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How to Set Up an Outdoor Pursuits Group



How to Set Up an Outdoor Pursuits Group

Photo by Aubrey Odom-Mabey on Unsplash

Outdoor pursuits and activities are part of a rich seam of tradition in the UK, as hobbyists and thrill-seekers alike club together to make the most of the UK’s beautiful natural land. According to the ONS, outdoor leisure brings around £12 billion to the UK’s economy each year, with that figure on the rise.

But, tragically, support for outdoor activities and pursuits is on the decline. Despite the social, physical and mental benefits of engaging with green spaces, and enjoying active hobbies in the vein of cycling, running, rambling, or climbing, organisations that bring active hobbyists together are somewhat dwindling.

But as an active sportsperson or hobbyist yourself, you might be in a position to reverse the tide. If you wanted to create your own outdoor pursuits group, what would you need to think about in getting one off the ground?

Logistics and Administration

Briefly, it is important to mention that starting up an outdoor activities club or group is not necessarily as simple as finding friends to take a trip with. You may need a formal structure to handle the management of equipment ownership and hire – consequently meaning you may also have to assume liability if accidents happen. As such, legal compliance and insurance measures are crucial for you to take seriously.


Next up, you will need to think carefully about marketing your group. How will you find your target audience, and ensure enough numbers to afford the various activities you hope to undertake? For something as relatively niche as your outdoor pursuits club, direct approaches will be more effective than the wide net that digital advertising can be.

For example, you could have banners printed with your club mission and intentions included, to be placed prominently in local gyms and sports centres. This way, you can find engaged people who are more likely to have an interest in outdoor activity. You could also create a presence online, with accounts in activity-specific forums to find like-minded folks who might be interested in joining a trip.

Expanding Offerings

With your activities group successfully launched, you are now in a position to think more actively about growth and expansion. This doesn’t necessarily mean the opening of new branches or chapters in other areas, though if you enjoy particular success then this could be a lucrative avenue for you to follow. Rather, your group’s success or potential could enable you to consider widening its scope.

Even if numbers are a little low, having established a presence as a local group means you can start to consider incorporating other sports, activities, and interests into your group’s remit. You might be an expert in outdoor climbing, and another volunteer might have in-roads to rafting – but you might not have the expertise to run archery sessions.

It wouldn’t be wise to include plans for archery before launch, but after launch, you are in a better position to find and petition other experts to join the fold. In this way, you can expand your offering and build a great multidisciplinary group in the process.

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