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Outdoor adventure goals, plans, and dreams for 2021.

Happy New Year everyone!

While it is a bit cliché at the new year to talk about our 'resolutions' (who else is losing weight and getting in shape this year?!), I do believe that it is helpful to share your goals with a community in order to help bring them to life. The support you find when sharing your goals can sometimes be the difference between achieving them and pushing them to the back burner (again) for the next year.

It is in that spirit of support and camaraderie that I ask: What are your plans, goals, and dreams for outdoor adventure in 2021? Big or small, from expert level to complete beginner, let's hear about what you hope to accomplish so we can inspire and support each other to get outside more in 2021!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
48 Replies

I have several backpacking goals this year, but having just had a new baby, I can't leave for super extended periods of time. My plans so far for 2021:

1. Cumberland Gap Ridge Trail at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park

2. North/South Trail at Land Between the Lakes in Western KY

3. Great Smoky Mountains hiking (a small amount during a family vacation)

4. North 150 miles of the Sheltowee Trace Trail

5. First 73 miles of AT from Springer Mountain to NC state line

6. Training and honing in my gear loadout for the JMT next year! (very wishful thinking)

"I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees."- Thoreau

@madefromstraw, thank you so much for sharing these! It is such an amazing list. 

Having specifics laid out is a lot of fun. It made me especially happy to see Cumberland Gap Ridge Trail at the top of your list. That is such an incredible stretch of trail and one that I have recommend to others in the community looking for Kentucky backpacking suggestions

Fingers crossed for you getting out to the JMT, whenever it happens! We're excited to hear about your 2021 trips, learn from your experiences, and answer any questions you have along the way. Thanks again for sharing!


At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

@REI-JohnJ, our plans are to get back into shape, and get outdoors to hike and maybe hike a little bit of the AT during the fall, if all goes well.

@Philreedshikes - I saw your post about you possibly visiting the Grand Canyon. We went there in the fall of 2018 and it was breathtaking. Pictures does not compare to the experience you have going there to see it for yourself. We stayed on the South Rim and took one of the Pink Jeep Tours. On our tour, we were told about a camp down in the canyon, Phantom Ranch. Our tour guide said it was a small hike down to the camp, as you can only get to it by hiking. We want to go back one day and do it, as we think it will be a great trip, however, we have to get into shape first. Thought you may want to check that out.


Thanks for sharing! We're so excited to hear about all the plans for 2021 and beyond. I feel like our online community might have a reunion party on the AT this year!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Reunion on the AT? Might be worth the road trip to finally meet in person!

“Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.” (John Muir)

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I'm definitely not as outdoorsy as most on here, but we just moved to a city with a lot of trails that are still woodsy. My goal for 2021 is to spend time exploring the trails with the wife and kids. We will see where it goes from there.

Hey there, @SailinDave!

How exciting to move to a new city! We just made a move this summer as well and it's been fun to explore some new places and learn where the trails are. What city did you move to? We've got a pretty broad representation of geography here in the community, someone may know a few cool spots for you to check out. Also, how old are your kids? Mine are 8 and 5 and the youngest is just getting big enough to walk a good distance on his own...although he is still small enough to think he needs to be carried!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Hey @REI-JohnJ !

I live in Richardson, Texas. The city itself has some neat walking trails. And we've walked around White Rock Lake. 

We have a 16-year old daughter and a 15-year old exchange student. Thank goodness I don't have to carry them!

Cross country motorcycle camping trip from California to Maine.  Same trip that was put on hold in 2020 due to "you know what".  Try to visit as many National Parks as possible along the way.

That sounds amazing!!! Good luck and I hope everything goes well. You should definitely make some posts about it as you go

"I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees."- Thoreau