Outdoor recreation includes all individual or group activities undertaken in a natural, outdoor environment and can be anything from bushwalking and snorkeling to rock climbing and white water rafting. The activities include an educational process that facilitates leadership, interpersonal and management skills. Much of the demand for outdoor recreation involves public lands (e.g. state forests, stock routes, unformed roads, national parks and the land surrounding major dams) and waters (e.g. dams and marine parks). For public lands, local and state government agencies are responsible for outdoor recreation policy, planning, management and resource allocation.
Relevant and reliable data about outdoor recreation demand are an important part of outdoor recreation planning and management decisions. Most of the available information does not discriminate between outdoor recreation activities done in different settings. Such discrimination is essential because each different outdoor recreation opportunity attracts different clients, provides different experiences and requires a different management approach. For example, camping in wild, natural, remote settings and camping in rural landscapes are clearly significantly different from each other.
The word `outdoors` encompasses all aspects of nature (environment) and adventure. Outdoor activities and adventure sports like mountaineering, trekking, rock climbing and river rafting have been commonly used for the purpose of recreation and exploration. During these human endeavors, it became obvious that the outdoors left their impact not just on the body, but also on the minds of people. Taking this idea further, outdoors are now being used as a powerful resource in addition to pure recreation and adventure.
India presents a gamut of recreation activities, right from indulging in some exhilarating sports to participating in cultural activities. India offers a wide range of outdoor recreation activities. Trekking and Skiing in the Himalayas, White Water Rafting on the Ganges and Beas, Camel and Jeep safaris in the deserts of Rajasthan, Paragliding in Himachal, Watersports in Goa and Scuba Diving in Lakshwadeep and Andaman are just some of the options available to the people loving outdoor activities. In addition facilities for squash, tennis, snooker, bowling alleys, golf, swimming and workouts are also easily available for the indoor recreation lovers. However, with the advent of cable television and Internet one can also be connected to the entire world, since various international channels are accessible in India.