Moms Go Outside

May 11, 2018 8 MINUTE READ
Filed Under: clinic

Thanks For Getting Us Out There With You

Adventuring with kids in Utah

 “She bought me my first fishing rod and taught me how to hook a worm, cast my line, and reel fish in. ”

“I’ll never forget her keeping her cool while driving a jeep through a river in Costa Rica.”

“To this day she is my favorite travel and adventure partner.”

“She inspired me to teach others how to play in the outdoors too.”

 

These are just a handful of the responses we got when asking our community about the impact their moms have had on their relationship to the outdoors.

To all the moms reading this: thank you.

Thank you for sharing your passion with us, for challenging us, and for giving us the incredible gift of appreciating the world around us, one adventure at a time.

And we know it’s not easy – for the parents out there who want to get their kids outside but don’t quite know where to start, we asked some of the rockstar moms in our community to share their tips on how to make it happen (and how to keep it fun for everyone, including you):

Expand Your Definition of Outside - and Just Get Out of the House

BioLite Ambassador Lindsey (@ellinds).

When just getting outside of the house is a task in and of itself, getting kids into the wilderness can feel overwhelming. The moms we spoke with recommend starting small and introducing kids to the outdoors in a way that makes the most sense for you. After a while, you'll start to find adventures in all sorts of new places.

“Getting outside with young ones is challenging, and we tend to make up many excuses to stay in,” says Lindsey, a mother of two and co-founder of Mountain MB Retreats. “My advice to you is let it go. Let the schedule go and let the excuses go. Snuggle baby into a carrier, go for a walk, chill in the park, or have a picnic by a lake. Your mind, body, and baby will thank you. And don’t worry about it too much - just start getting out there in a way that works for you and each time it will get a lot easier (and soon enough, you won’t make excuses anymore).”

Modify Your Pre-Kid Metrics 

“Instead of focusing on mileage goals, I like to focus on time goals. On our first day out, I just wanted to walk on a trail for 30 minutes,” says Brooke Froelich adventurer and mother to Huck.

In the age of Fitbit - it’s easy for us to know just how fast and far we can go when we’re outside which makes it easier to set goals for going a bit further the next time. But with kids, it's no longer about how long you can stay out or how fast you can accomplish something. It’s about spending time together and sharing your love of the outdoors. As Brooke says, “embrace the challenge of adventuring with children but don’t push their comfort level (or just as importantly, your own comfort level) past that breaking point. As adults, we learn to push through the pain during a long day on the mountain but if you make those early experiences outside feel like an enduro suffer-fest for your family, nobody will be excited for the next adventure. There have been countless days that I’ve had to roll my eyes, suck it up, and hike back to the car before the summit. And it’s okay!”

 

Focus On What's Fun

BioLite Ambassador Mom Outside with Son

BioLite Ambassador Lynzy with her son Eli. Follow their travels: @adventuresoffour

“It’s easy to get caught up in the desire to arrive at the summit while adventuring,” says Doria, mother of three kids who documents her family's adventures here. “After all, the very nature of going on a hike is to actually do some hiking. We have found that when adventuring with kids so much of the potential fun can be overlooked by focusing on the final destination rather than the journey itself. Instead of wasting our energy trying to get the kids to stop wandering off the path, we’ve discovered that they have a lot to teach us when it comes to enjoying the beauty and freedom of being wild in the wilderness.”

When you hit the trail with your kids, focus how fun it can be to just explore. Rather than making your goal to reach a certain destination, keep an open mind and adapt your adventures to what your family finds most interesting.

“Remember to think about what the kids like when picking a trail,"says Lynzy, mother to Eli (@adventureoffour).

"My son Eli loves trails with obstacles such as boulders to climb on, fallen trees to cross over, or anything with water - bridges, lakes, waterfalls, and puddles. If we pick a trail that includes these he will go for miles without a complaint. And if he gets stuck at a spot for a little longer than we'd like, we encourage him by saying something like, 'okay E let's go check out the next waterfall or let’s see if we can find and even bigger boulder to climb on.' And he's off running ahead of us to find the next mini adventure to tackle on the trail. If we do a flat path trail, he usually tires quicker and loses interest much faster.”

Save Discomfort for Later. Overpack Those Clothes and Snacks.

Photo cred: @zionadventurephotog. Follow Amanda's travels: @adventuringwithkids.

“Two things that will turn even the happiest child into a grumpy one is lack of food or wet clothing,” says Doria. “We always double up on a change of clothing for each kid and on extra food in case of unintended spills or the occasional and potentially disastrous burnt meal.”

There is a time and a place for discomfort in the outdoors. When your kids get a bit older teaching them to push their limits on an adventure makes sense but if you push too hard when they are little, it can lead to a melt down or potentially turn them off from outdoor activities. Set your little ones up for success by keeping them comfortable and well fed.

Amanda, mother of two and creator of @adventuringwithkids, says to plan for all contingencies. “Bring extra gear or a change of clothes even if you leave it in the car. And pack snacks for an army. Ironically when you are over prepared you never seem to need it.”

Adult Trips Are Still Okay - Just Remember to Share Pics!

Finding time to get out there on your own or with other adults is a great way to stay connected with your outdoor passions and refresh excitement for getting outside with your kids. Just make sure to bring the enthusiasm back home with you - kids easily get inspired by your adventures.

“You have to make you a priority,” says Jessica at Hike it Baby. “It's easy to say 'I'll do that tomorrow or next week'. Schedule time to go for a hike, sit on a beach, or read a book in a park. It doesn't matter what it is just as long as it's completely for you.”

And if you need encouragement to get out there on your own, find a support group of other adventure moms. Check out Hike It Baby or an Adventure Mamas Meet up. Or ask advice from the folks at Born Wild Project. As Amanda says, “Finding a good support group of adventure moms helps immensely when trying to stay active. Not only can you schedule in kid friendly adventures but also plan epic mama only events. I highly recommend making regular plans for you. If possible take turns with your spouse so you each can go adventure guilt free.”

Getting outside with your kids at an early age can leave a lasting impression and lead to a lifelong love of the outdoors. We, along with all of the moms in this blog, encourage you to get out there in whatever way works for you. We know it’s not always easy to get out there so hats & helmets off to all of you moms who make the time to share your passion for the great outdoors with your families.

Do you know a mom who could use a little inspiration to get outside?

Forward this her way.


mother daughter adventure buddies 

We'll be adding new tips to The Clinic all summer long. Have a question you'd like answered? Submit below and it may appear in an upcoming post.

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