10 Fun New Years Resolutions for Outdoorsy People

David PenningtonDecember 5, 2023

10 Fun New Years Resolutions for Outdoorsy People

Fun New Years resolutions are a cool way to kick off a fresh start. With the new year comes a new beginning, a chance to reimagine how you want your life to unfold. Most make resolutions to drop bad habits, eat better, or exercise more. Whatever your motivation, resolutions should be created in line with the things that matter most to you.

For us, nothing matters more than getting outside, traveling, and embracing opportunities to be in nature. Here are 10 fun New Year’s resolutions for outdoorsy-minded folk:

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1. See more. Much more.

This is as simple as making more weekend trip plans or as not-so-simple as rearranging everything in your life in order to hit the road for a few months at a time. Maybe you even cash in on your frequent flier miles and go for a long-haul flight that places you in a completely different continent. Point being: you haven’t seen everything, so you might as well keep trying to get out more.

Take a moment to mark up a map with all the places you visit and revisit and see where it is you always seem to end up. Now go the other direction and see what’s there. Just because you haven’t heard of a place or it doesn’t have a popular tourist stop doesn’t mean there isn’t something out there you’ll fall in love with.

2. Buy used.

We get it, we really do. There are fewer things more exhilarating than picking up new gear for your next journey. But is can be a really fun new years resolution to hunt down the perfect piece of used gear.

Ask yourself: Are you picking up something new just so it hangs in your closet for a majority of the year? Buying used relieves the environmental pressure to always be producing. Additionally, selling your underused gear on the secondhand market is a good way to put a little scratch back in your pocket.

Find yourself only using gear every once in a while? Consider renting gear or joining or starting up a gear-sharing collective with your friends.

3. Vote better. Vote more.

By the time the ballot is finally in your hands, you have probably grown sick of hearing about it. With huge budgets being spent to promote or demean certain candidates or parties, the issues you might care about could get lost in the noise.

Make this the year to go further down the ballot and sort out the legalese surrounding issues you care about. Ballot issues tend to be where funding for less-than-romantic issues are considered—like park maintenance, floodwater districts, and outdoor accessibility programs. Taking the time to educate yourself on these issues and the people who support or suppress them can be a good way to discover other opportunities to potentially support an outdoor-related cause you care about.

4. Tag less.

In 1885 Thomas Ayers drew and published one of the first drawings of the area of the country we now know as Yosemite. The dramatic mountains and cliff faces drew explorers west in droves and eventually led to the establishment of the National Parks System. Today, amateur photographers shoot, edit, and publish dramatic shots of vistas and landmarks from all over the world and upload them to Instagram with a location tag. This tag draws other photographers to the same spot, looking to do their own take on the same shot.

In some tourist-driven places, this isn’t too much of a problem. However, some of the more delicate locations—such as Arches National Monument—have seen an influx of visitors the park isn’t quite ready to handle. The result: landscapes that look trampled, and suffer from increased erosion, more trash, less peace, and more noise.

If you find a place that is equally as enjoyable as it is gorgeous, maybe this is the year you keep it to yourself. Or if you find a vista that you have to share, maybe tag it broadly. Sure, maybe you took that photo in Yosemite, but there is no harm in setting the geotag as “California, USA.”

5. Leave less of a trace.

Another fun new years resolution involves following a trail closer. Sleep under the stars. Build a smaller campfire that burns less wood. Eat meals with fewer ingredients. Keep the camp radio at home and enjoy the noises of nature. The less of an impact you make on the environment, the faster an area can bounce back and grow again.

Not traveling far and wide? Maybe you take up less space with your laptop at a coffee shop, or drive one fewer place during the week, or make extra considerations of your grocery list to not waste food. Everyone makes noise, but what if we all made a little less?

6. Pack it out.

I am a horrible fisherman. On days I get totally jilted by the fish, I fill up my net with trash I find on the banks as I walk back to my truck. Cans, wrappers, abandoned clothing, fishing line caught up in the weeds and branches. There’s always a net-full of stuff that I can stash in the nearest gas station trash can.

Most of us already have the habit of bringing a reusable grocery bag to the store. The next time you hike out somewhere, bring along a reusable trash bag so you can pack out your own trash, and the trash that you might come across. Even if you didn’t pack it in, packing out what others have left behind does wonders for the landscape.

7. Take a pal.

A fun new years resolution involves bringing a travel buddy. You might wander into the outdoors to get away from it all. Definitely keep doing that—it’s vital to your mental well-being. I get it. However, every other time or so, why not take a friend who doesn’t get out much? Spread your love of the outdoors to someone who is an indoor hermit and see if something sticks. Who knows, you may spark a new love for the outdoors or respect for the natural world.

8. Take part in relief tourism.

As a way to give back, why not travel to a place that could use a helping hand? Volunteering for trail repairs, restorations, or cleanups is a great way to connect with a like-minded community, make a few friends, and positively impact the natural world.

It’s also a fun new years resolution that’ll help you rethink the way you travel.

9. Improve the old by trying something new.

Trade your boots for tires and see what happens. What if you rafted, instead of canoed? Are you a trail runner who is all about putting mile after mile underfoot? How about spending an afternoon sitting in one spot and seeing what kind of birds you can identify? When you get wrapped up in a hobby, it’s easy to lose sight of what else is out there. Trying out new outdoor disciplines can be a great way to spread your expertise into other fields, and to deepen the appreciation of the hobby you’ve been cultivating for years.

10. Go lighter, longer.

What is the least amount of stuff you need to survive? How little can you get by on and still be able to enjoy yourself?

Sometimes we end up bringing too many home comforts on the road with us. Car camping is a way to bring just a little too much to the campsite. The more we bring, the more we carry, the more we have to spend time managing. The less we hold on to, the more attention we can give to other things—like tracing the constellations in the night sky or noticing how the wind breaks through the grass.

That’s why a fun new years resolution involves seeking ways to travel and live with less – you might be surprised by how much you enjoy it!

The New Year is upon us, and with it comes the opportunity to make resolutions that’ll help restore our connection with the outdoors. Have some fun this year with some creative and fun goals like the ones above.

And if you’d like an RV for some of these resolutions, we’ve got those too.

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David Pennington, Outdoorsy Author

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