With 2018 firmly in our sights, the resolution season has begun. As a camper, have you ever thought about including your outdoor activities in your New Year’s resolutions? It’s a great way to involve all the family and enhance your camping experiences. You can also combine your camping trips with typical resolutions like exercising more, saving money and starting a new hobby.
With only 9% of Americans achieving their past resolutions, I have put together a list of attainable New Year goals perfect for frequent campers:
1. Combine camping with new activities
As I mentioned, camping can be a great way to help tick off those other resolutions like losing weight and getting fitter. Add hiking or cycling to your camping routine to get the blood pumping. If you are new to this, start with a brisk walk/bike ride on flat ground and progress to hills as your confidence and fitness levels increase. Your camping location is much more likely to have scenic views and local wildlife, giving you more motivation to exercise as you can explore and enjoy the surroundings.
If a new hobby is on your 2018 resolutions, why not take up a camping hobby, like fishing or canoeing? If you enjoy it, you can take more regular camping trips and combine them with your new outdoor interest.
2. Camp for longer
If you are a person who tends to camp for just one night, consider extending your stay on your upcoming trips this year. After all, many campers feel they only really settle into camping on day two, as they begin to unwind and adapt to the outdoor environment. Public holiday weekends are a great time to extend your camping trip and often mean you won’t need to take any time off work.
Camping for longer periods can also reset your body clock, particularly in the winter months as you sleeping pattern coincides with the rise and fall of the sun. Check out our recent article on ‘Why you should be camping this winter’ to find out more.
3. Explore somewhere new
Everyone has a favourite campsite that is familiar, friendly and full of memories. Many campers regularly return to these campsites, knowing what to expect and appreciating the familiarity. However, this year why not try somewhere new? Undiscovered places hold a unique beauty that make them worth exploring. They don’t necessarily have to be in a different state – remember the beauty of nature is never far from your door.
4. Try your hand at 4 season camping
Why limit yourself to only camping in the summer when the weather is nice – camping is an activity that can be enjoyed in every season, all year round. Why not extend your camping trips for a new experience? You don’t necessarily have to camp in 4 feet of snow (but if this sounds like something you’d enjoy, our recent winter camping article is certainly one for you).
If you are keen to try camping in cooler weather conditions, you may need some extra gear such as thicker sleeping bags and warmer clothes. I also recommend plenty of hot food and drink.
The change in environment, climate and wildlife are great reasons to experience camping in all the different seasons.
5. Invest in a bigger tent
If you have embraced camping in 2017 but still have that small tent that just about squeezes everyone in, this year might be the perfect time to consider larger tent options. Upgrading your tent can transform your overall camping experience – being able to stand up tall instead of bending over double just to get your trousers on is certainly a bonus. You can change easily, there’s more space for bags and you are a lot less cramped especially if you opt for a model with room dividers, giving people privacy and comfort.
Check out this article for the top 10 large tents of 2017 to give you some ideas.
6. Capture more memories
Camping is a great excuse to put down your phone and enjoy a technology-free break. Many campers relish this electronic detox but then return to daily life with a few photos (assuming you took a camera) and not much else. Instead of using your phones for endless photos and videos, why not document your trip with words? Writing is a great camping pastime that encourages you to use all 5 senses to record an accurate description. As you read back on your writing, you will be much more likely to remember your trip, from the outdoor smells, to the crunch of brush underfoot and the sounds of the wildlife. Most of which cannot be captured on your mobile.
If you find you enjoy this, why not set up a blog to inform like-minded campers and hikers of the places you have been. This is also another hobby you can tick off in your resolutions!
7. Test your outdoor skills with backcountry camping
If you are looking for a full outdoor adventure, why not add backcountry camping to your 2018 resolutions? With just your backpack and survival skills, prepare to leave your home comforts behind as you embark on a journey of adventure and excitement. Instead of relying on your car, you can experience the solitude and remoteness that is often limited when staying at campsites.
This one will require some planning and research – check out this article from the National Park Service for a list of what to expect when backcountry camping.
8. Encourage a novice camper
Many people that have never camped before have misconceptions about camping. Popular beliefs are that camping outside is cold, the gear is too expensive, the campsites are dirty, the toilets are not proper toilets and the food tastes like cardboard. These misunderstandings are probably preventing them from giving camping a try. It would be great to spread the word in 2018 and get more people experiencing the great outdoors. As a frequent camper, you can tell your friends, family and colleagues about your camping experiences and maybe even organise a group camping trip to spark people’s interest.
However, I wouldn’t recommend taking them outside of the summer months – I don’t think they’ll be quite up for winter camping just yet – maybe a 2019 resolution!
Hopefully this article has given you some insight into new things you can try out this year as a frequent camper. You can find a new hobby, enjoy the outdoors with your friends and family and also achieve those standard resolutions like keeping fit by combining them with your camping trips. I personally feel much more motivated to exercise when I am camping as the change in scenery distracts me from the fact that I’m actually doing physical activity.
Use these resolutions as a reason to extend your camping trips this year. Experience the great outdoors like never before. Spread the word, invite your friends and enjoy an adventure-filled 2018.
Hayley is from the UK and has a passion for the outdoors, taking regular hiking trips with her Australian fiancé. When she is not hiking, she is working as a freelance writer in Glasgow or travelling the highlands in Neil, her campervan.