By: Nick Tortajada
The new year has arrived, and it’s time to start thinking about your epic outdoor bucket list checkmarks-to-be for this year. Let’s all just keep the overall theme of the new year simple: go on more adventures. That’s it! It’s simple, really. Plan to be awesome, and you shall be awesome! Now that our head is in the right place, let’s kick start the ideas with these 5 Epic Outdoor Goals for your New Year’s Resolution.
Plan an Epic Hike and Hotel Trip
On my adventure website, The Adventure Dispatch, we have started a series called “Hike and Hotel” where we seek out super sick hikes and pair them up with a swanky hotel stay. It’s the perfect meeting spot between adventure and vacation that’s sure to motivate more getaways. Here’s the gist: spend a glorious day outside in the rugged and beautiful wilderness, winding through the trails, taking in the views, and rolling in the dirt. Then head back to your hotel to treat yourself because you know what, you deserve it. Gear Used: Quadro Hardcase & Tempo/Pace
Explore A National Park You’ve Never Visited
There are 63 National Parks across the US. 58 of them are jammed into 27 states. That means there’s a good chance you won’t have to travel very far to discover one you haven’t been to yet. With nine parks, California has the most, followed by Alaska with eight and Utah with five parks. You can find these national wonders from Biscayne in the Florida Keys to Acadia on the coast of Maine, from Oregon’s Crater Lake and Washington’s Mount Rainier on the West Coast to South Dakota’s Badlands and North Dakota’s Theodore Roosevelt in the Central U.S. Gear Used: Alpaca Duffel, Focal/Facet
Take Up A New Outdoor Habit or Hobby
Life is about learning, sharing, growing, laughing, and a beautiful mix of all 4. Already an avid hiker? Try backpacking. Scared of heights? Try indoor rock climbing. Love to nap? Take it outdoors with a hammock. Keep growing to keep going and while you’re at it, why not support and take some steps to care for the earth that provides all of these opportunities? Check out organizations such as Keep Nature Wild that host local trail clean-ups that anyone can take part in. Maybe add a reusable trash bag to your hiking kit so that you can pick up some trash while you are out adventuring. Small steps can have a huge impact. Gear Used: Nano Waistpack
Not every adventure needs to be the biggest, baddest excursion ever put together. Start chopping adventures up into bite-sized pieces. Become a weekend warrior. Take the stress out of planning a big trip, and cut it down to something much more laid back and easy to digest. This way you can focus on relaxing and enjoying the experience instead of trying to check boxes. Try a local staycation close to an outdoor activity you want to do. Focus on doing less, but doing it way better. Gear Used: Rhune 20
Become A Better Outdoor Photographer
No matter what your plans and goals are, the start of a new year is a great time to try something new. Pick up some habits to become a better outdoor photographer. The best piece of advice I can give to anyone aspiring to better their craft is this: invest time, not money. This applies to life in general, but when it comes to photography, it’s the eye, not the gear. Study the rules of composition, and then teach yourself when to break them. A beautiful part of being a creative is the freedom that comes with it. Develop your own style. Ask for critiques. Do it for no other reason than because you love creating. Keep it that simple, and your photography will develop into your own art. Gear Used: Rhune 25
The best part about kicking off a New Year is knowing that you can make it whatever you want it to be. It’s a reminder to take a moment to reflect on what you have accomplished and learned over the past year. Then roll it up, pack it into your metaphorical backpack, and head out for the next year of adventure.