raising little ones in the great outdoors
Currently Browsing: Getting After It

Patagonia or Idaho…hard to tell

“Perfect,” I said out loud as I clipped the cam placed, well, perfectly in the inch-wide crack. I relaxed a bit and shook out one arm at a time, trying vainly to coax some warm blood back into my fingers. It was obvious a storm was coming, the temperature was dropping and occasional rain drops hit the face. I wasn’t getting any stronger hanging there, I needed to go up. I jammed my hand deep into the crack...

1st Year in the Woods- Part 3

The final installment of Erin Kittrick’s story of the the first year with her son, Katmai. Winter Again Snow has opened up our backyard again. Nearly every day, Katmai and I wander the hills behind the yurt, sometimes on snowshoes sinking into loose powder, other times in shoes slipping on an icy crust. At nearly 20 pounds, Katmai rides on my back now, his head poking through a hole sliced in my raincoat....

1st Year in the Woods~ Part 2

We present part 2 of Erin McKittrick’s 1st Year in the Woods Summer Luckily for Kamai, his father is a master bushwhacker. With Katmai protruding from his chest like a strange second head, Hig ducked beneath the alder boughs, turning his body to delicately brush by the devils club. He pulled salmonberry canes out of the way of Katmai’s face. One small scratch on the nose was all Katmai had to show for...

1st Year in the Woods~ Part 1

We have a special contributor this week.  Erin McKittrick and her husband, Hig, have been hiking and adventuring for years. Now they’ve added a third to their trips, Katmai. Based out of Seldovia, AK, they committed to taking Katmai with them on their treks. Erin writes about their first year together. Please stay tuned for the next two parts later this week. Speculations We knew how to plan routes through...

Mom A Running

I am a runner.  I’m not fast or talented, or even an accomplished runner.  In fact, by some definitions, I’m just a jogger.  But it’s how I see myself. As a runner…and a mom. As a running mom I have done a number of ridiculous things. I’ve run with a jogger stroller or a double stroller, stopping mid-run to swing or slide at the playground. I’ve trained and raced while breastfeeding (not at the...

Rules for…Sledding?

What could be more exciting to a kid than fresh snow and a sled? Skiing has been around for 7000 years, so sledding must be even older. I wouldn’t be surprised if archaeologists find a painting of a kid on a big piece of bark next to the horses in one of those French caves. I love taking our kids sledding, but alas, as with so many other things, People seem to mar the experience. Basically, it comes down to...

MacGyver Lives! — A First Ski Tour

If it wasn’t hard enough to wait for snow before, it’s gotten even harder since Abby caught the skiing bug. Now every forecast without snow causes a fit of depression and exasperation. For both of us. To make things even worse, she recently won a major award – a package of technical outdoor clothing from First Ascent. She’s decided that the most worthy use of her new gear would be backcountry ski touring....

Tips for Climbing with Kids

I read a lot.  Maybe too much. That is in part some of the reason why I wonder a lot about my parenting skills. My wife, Cyn, and I believe in having fun with our kids. We take them everywhere, and they have been able to participate in all the sports we do. But our favorite is climbing. Cyn and I have climbed all over the world and love to do it as a couple. We want our kids, Mayah age 11 and Will age 9, to...

Trip Report: Sawtooth Wild Part II

We spent our second night at the most perfect backcountry campsite I’ve ever had. About 30 yards away, the creek rushed over more water-slide slabs and soaking pools. While Abby got dinner started, I pitched the tent on a sheltered flat spot that many previous visitors had cleared of annoying rocks and debris. To top it off, there were several ideal fishing spots nearby with clear casting areas. Normally,...

Trip Report: Sawtooth Wild Part I

Serrated granite ridges, punctuated by impossibly thin spires. Snowmelt cascading over polished slabs toward sapphire lakes. The Sawtooth mountains in central Idaho define alpine beauty. My most precious memory from our recent backpacking trip has nothing to do with any of that. No, watching one of my children transform from “client” to “guide” tops all the wilderness beauty. Jennie and I believe that...
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