While everyone is working on their “eat better and lose weight” list of New Year’s resolutions, those that love the outdoors should make a list of their own. To help put your New Year’s resolutions together, here is a list of a few options to consider adding.
1. Introduce Someone New to the Outdoors
Between our cell phones, computers, televisions, video games and social media, the number of people that actually spend time outdoors is declining. Let’s work together to start increasing that number and the best place to start is with kids. Grab your child, your nephew/niece, your grand-kids, or your neighbor’s kids and introduce them to what you love about the outdoors. Whether it’s hunting, fishing, hiking or camping, your enthusiasm for the activity is sure to show them that there is more to life than just looking at it on a screen. They may not become an avid outdoorsman but, who knows, maybe they will!
2. Refresh Your Knowledge of Hunter’s Safety
We are never too old or too experienced to be safe. We so often believe that we are so experienced that we no longer need to keep the basic safety measures in mind but this is not the case. If one of your outdoor niches is hunting then for 2016, retake the hunter’s safety course for your state. This will be especially helpful if you plan to add #1 to your New Year’s resolutions and introduce someone new to the sport of hunting. So often, the headline reads “Avid Lifetime Hunter Dies from Accidental Gunshot Wound”. It’s time we start seeing less of those headlines. Re-educate yourself so that you can educate others!
3. Improve Your Shooting Skills
Whether you are a hunter or just enjoy a little target practice, and unless you are a decorated marksman, then 2016 is the perfect time to start improving your shooting skills. While your backyard with a target or a shooting range with buddies are helpful and can do the trick, taking lessons from a professional is the way to go if you want to see noticeable, brag worthy results in your ability to hit what you’re aiming for.
4. Keep Your Dog (and you) in Shape
Okay, so we couldn’t make it through a list without a resolution that involved some aspect of getting in shape. One of the best ways to spend more time outdoors is spending more time with your dog. Dogs LOVE to be outside so what better companion for an outdoorsman, such as yourself? Go for a run, go for a walk, and go for a hike! Whatever you decide to do, just make sure it’s outside and it’s with your dog(s).
5. Learn to Tie Better Knots
All outdoorsmen have a little Boy Scout in them so even though you won’t get a badge (unless you really are a Boy Scout), it’s time to start learning how to tie better knots. Knot tying is essential to the outdoors. Whether you are tying up your fishing boat, tying down your camping gear to the bed of your truck or just simply lacing up the shoelaces of your hunting boots, you need to know how to tie a knot (though some require a heftier knot than others).
6. Learn to Survive in the Outdoors
True outdoorsmen find themselves in the most remote wilderness areas (especially campers, hikers and hunters) making the possibility of needing survival skills probable. Before any adventure, update your first aid kit, read a new survival book and test out some new survival techniques. Set a goal for how many techniques you want to try each month. By the end of 2016, you will be a real survivalist.
7. Make Your Voice Heard… Vote
You’ve all seen it on the news… laws that will threaten the lives of most outdoorsmen. Have a strong stand for the passing or vetoing of certain laws for your state or nationally? Don’t be silent, let your voice be heard and vote! This alone will help protect your hunting and fishing rights.