No. 1 Reach for/Reach out for. Either can be used in your examples. “Reach out for” however, for me is more illustrative and gives me a better mental picture of the action. So, if you think that is necessary use it that way.
No. 2 My preference and again from my perspective would be to use “outdoors” for a general description of some activity, whereas I would be inclined to use “outside” for some more specific activity. The examples you present are the way I would use the terms.
No.3 Yes, you can substitute “protected” and depending on the context I think it should be “There are”, not “They are”.
No. 4 “The” can, in some cases, be used to describe a class/group of entities. For example, “the refrigerator is a common item to be found in the kitchen".
I hope this helps.