How to ring in the new years in the great outdoors.  No, I am not talking about freezing your ass off in times square but if that’s your gig then more power to you.  I am talking about the mountains, the woods, the plains, the desert.  Maybe you are in a cabin or a camper van, or maybe you are in a tent.  Let’s hope you recruited some friends or at least have someone special, or hey maybe you are alone!  The point here is you may not have access to the creature comforts of a home in the city or even a nearby bar to ring in 2018 but that is ok, I have you covered and we are going to keep it classy.

Countdown: Preparing for the night you will need to make sure you have some way of tuning into the countdown where you are at.  This could be done as simply as using an AM radio to tune into a local station that reaches you or perhaps if you have the ability to create a hotspot and happen to have cell service you could listen to the countdown on something like i heart radio, or you know a reliable watch will work.

Food: The next thing you need to consider is snacks and or a main course of some kind.  Aside from whipping up some camp stove Hoppin’ John with pork chops, black-eyed peas, and greens, which you could totally do but let’s keep it simple, I would say go with pork.  It is considered lucky to eat pork on the new year as Pigs are a lucky symbol because they root forward, and are rotund.  So, I am thinking bacon, bacon, and a side of bacon.  It is easy to pack in, takes forever to go bad, and it is bacon.  You can pair it or put it in or on just about anything but I might suggest some good gouda cheese and crackers as a nice snack to go with your bubbly, which is next.

Drinks: Now here is where I am a bit of a traditionalist.  You need to have bubbly.  Now you could always pack in a bottle of bubbly especially if you are in the above-mentioned cabin or camper van and if so might I recommend stepping it up from the cheapo Andre? For just a few more bucks you could splurge for Gruet Brut a non-vintage sparkling wine from New Mexico that is not technically Champaign but it is made in the same style and if I hadn’t just told you that you wouldn’t have known the difference.  Be sure if you go this route to bring along some camping proof Champaign flutes like this Tossware.  Let’s say you are in a tent camped 10 miles in off a road, and hopefully somewhere warmer than Colorado on NYE.  I would say then that something like Coppola “Sofia 4-Pack Mini” Blanc de Blancs, California, USA which is great sparkling wine in portable pink cans, which if you can get past the pink can part it’s delicious!

Fireworks: This should come as no uprise that while I can’t advocate bringing fireworks into the wild I can recommend a big bonfire!  The kind that heats the entire campsite and has flames taller than you.  I promise you won’t even miss those city fireworks.

Now all there is left to do is make some resolutions, countdown, and hopefully land a kiss for some more luck. Throw in a few party hats and some confetti and you are really living it up.  Remember to drink responsibly, if you pack it in then pack it out, and stay safe out there. -Martin Upton

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