activities in the world
- 14% of the American population goes camping every year
- Canada has over three million lakes, which is an insane 60% of all the lakes in the world.
- Denali is the highest peak in the United States and North America, at 20308ft above sea level.
- The highest peak in Canada is Mount Logan, which reaches 19551ft high.
- The summit of Mount Everest gets approximately 4mm higher every year due to geological uplift.
- Mount Everest’s summit is nearly at the cruising altitude of a jet.
- The highest cliff jump in the world is a terrifying 193ft high above the Italy-Switzerland border in Cascada del Salto, completed by Laso Schaller in 2015. Schaller dislocated his hip making the jump.
- The diverse terrain of Yosemite National Park supports more than 400 species of animals.
- Yosemite is the home of one of the tallest waterfalls in the world, standing 2425ft high.
- The highest waterfall in Canada is Della Falls in British Columbia, which stands 1444ft high.
- Canada is half forest and contains 10% of all the forests in the world.
- China is the world’s most active country, with an average of 6,189 steps taken per person every day, and Malta is the least active country in the world, with 71.9% of adults sedentary during the day
Outdoor Activity Facts
- In 2016, almost 70% of Canadians enjoyed some sort of outdoor activity.
- In 2018, nearly 60% of Americans enjoyed some sort of outdoor activity. 4% of them tried something new and 5% were returning to outdoor activity after taking a break.
- 80% of outdoor enthusiasts wish they had more time to spend outside!
- A few of the top 5 most popular outdoor activities are running, skateboarding, camping, biking, and bird watching.
- The most popular outdoor activity in the United States is running, with nearly 58 million Americans participating in the activity every year.
Enjoy the Outdoors
Economics of the Outdoors
- Every year, Americans spend $120 billion on equipment and gear for outdoor recreation
- Americans spend $524.8 billion on travel and adventure-related trips every year
- Outdoor activity could contribute as much as $730 billion to the American economy each year.
- Outdoor recreation worldwide generates up to $887 billion annually
- Outdoor recreation provides 6.1 million jobs in America
- Outdoor recreation employs more people every year than finance, construction, education, and oil and gas industries.
- The outdoor recreation economy grows about 5% every year in the United States