10 Reasons Why Getting Outside Is The Only New Year's Resolution You Actually Need To Keep

Make getting outside a priority in 2016.

By: Alex Anderson
January 29, 2016

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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. It’s pretty easy to make these resolutions, but inevitably, some fall through the cracks after the New Year hype fades. 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 getting outside should be the one New Year's resolution you actually keep in 2016.

1. No Need for a Gym Membership

Don’t waste your hard earned money on a Gym membership that you’ll lose interest in after two months. Make the change in your fitness regime that will last. You can burn just as many calories exploring the outdoors 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. 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 after one night’s sleep under the stars you 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.

Hike King’s Peak | Photo: Fudo Jahic

3. Eat Healthier

It’s 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 it’s hard to eat unhealthy on a camping trip. Unless you always pack 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. Summit 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 yourself 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. It’s 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.

Raft the Grand Canyon | Photo: Kevin Kaminski

6. Spend More Time with Family and Friends

Every Christmas I see the majority of my family and friends for that annual 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 around the world. 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 explore the Swiss Alps for you, but if not, visit famous hikes like the John Muir Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, or Appalachian Trail.

8. Detox! Quit Your Bad Habits

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 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.

Hike King’s Peak | Photo: Josiah Roe

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 at 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!

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. If you don't find your one true love, at least you will fall in love with the outdoors! Win.Win.

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.