New Year’s Resolutions for the Outdoor Enthusiast

Photo credit: Gideon Haden ChomphosyWe’re getting down to the final granules of 2016. With the new year less than a week away, many of us are reflecting on the past 12 months. It’s time to think about all that we learned from those great adventures, good times, frightening mishaps, and hairy situations, and apply our newfound knowledge to how we will handle the upcoming year. Here are 10 New Year’s resolutions for outdoor enthusiasts!

Spend a month outside

We all want to spend more time outside. Unfortunately, very few of us can take a month off from all of our responsibilities and obligations to play outside. There’s still a way to spend a month outside camping, hiking, or doing whatever you love doing. With roughly 30 days in a month, and 12 months in a year, you just have to average between 2 and 3 trips each month. Go for a day hike and spend a weekend camping and you’ve already met your quota for the month!

Try a solo trip

Hiking solo or camping solo isn’t for the inexperienced or casual weekend warrior. You have to know how to handle yourself in nature, and you have to be well-prepared. You also have to have a genuine love of the outdoors. If you’re up to the challenge, go for it! Just make sure you tell someone where you’re going.

Visit new places

Go rock climbing in France, or mountain biking in Utah, or check out a new trail in your own home state! Write out a list of places you want to visit and follow through!

Try something you’ve never done before

It’s good to get out of your comfort zone every once in a while. Make a point to shake things up and try something new this year. If you normally boulder, sport climb. If you normally do day hikes, try a weekend backpacking trip. Try trail shoes instead of hiking boots, just do something different!

Set a new (personal) record

Goals are popular New Year’s resolutions. Try and do something better, faster, or longer than you’ve ever done it before. Set a new record for pack weight, or see how fast you can hike the BRT, or camp more this year than you’ve ever camped before.


Add a little altruism to your outdoor recreation. Volunteer to pick up trash, build trails, or maintain parks. Help others enjoy the outdoors as much as you do!

Watch a sunrise

There are certainly some breathtaking poems and pictures depicting a sunrise, but there’s nothing that can replace the experience. When was the last time you saw the sunrise? Wake up early, or stay up late, and enjoy nature at its most beautiful.

Start a journal

Start documenting your time outdoors. Simply write down everything you do, write an entertaining story, or capture your day in poetic verse. Keeping an outdoor blog or journal can help you solidify your memories and better appreciate your experiences.

Visit a national park

Our national parks are a national treasure. Whether you visited a park for the NPS centennial, it’s been a while, or you’ve never been to a national park before, it’s always worth the trip.

Turn off your phone

Wireless coverage is constantly growing. Sure, you could check your work email on the trail, or post a selfie from your campsite, but that takes away form your time outdoors. Take the opportunity to unplug and connect with nature!

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