This post went live on 1st April 2018 so if you're reading it today it means we're already a quarter of the way into the year! Time really does seem to fly and so I thought I would share my top 10 tips to make the most of 2018 by getting outdoors.
1. Plan a weekend long adventure
If you've been reading my blog for a while you'll know that I'm a huge advocate of Living In The Weekend. Why not plan an adventure that will be action packed from 5pm Friday to 9am on Monday morning. For ideas and inspiration check out some of my ideas here.
2. Get qualified
If you love the outdoors and find yourself spending more and more time in nature then what better way to give yourself some extra skills and a confidence boost than getting a qualification. Perhaps undertake some navigation training or take a winter skills course.
3. Go somewhere new
For me the best adventures happen when you go somewhere new. You don't have to go far but try a new route. I recently worked with Harringtons Pet Food on a campaign with Ben Fogle - Walkies on the Wild Side - in which I shared one on my favourite routes. You can see my route and Ben's route here.
4. Add something worthwhile to your walk
Helping to save the planet is pretty high on my priority list and it's pretty simple to get involved. Collect litter as you walk, help record plant or animal life that you see on your route, close gates that are left open. Every little helps.
5. Plan something BIG
Even writing that makes me excited. If you're reading this in April 2018 then you've got 9 months to have an incredible adventure in 2018! Try not to put yourself off and go for it. Where is that one place you've always wanted to visit. Start planning how you'll make it happen, today!
6. Explore the Great British Countryside
There is so much of the UK that I am yet to explore and every time I venture somewhere new I am wowed by the beauty and majestic landscapes we have in the UK. To get started take a look at an electronic map of the UK, find where you live and zoom out. Try visiting an area of green space somewhere nearby as that's likely to be a national park. Some of my favourite spots are the Peak District, Aviemore and North Wales.
7. Spend a night under the stars
Did you know that wild camping in England and Wales is not actually permitted? Strictly speaking you have to have permission before you can snuggle up in your sleeping bag and start toasting marshmallows around a campfire. However, don't give up the dream too soon as there are so many ways you can make wild camping work. Check out www.pitchup.com/wildcamping for everything you need to know about wild camping in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (wild camping is legal in Scotland - check out this list of wild camping spots in Scotland prepared by the Guardian)
8. Tackle something Tough
Not everyone is happy with a blissful weekend walking the dog and stopping off at the local pub. For the thrill seekers amongst you, why not check out the toughest trail race Dragon's Back Race (for 2019), the toughest UK bike ascent Hardknott Pass east of Eskdale in the Lake District or one of the most technical climbing routes Rainman in Malham Cove, Yorkshire Dales.
9. Start Munroe Bagging or Ticking off Wainwrights
There's something to be said for completing an adventure in one day but what about starting something this year that will keep you busy years to come. Scotland is home to the Munros - mountains in Scotland over 3000 feet (914m)- at present the list stands at 282 mountains. You can find out more on the Visit Scotland website here. Similarly to the Munros, the Wainwrights are the 214 fells in the Lake District. It is the ambition of many people to complete all of the walks across the eight categorised sections of the Lakeland Fells by Alfred Wainwright. Find out more here.
10. Do that thing that you've always dreamed of doing
Now this might be covered in number 5 above (plan something big), or number 7 (spend a night under the stars) or maybe even number 8 (tackle something tough), for me however, it was taking the Overnight Sleeper to Scotland. I finally made that happen in February this year.
I would love to know what you have planned for the remainder of 2018. Do let me know below!