Let's be honest, 2020 probably didn't go to plan for lots of us. We all had to make the best of a pretty unusual year, and with extra time on our hands, many of us have probably started to think about how 2021 will be different.
Whether New Year's Resolutions are your thing or not, there's something about the end of one year and the start of another that puts us in a reflective mood. It's great to look back on all the things that went well, but inevitably we then start to wonder how the next year can be even better.
For some, the start of January is a time to start planning trips for the year ahead. This map has 75 campsites that either I've stayed at or customers have recommended, so hopefully that will help you to build up a wish-list. But what about the more traditional New Year's Resolutions?
According to GoSkills.com the most common top ten new year's resolutions are:
Learn a new skill or hobby
Live life to the fullest
Save more money / spend less money
Spend more time with family and friends
Any of those look familiar? They certainly do to me, and I'm also definitely one of the 54% of people who've previously failed to keep them. I wasn't sure anyone would be able to keep ANY resolutions the way this year's starting out, but then I read this article about the benefits of camping. It goes into LOTS of detail about 35 different benefits that camping can bring to your life, and it just so happens that there's a whole load of crossover between the things that people resolve to do each January, and the things that camping can help you to do. So as soon as we're allowed, here's how camping can help with the most common new year's resolutions.
When you're camping it's inevitable that you'll exercise more than you would during your normal routine. Even if you're having a laid back camping trip, you still need to set up the tent, walk to fill up the water, or wander across the field to the shower block. Even a gentle walk around the lake might be more than you usually do, or if you're used to walking at home, you might not be used to the steeper mountains around the campsite.
It's much harder to buy unhealthy fast food in the middle of a National Park than it is in a city. Barbecuing is one of the healthiest ways to cook food, so you're onto a winner already, coupled with the exercise above. You're also much more likely to snack if you're bored, and if you're somewhere new with scenery, wildlife and plenty to do, you wont have time to snack!
Going camping is a great way to improve your organisational skills. Like any holiday it's important to remember everything on your packing list as you won't be able to nip home to get anything. You need to journey plan, work out the timings for each day, and importantly, decide which things you can do without.
Learn a new skill or hobby...
Hiking, wild-swimming, climbing, map-reading, fishing, paddle-boarding, photography...the list is endless. Whatever you want to get into this year, there's a fair chance that you're more likely to do it when you're in the best environment for it. You're not going to climb lots of hills if you're sitting in your living room!
Live life to the fullest...
One thing I try to do with my friends each year is get together in January and plan some short trips for the year ahead. It could be a particular campsite someone's heard about, a festival we're keen to go to, or a specific place we've never been. Getting a list made up at the start of the year means we usually end up with at least one highlight for each month, and camping is a relatively cheap and easy way to see new places, and enjoy new experiences. I can absolutely recommend making your own wish list for 2021...we've all got a lot of catching up to do!
Save more money / spend less money...
If you're trying to keep the family entertained, but save money at the same time, then a camping holiday can be a big help. Whilst campsites, fuel and food will still all cost money, the outdoors is free! You can self-cater instead of eating in restaurants, you can all play by the lake instead of paying to go to the water park, and the rates per night at a campsite are a fraction of the cost of a hotel. You don't have to buy ALL of the camping gadgets either!
Okay, so this is a tricky one! But, two of the best tips for quitting smoking are to keep yourself busy, and to start doing regular exercise. Camping trips are great for both of these - you'll be distracted by the scenery, you might be walking instead of sitting at home, and you'll be away from your usual routines and habits. It's worth a try!
Spend more time with family and friends...
A camping trip isn't just a good way to spend more time with your loved ones - it's about spending quality time with them. Find a campsite without phone signal, and get back to having a good old chinwag around the campfire. You'll be glad you did.
You don't have to travel far to travel more. Of the recommended campsites listed on our map around two thirds of them are within 100 miles of Manchester. As we all become more aware of our impact on the planet, camping trips can be a great way to see the places on our doorstep. Check out these stops between Land's End and John O'Groats for inspiration.
I'm terrible at reading at home - there are nearly always distractions like TV or jobs to be done, and if I try to read in bed I just fall asleep! Sitting in the sunshine at a campsite with no internet, no TV and no housework to do is a great way to get through all of those books you've been meaning to read.
Of course, it's going to take more than just going to a campsite to achieve the goals you might have set yourself, but if you're hoping to work on any of these, then it's a pretty good place to start.
If you're reading this then that means you got through 2020, so you're made of pretty tough stuff! You probably deserve a break, so book yourself a camping trip, and stick to your resolutions whilst you're having fun at the same time.
Thanks for reading,
Nick 🚌 😄
p.s. Get ready with up to 60% off at Go Outdoors...