|Camping at Thousand Island Lake|
Every New Year we hear people say a million different resolutions that will change their lives for the better. Some of the classic, cliche resolutions are to Get in Shape, Save more Money, Travel More, or even Find Love. I believe if you commit to getting off the couch and into the outdoors, you can fulfill every cliche resolution and More! Think about the clean mountain air, the picturesque views, and mountain man/woman skills you can learn by spending more nights under the stars! Here are 10 reasons Hiking and Camping Should Be Your New Year Resolution.
|Fishing for trout in the Sierras|
1. No Need for a Gym Membership
With everyone wasting their hard earned money on a Gym membership, that they will stop using in two months, find the change that will last. With a 20 lb pack on an uphill hike, you can burn just as many calories as you would at the Gym, if you put in the effort. Also by joining nature’s gym, you get to avoid all the selfie taking, mirror meat heads and Kardashian wannabes. And the best part is, that your membership is free and way more rewarding.
2. Get Better Sleep
Sleeping under the Stars with the sounds of the wild, will relax and reset your soul. Leave behind the stress from your 9-5 job and your loud, cramped city apartment for a night out in the wild. I guarantee one nights sleep under the stars will wake up refreshed, with a renewed sense of life. Some of my best, full nights of sleep have been on the ground in a sleeping bag.
3. Eat Healthier
Its hard to eat fast food when you are on a 3-day backpacking trip and the nearest McDonald’s is three hours away. Resist the urge and before you know it, you won’t even crave it anymore. Catch fresh fish, gather greens and nuts on trail or pack in lean meats, cheeses and trail mix. Its not impossible, but its hard to eat unhealthy on a camping trip. Unless you pack a lot of whiskey and S’mores like myself.
4. New Challenges
Every year I hear people talk about all the bucket list items they want to check off their lists. This is the year to make a list of challenges to conquer. Hike a 12,000 foot peak, hike a famous trail or just sleep for one night in a tent under the stars. Whatever your skill level, make sure you challenge yourself to conquer new adventures this year. Make some reasonable hiking goals you know you can accomplish this year, then push your self a little further on each new adventure!
5. Save Money
Buying camping and hiking gear can be expensive at first, but once you have everything you need, you will save a boat load of money. Its impossible to spend money when you are out enjoying the trail on a multi-day excursion. Find used gear at garage sales or borrow gear from a friend. Carpool with friends on the next adventure to save on gas. A night out drinking beers around a campfire is about a 100 dollars less than a Saturday night at the bar.
6. Spend More Time with Family and Friends
Every Christmas I see the majority of my family and friends for that once a year reunion. Every year I hear how much my family and friends want to hangout or visit me more often. Well just go for it! Plan a trip and get them out on the trail! You can even show them the new skills you’ve learned. Can’t get the kids around the dinner table for family dinner or get them to put their cell phones down for two seconds? Well the solution is to get outdoors around a campfire with no cell service, they might hate you at first, but they will love you after roasted marshmallows and hot chocolate.
7. Travel More
Every New Year, people talk about traveling to lavish locations like California, New York, Europe, etc. How about you take advantage of all the hikes and campsites in your own backyard first. Get off the couch and get outdoors more! Maybe this is the year to go to Europe, but if not, visit famous hikes like the John Muir Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, or Appalachian Trail.
8. Detox! Quit Smoking and Drinking (Maybe just drink less)
If you enjoy smoking or drinking, and it doesn’t hinder your everyday life, then by all means do what makes you happy. But if you’re ready to quit, then this is the year hiking and camping will end that bad habit. If you leave those smokes in the car, and you hike in for a couple miles to set up camp, you will just have to do without them. Hiking and Camping can be so relaxing that it can take away the need for nicotine or alcohol. Breath that fresh mountain air and drink that clean mountain water.
9. Learn A New Skill
Whether you are an expert mountaineer or new to camping all together, you can never stop learning. Find a skill you know is difficult or a skill you aren’t as proficient with, and find a way to get better. If you are just starting off, then the world is your oyster! Pick a hiking or camping adventure and get out there. It’s amazing how you will feel summiting your first mountain, making your first fire or just camping for the first time.
10. Find Love!
This is the year to find that significant other. Hiking trails and campfires are perfect places to meet new people with the same interests. People who like to get outdoors are usually more positive, upbeat, and in shape. And if you don’t find your one true love, at least you will fall in love with the outdoors! Win.Win.
|Hiking and Camping in Zion National Park|
Good Luck with your New Years Resolution, and I hope you have fun hiking and camping this year.