15 outdoor challenges to try before 2015

What will you challenge yourself to do this year?

At GO Outdoors we’re all about making the outdoors more accessible to everyone. Whether you’re a total novice or an seasoned explorer, we love to hear your stories of triumph and adventure. 2013 finished with a fantastic story of the Meek family and their quest to complete 100s of outdoor tasks (all here in the UK) to help their daughters stay clear of too much TV. If they can do it – what new challenge will you do in 2014?

We’ve listed 15 challenges below to get you started:

1) Reach the top

The UK is littered with mountains of all shapes and sizes. Whether you have never reached a summit before, or you’ve got a few under your belt, there is always something else to climb – so in 2015 we want you to conquer something new.

Summit your first mountain,  bag those Munros, complete the 3 Peaks Challenge, climb a higher mountain than before and get a photo from the top.


2) Beat your personal best

Running has exploded in popularity since the Olympics and at this time of year, you’re likely to see the streets littered with hi-vis jackets and people trying to lose that winter excess. The beauty of running is, you set your own goals. This challenge is all about setting a personal best and beating it. Whether you run around your block, run 5k, 10k, or a marathon we want you to set yourself a time and beat it in 2014.

Setting goals is a great way to help yourself improve as a runner and it’s a fantastic way to take in some scenic trails all around the UK.


3) Sleep under the stars

For many this will seem easy; we have a lot have passionate campers who shop with us at GO Outdoors, but year after year we meet plenty of people who are new to camping and want to give it a go. If you’ve never camped before, give it a try in 2014. If you have camped before, why not try your hand at wild camping? (But do make sure you follow the rules)


4) Cook without the kitchen

You can tie this in with number 3 on this list. We want you to cook without the kitchen, better yet cook away from home (a BBQ in the back garden is too easy!) and by cook, we mean prepare a meal, don’t just heat up a tin of beans! Be a little more adventurous, a simple search for ‘camping recipes’ on Pinterest and we’ve found plenty to get you started. Maybe you already have the perfect camping recipe? We’d love to hear about it.


5) Use a Map

In an age of GPS, it’s almost easy to forget the skill of reading a map. If you haven’t before, then why not pick yourself up an Ordnance Survey map and take yourself on an adventure. There are plenty of videos on youtube to help you learn basic map reading skills.


6) Cycle to work / Cycle somewhere

It’s great to pop the bike onto a cycle rack and head out for a local trail, it’s even better to make your bike a bigger part of your life. In 2014, why not try cycling to work if you can, if not then try to cycle to your chosen destination. Cycling is a great way to keep fit, and if getting fit/losing weight is a big part of your 2014 plans, then make sure you try this one.


7) Take your run off road/out of the gym

There are plenty of studies showing that a workout outdoors can be more beneficial to you than sticking with the treadmill all the time – the vitamin D we get from sunshine being the main cause. In 2014 if you’re used to running on the treadmill, or running on the pavement, why not give trail running a try? Trail running can be really fun and gets you in touch with some fantastic scenery. If you’re feeling confident enough, why not try your hand at a mountain marathon?


8 ) Live out of a rucksack

With the rise in ‘glamping’ many of us have lost the ability to spend time living off only what we could carry. This challenge can be tied in to wild camping especially, but any kind of camping will do. Pack your rucksack with your food, sleeping bag, tent, and clothes and head out. If you can’t carry it? Don’t take it. Get back to basics.


9) Roam for Ruins

One thing the UK has an ample amount of is history, with so many ruins and other historical things to see dotted around the nation, take yourself out to find some this year. You’ll find there’s a lot more going on near where you are than you first realised. Head out for a walk and find a little piece of history.


10) Tackle a trail/Coastal path

There are plenty of trails around the UK to check out, purpose built for walking/cycling or running. Why not take a look at some: The Trans-Pennine Trail and The Pembrokeshire Coast Path to name a couple. These trails are usually quite clearly signposted, so it means you can take some time off from the navigation.


11) Cache-in

Geocaching is becoming more and more popular. The task of heading out and finding a cache is akin to a treasure hunt, so it’s also great for getting the kids involved. The best thing about geocaching is there are more caches in the world than anyone is ever likely to find, and more are always being made – so geocaching will keep you busy for quite some time.


12) Go Climbing

Climbing is for everyone; it’s a great way to get fit and build muscle, but it’s also a hugely sociable pastime. Whether you choose to visit an indoor climbing wall (there are free ones available in many of our stores to try) or you head outside for some of the many rock faces around the UK – or maybe just climb a tree? Get your upper body working and give climbing a try in 2014, you’ll wonder why you hadn’t tried it sooner.


13) Weather the Weather.

It’s easy to turn your nose up when the weather takes a turn for the worst. Unless there are specific warnings over danger, with the right equipment you can tackle the weather and still have as much fun as if it was warm and dry. Don’t let the weather dictate your adventures in 2014, make sure you take on a challenge in the sun, the rain and the snow.


14) Step up the challenge!

Why not get a little more extreme with your challenges. There’s plenty out there like Tough Mudder races or the longest zipwire in Europe at Snowdonia. Feel like getting wet and rafting or kayaking isn’t enough? Try your hand at Ghyll scrambling or Coasteering. The fact is, is that we live in one of the best adventure holiday destinations you are likely to find. From the top of Scotland to the English south coast and everything in between, there is plenty to whet your appetite for adventure.


15) Keep a photo diary of your adventures throughout the year.

Many of you will have the use of a smartphone, and they can be really handy for snapping a quick picture here and there. Spend this year photo documenting everywhere you discover, not only does the UK countryside make for fantastic images, it will also be a great retrospective at the end of the year to show just how far you went in 2014.


These are just 15 basic ideas for what you can try in 2014 – there’s plenty out there to keep you occupied and we hope that like the Meek family, you create your own list and get the whole family involved. If you’re looking for more ideas on activities that are ideal for young families, check out the Meek family website: http://www.dotrythisathome.com/

Whatever you do, do leave the countryside tidy, take your litter with you.

Got some specific challenges you want to take on in 2014? Leave us a message below, we’d love to hear about it.

If you do take on any of these challenges, we want to hear about it. Tweet us @GOoutdoors with the hashtag #15before15 or post on our Facebook page, we’d love to share your story.