Word for Nature Trip

Often I will go iNatting to gather data for iNaturalist, but is there a name for a trip devoted just observing nature, but not necessarily iNat? What would I say if I wanted to ask my family if they wanted to go observing with me? “Do you want to go… naturalizing… ? On a nature trip/drive/walk?” “Do you want to go a drive, with frequent stops and long nerdy conversations in possibly hot, freezing, or soaking weather, just to get a small green plant?” Yeah…
What do you all use in this situation?


I tend to use “naturalizing” or “looking for stuff”.


I just say that I simply go for a walk, if I need to explain it for someone I say I’m going to make photos and look for birds/moths/etc, cause I need to, if I invite someone I just ask if they wanna come with me.) Maybe if there’s birding you can do other “gerund activities”.


I often say that I’m off to “see what I can see”.


Yeah those two tend to be what I use.

1 Like

Wow, Love that one.


I say I’m off “outdoorsing” – or “swampwhacking”, depending on how muddy I expect it to be.


I just say I’m going for a “Nature Walk”! Even if it will require driving or biking first, I know I’ll end up walking anyways!


I “go on a Bug Hunt”… a play on the “We’re going on a Bear Hunt” book title… it’s seldom just for bugs though, and usually only goes as far as 100m up the trail, before it’s time to turn back!


and a rather interesting take here:

While trying to find the link to the book/video, I also came across this:


My friends all know me as a fairly avid birder and I often say I’m going birding. But since I’ve expanded my interests to other bits of nature besides birding, I haven’t known really what to call an ‘outing’. With them, I kind of humorously call it ‘naturing’ since it matches the form of ‘birding’. But it doesn’t have a quick meaning in the general population.

One alternative I’ll use is hiking which I prefer over walking. I think walking is often associated with a kind of leisurely, enjoyable stroll in the sun (or shade if it’s hot). Hiking is more easily associated with the inclement weather and conditions I’m willing to endure to get at a bird or some new iNat observation. I joke that one would never get me out in drizzly 40F weather for a ‘walk’. But tell me Loons are on the lake and I might find a Fox Sparrow and I’m there.

I was thinking this morning - as I ‘hiked’ in the fog looking for a Black-crowned Night-Heron (found him!) about the eBird report I’d make. I was out for almost two hours and the last half hour (at least) was me just rolling over logs and finding spring green shoots to photograph. I was still watching out for birds but I was lingering over a lot of non-bird stuff.

eBird kind of separates the kind of bird-spotting event you had by whether birding was your primary purpose or not. Well, I got out to see birds. I was noting the birds. But for this half hour, birding wasn’t really my primary purpose. What about when I hike the prairie and spend as much time chasing butterflies as birds? Am I birding? Or am I naturing? Just an idle thought. I’m sure eBird doesn’t care if I chase a few butterflies or grasshoppers while birding.

on a last thought. I recently became aware of the hobby of ‘mudlarking’. Can we please come up with as cool a name as mudlarking for what we do? :-)


Welcome to the forum!

Very true!

Sometimes I just say “I’m going walkabout”.


I want to go swampwhacking! In Australia we’d call it swamp-bashing. Either way, I’ve always been amused that the word used to describe one making one’s own path through the wilderness is so violent. Hopefully we naturalists are a tad more gentle. Just think of everything we’d miss otherwise!


Botanising. Even though we’re interested in everything we see, we go botanising. This means pootling through the veld seeing what we see. As @kiwifergus says, it can take a few hours to get 100 m, especially in the spring a couple months after a fire and some rain.


When I take a short walk outdoors in my condo complex I either say I’m going to the “wilderness” if I head to the area with oaks, birdbaths, maples, azaleas. (It is like the wilderness mentioned in Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen.) Or I say I’m going bugging meaning that I have my iPhone and macro lens and I’m going to see how many bug closeups I can get. There’s always the bug that gets away.:smile:


Usually if not getting paid, it’s “walking in the woods” or “poking around in the woods”. The exact habitat type doesn’t matter. Woods can be a savanna or meadow too. If there’s a bit of focus to the day, fishing, birding, chasing tiger beetles, or herping. Bryologists tend to say “foray”. But I think of that as a group of bryophyte enthusiasts out together.

If I’m getting paid, it’s fieldwork. And I am out standing in my field. :)


I do kinda like Linnaeus’ “inquisitions of the pastures”

“Honey, I’ll be home in a couple of hours… I’m off on a pastural inquisition…”


Yep, birding for me usually is a mix too.



It’s a search for life, with life taking whatever form your interests, the place or the time influence you to search for. So, to go “life-ing”, or lifeing?


I love this question and all of these responses.

I’ve used both “exploring” or going on “an explore” for trips to local nature areas. Birding and botanizing, if looking for a specific taxon, though I suppose bugging has a similar ring to it! Also used “naturalizing”, though mainly with other naturalists.

Often when I’m hiking or mountain biking with the nature un-curious, I stop to examine odds and ends, usually shouting the name if I know it. Some friends have diagnosed me with botanical tourette’s.

Junket? Excursion? Nature walk? Maybe birders… peregrinate?