OK, we confess: We’re not exactly the crunchy backpacking type. But in the Bay Area, it’s all about embracing the great outdoors.
Luckily, we found Outbound Collective, a North Beach-based online marketplace that caters to the whole spectrum of outdoor enthusiasts--even those who don’t want anything to do with expensive climbing gear or ice axes.
Here’s how it works: Sign up for a free membership and fill out a questionnaire with your likes (in our case, hiking, yoga and camping). The site then generates a profile of your particular outdoor type (we’re “beginners”) and sends customized weekly emails with local adventures they think you’d enjoy. So they might suggest bouldering and a barbecue at Stinson Beach or even surfing in Santa Cruz. In addition to the activity basics, they’ll provide a packing list and suggest gear that’s available for purchase.
If you choose a guided trip, book right from the site. Otherwise, assemble a group of friends and start planning using Outbound’s suggested itinerary.