I don’t really do New Year’s resolutions. I’m a pretty imperfect person, so it’s a given that at any point in any year I’m trying to eat better, work out more, be more generous and be a more patient parent. Stating those things again on January 1st doesn’t really make anything magical happen for me. However, I do like to set personal goals for a year, concrete items that I want to keep in mind and sometimes on an actual list so that I can check them off in a self-satisfied manner.
This week I happened upon a copy of Backpacker magazine that was full of inspirational lifetime outdoor goals. Some of these were truly absurd for someone like me–I am never going to climb the Matterhorn or cliff jump, though I appreciate your faith in me, Backpacker magazine–but I thought the idea was rather wonderful. In particular, I thought it would be great to set a list of outdoor goals for my family for 2015.
I guess I really have had goals for years, but they have looked something like this:
Get through a hike without anyone crying/whining/collapsing in despair on the trail. Or all three.
Go fishing without getting someone’s hook caught in my hair
Go frogging without someone falling in the frog pond
That kind of thing.
But the kids are older now and have reached the point of being pretty capable outdoor partners. I think it’s time to step it up. So here are our goals for 2015:
More adventuresome camping
We went camping last year for the first time. We went to a couple of state parks, but we never went too far–and only for weekends–because we weren’t sure how it would go. Guess what? It went great. This year I think we should push it a bit. A bit further afield, a bit more rustic, a bit…campier.
Hike a mountain not in Acadia National Park
I’m sorry, the rest of Maine. Try to understand. We live on Mount Desert Island. When you live here, with spectacular trails of all difficulties a maximum of fifteen minutes away, you get a bit lazy about seeking out other areas. We will this year, I promise. We may only make it to Tunk Mountain, but it will be outside Acadia.
Learn more about foraging
Last year we were a but more conscious about seeking food in the wild and it turned out to be a really fun, satisfying and, uh, yummy, family activity. Blueberries, raspberries, huckleberries, chanterelles…maybe this year we’ll expand to other mushroom varieties or finally figure out which fiddlehead is the right one. There are few ways I can think of to make botany more interesting than to make it edible.
Be open to adventure
Sometimes we [ahem, I] get more attached to the to-do list than we [I] should. If we [I] don’t grab the fun times when they come around, that’s just a waste of a life. In fact, while I’ve been writing this, my family’s been out playing in newly fallen snow that’s just perfect for packing. So let me wrap it up and just ask this:
Do you have outdoor goals? What are they?