5 New Year's resolutions for outdoor enthusiasts

5 New Year's resolutions for outdoor enthusiasts

(Carter Williams, KSL.com, File)

Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

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SALT LAKE CITY — The dawn of the new year presents an opportunity for people to create goals for themselves in an attempt to be better than they were last year.

Outdoor enthusiasts may not have the same goals as the general populous for 2020, so here are some ideas to help you engage more with nature this year:

1) Keep an adventure journal

Whether you’re going for an hour-long hike this weekend or setting off on a trek around the world, an adventure journal may be just what you need to take your connection with nature and exploration to the next level.

Journaling provides an opportunity to record what you saw in vivid detail to better revisit it later, as well as take note of your emotions and experiences at the time. Not sure how to get started? Adventure Collection provides an excellent guide to beginning and getting in the habit of journaling about each outdoor experience.

2) Visit at least one new country

Although the United States has a lot to offer in terms of outdoor experiences, diving into the outdoors in a new place may provide a rich opportunity for exploration and self-improvement as you learn about new aspects of nature while navigating a new land.

National Geographic points out some of the most desirable locations around the world for outdoor recreation — from Niseko, Japan, to Manali, India. On a budget and not able to spend much money on travel? Not to worry, resources like Lonely Planet, Time, and Credit Karma all provide excellent advice on how to travel cheap.

3) Visit at least one new state

Even if a trip out of the country isn’t in the cards this year, there are hundreds of incredible destinations for outdoor recreation in the United States. From places like Moab, here in Utah’s backyard, to the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, there are ample opportunities for hiking, rock climbing, skiing and more.

Need some inspiration? National Geographic and U.S. News have some great destinations listed to get you started.

4) Adhere to Leave No Trace principles

With appreciation for nature and outdoor recreation growing yearly, it is important to be mindful and protect wild places from the impacts of heavy use and visitation. There are seven principles of Leave No Trace intended to help educate outdoor recreators about how to minimize their own impacts on the nature they interact with:

  1. Plan ahead and prepare.
  2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
  3. Dispose of waste properly.
  4. Leave what you find.
  5. Minimize campfire impacts.
  6. Respect wildlife.
  7. Be considerate of other visitors.

If you’re already embodying the principles of Leave No Trace, then take some time to educate others about the principles when you see people violating them while adventuring in the outdoors.

5) Try out a new outdoor activity

Perfecting what you already know is great, but with a new year and an urge to shy away from monotony, a new sport may be just what you need. Utah presents a variety of outdoor activities, from mellow hiking in Salt Lake City’s foothills to paragliding in some of the most dangerous places in the country.

Not sure what sport you’d like to try? Explore Wilderness.org’s FAQ to help you get started. What are your New Year resolutions for 2020? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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