5 Outdoor Goals for the New Year

By nature, adventurers are good at setting goals—reach the summit, conquer the thru-hike, pedal the whole circuit. But, New Year’s resolutions? Not really our kind of Type 2 fun.

But what if we resolved to enhance our adventures? Here are five ideas that help you do just that. In fact, they’ll fit nicely into your adventure routine and they give back—to your health, your gear, and the activities you pursue. We think you’ll enjoy tackling them, and fully commit to making this your greatest year of adventure yet.

Take Better Care of Your Gear

MSR Events

You know you need to. We all do. Do it for the gear that works hard for you season in and season out. Do it for the engineers who put their all into designing those pieces of equipment. Do it for yourself, because the longer your gear lasts, the less money and time you spend replacing it. Finally, do it for the planet, because the longer we keep our gear operational, the less it piles up as waste in landfills.

Here are a few links to help keep your MSR gear running strong.

Here’s how to repair your sleeping mattress.

And did you know MSR has a full-time repair shop? Our experienced technicians restore thousands of pieces of gear a year. This year, show your gear some love and it will return the favor for many seasons to come.

Embrace the Micro-Adventure

Image by Hage Photo

Maybe it’s a dawn patrol ski tour or head-lamp lit run before work. A simple paddle to catch the sunset or an after-work mountain bike ride. The point is, adventures don’t have to be big. Just a few hours of breathing fresh air, working the muscles hard, and escaping into nature can provide that much-needed recharge we all seek. Plus, they’re quick and easy ways to up your adventure quota.

Of course, “micro-adventure” is a relative term. If you’re more ambitious, these missions can be way to cram as much as possible into the weekend warrior lifestyle. Consider flying somewhere for just two days to conquer an objective. Or, link up a triathlon of outdoor activities closer to home. In other words, the options for micro-adventures are endless. All you have to do is commit.

Give Back to Your Trails

trail work

Whether you spend a day digging a brand new trail or a few hours pitching in to clean up an existing one, a little sweat equity goes a long way toward preserving the trail systems we all cherish and use.

Another reason to volunteer your time digging? Learning how to build trails in an environmentally sustainable way provides a deeper connection to the wild places we explore. And, it’s a great workout—indeed, improving your trails, improves your health.

Beyond tossing shovels of dirt, there are many other ways to give back. You can work a trail day event, take on a short-term position at a park, or simply donate to conservation organizations. Take a look at these resources to learn how to get involved.

Commit Yourself to Something Ambitious

48 hour epic

That big race you’ve been eyeing? That once-in-a-lifetime trek? That epic hut trip? Make it happen. Remember, this is the year you’ve committed to enhancing your adventurous life. So fill out that entry form and hit send, or find and pay for that flight. You’ll be locked in and it will feel good.

Plus, with a big adventure on the horizon, you’ll need to put in the preparation and training to make it a success. All that hard work will bring its own set of adventures, fitness, knowledge and accomplishments. So what are you waiting for? Commit.

Get Educated

From REI Going Deep Workshop Oct 23. Photo Credit: Nick Rustigian

Your brain is your strongest tool in the outdoors and these short winter days provide the perfect time to strengthen it. From avalanche education courses to wilderness first aid classes, you can boost your brainpower while surrounding yourself with other adventurers who share your passions. Books and documentaries are another great way to expand your knowledge on everything from the life of legendary mountaineer Fred Beckey to the history of the AT and the counterculture that defined rock climbing in Yosemite Valley.