New Year resolutions… It’s that time when we all set our best intention forward and I think this year, there’s a common goal for us all – an amazing 2021!
Let’s hope it’s a far smoother ride but with the events of 2020 aside, most of us tend to repeat the same goals year after year. Are you really going to drink green smoothies every day or run 20km a week? Maybe, but probably not!
Instead of making excuses or allowing setbacks to put it off again, I propose the best tip you’ll hear! Make your resolutions fun and in line with the things you enjoy. Why not swap the gym for a hike instead? Here are my suggestions for some New Year’s resolution to consider for 2021.
You don’t have to head far, just find a trail and start walking. Image: Sea to Summit
1. I will get fit
Getting fit or losing weight is probably the most common New Year’s resolution. And for many, that means taking out an expensive gym membership or signing up with a personal trainer.
But getting fit this year needn’t be arduous or expensive. Dust off your hiking boots and hit your local walking trail. The crunch of the gravelly track under your feet, the tweeting of birds, and the smell of eucalyptus in the air. It’s so much more motivating than heading to a windowless room full of exercise equipment. It’s also cheaper too!
And, with long summer days at your avail, there is no excuse to not go for a hike after work.
Trailblazing after dark is a whole new experience and during summer, the cooler temperature at night can make it more enjoyable. Image: Coleman
2. I will spend more time with friends and family
If 2020 has taught us anything it’s how to appreciate the time we spend with our family and friends. At home, we have TVs, gaming consoles, computers, work, and chores that easily distract us and consume our time.
Camping is a great way to spend time with friends and family and in the middle of the Australian bush, where mobile reception is flaky or non-existent, we have more time to foster the relationships we want and space to connect with those you love. Camping is also a great way to rest the body and mind and do a great deal of nothing.
Cooking over a fire with a cast iron camp oven makes everything taste better. Image: Cast Iron Boys
3. I will eat better
Eating better isn’t only about cutting carbs or calories or sugar. It’s about eating real, wholesome food that you have cooked from scratch. And what better place to cook from scratch and eat well than when you’re out camping. Camp cooking isn’t all beans, bacon and toast.
We have written heaps on the subject of camp cooking, here are some of our most popular blogs:
- Delicious Camp Oven Damper
- Cooking Without Perishable Ingredients
- How to Shop, Pack and Prepare Food for Touring Adventures
- How to Cook Roast Pork in a Camp Oven
- Meal Planning for Outback 4WD Adventures
Remember, the odd treat like a pie from a country bakery is all part of a happy life. Don’t be too harsh on yourself.
Camping in the Kimberley. Image: Aaron Schubert
4. I will explore more
Who knows when we’ll all be able to dig out our passports again, and perhaps that tour of Europe or trip across the USA is a while off. But there’s one pass-time that the 2019/20 bushfires and Covid-19 have inspired, and that’s local travel and camping.
How much of your own country have you actually explored? Go on, be honest. Don’t feel bad, I’m in the same boat. I have only explored a tiny portion of my own state let alone the rest of the country.
Travel close, but travel regularly. On weekends rather than sitting in front of the TV, go for a drive. Or a walk. Or a cycle. See things you haven’t seen before. It’ll be fun. Promise. Take plenty of photos too.
Investing in shelving will allow you to get the most out of your shed. Image: Ben Trewren
5. I will keep my gear organised and clean
So, you’ve been out camping for a week. You get home, offload the gear, and it’s back to the grind. Your gear is stowed away until next time and that’s that.
Bad form, that’s what it is.
To keep your camping gear in tip-top condition, so it lasts a long time, it’s important to properly maintain and store it. Make sure your tent is completely dry before you put it away. And vacuum or sweep it out properly. With your sleeping mats – unroll them and keep them under the bed, and your sleeping bags shouldn’t be kept bundled up in the stuff sack as it will affect the fill.
Instead, take them out of the sack and keep them in a cool, dry place in a large pillowcase or a loose-fitting mesh storage sack. Sea to Summit sleeping bags come with both a stuff sack and their own breathable storage bag.
Also, now that you’ve got a bit of time off over the holiday period, it’s a great time to actually wash your down sleeping bag, patch up that tent that’s been out of action for a while, or re-condition and clean up those beaten up hiking boots.
Store your gear properly on and off the trail. Image: Sea to Summit
6. I will replace or upgrade that thing that really needs it
We all have a piece of camping or hiking gear that we should really just retire and replace. For me, it’s an old el’ cheapo 1 person hiking tent. It’s been a great tent over the years but the floor has holes in it, it smells funky, the zips busted, and it doesn’t keep the rain out anymore.
I could continue to repair it, but there comes a point. Treat yourself. Or ask a loved one to treat you for your birthday, mother’s or father’s day.
Fill your new year with adventures outdoors. Image: Aaron Schubert
7. I will try something new
Never been on an overnight hike before? Try it! You’ve got a flash 4WD but have never taken it over a sand dune? Give it a shot! (Make sure you know what you’re doing first.) You often go hiking with the other half but have never headed out alone? Go on, see what it’s like (safety first, though).
Make your new year one filled with adventure and the great outdoors. Visit some places you haven’t visited before. Try things you never thought you would try. Eat well. Keep the body moving. And be sure to just lay back under the sky from time to time and let the mind frolic with the clouds.
You’ll look back at it at the end of the year and will be proud of what you’ve achieved. I’m sure of it.
Have you made any new year’s resolutions for the year? Share them below.
About the writer...
Hiker, bushwalker, tramper and founder of Ottie Merino (ottie.com.au). Let’s just say Paul likes to get around by foot. When he’s not, it’s usually by bike. He’s usually found knocking out another section of the Heysen Trail, or hut bagging his way around the South Island of New Zealand.