Outdoor New Year’s Resolutions

Mountain sunsetThe beginning of a new year is the perfect time to put old habits to rest and start some healthy new ones. Here are some ideas for New Year’s resolutions to help you get outside more often, or develop safer habits for your outdoor activities.

  • A lot of people will say that they want to get out more often. Well, that’s really vague. Figure out exactly how often you want to get outside next year. Think about this past year, how busy you were, and whether or not this next year will be similar. This will give you a realistic idea of how often you can get out. Maybe it’s once a month, or twice a month, or every weekend. Whatever you settle on, stick to it. Get out and hike, climb, camp, float, bike, or whatever.
  • A good outdoor resolution, would be learning some useful skills. There are plenty of good outdoor skills to learn. They probably don’t teach navigation or cartography in most schools these days, so take some time to learn how navigate with a compass and read a map. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, you need to know how to tie knots. Learning to identify plants can help you know what to avoid, and also what you can eat if it comes down to it. Recognizing bird songs might not be as useful as reading maps of tying knots, but it’s still a fun skill to have.
  • Getting redundant might not sounds like a good resolution, but when it comes to safety it is. Accidents happen with a lack of care. Lack of care comes with too little experience, but it can also come with a whole lot of experience. When you’ve been doing something for years, you might start to cut corners or get sloppy because you’re comfortable with it. Whether it’s double checking all of your climbing knots, or thoroughly examining every inch of your gear, take the time to make sure nothing will go wrong.
  • Complete an entire trail. Either knock it out in a single go, or tackle it section by section throughout the year. Having a tangible goal can help you get outside as much as possible.
  • Make sure to see some new places. We have a lot of beautiful rivers and trails in our state, but there are lots of other beautiful places to check out. Plan a trip to check out some natural beauty around the country.

It’s easy to get lazy and say, it’s not warm enough, or it’s not sunny enough, and skip a weekend of outdoor fun. But what if one weekend turns to two, and then two turns to 52? Stay in the habit of getting outdoors. Don’t let a little water or cold air shut you down. Once you’re actually out, you will have a great time!


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