Some sports, such as horseback riding , were available only to the wealthy, or to those willing to make financial sacrifices for social aspirations. Riding necessitated renting or owning and maintaining a horse as well as an elaborate costume; a riding habit, gloves, boots, and equestrienne tights were social necessities for a lady.
Women interested in the sport also had to overcome physicians’ warnings that riding might complicate or stimulate pelvic troubles. But for the wealthy and the aspiring middle class (perhaps hoping to have their daughters marry "IP"), horseback riding provided both exercise and an expression of social status.
Outdoor camping – essentially a rustic version of middle-class home life – became a popular vacation activity for many Victorian men and women, especially after the publication of W.H.H. Murray’s Adventures in the Wilderness in 1869. This extremely popular book stimulated what contemporaries called "Murray’s Rush" to such areas as the Catskills, the
Adirondack, and the White Mountains. For a party of six or eight people (considered the ideal number), there would be several tents, one designated as a dining and drawing room, the others for sleeping. Some campers brought cots or made beds by filling empty mattress and pillow ticking with boughs or other available materials. Campers were urged to take blue, red, or gray blankets (which did not show dust), and a two-or three yard strip of old carpet to cover the ground in the center of the tent. Camp chairs, steamer chairs, and hammocks provided comfortable seating, and smart campers transported their equipment in boxes and flat trunks that could double as washstands, cupboards, tables, and extra seating.