raising little ones in the great outdoors

Embracing the Edge: Maggie Jacobus

“If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.” I added this quote to my e-mail signature years ago. Not everyone gets it, but I bet you do because the desire to live on the edge—in whatever way you interpret that—doesn’t disappear when you become a parent. We all live at varying levels of edginess. Your edge may be way beyond mine, especially if you’re one of those rock...

Outdoor Classroom: Navigating by Stars

“What if I were lost in the dark?” It’s a thought that has haunted humans – young and old alike – forever.  There are lots of markers in the natural world for orienting yourself – the sun, lichen growing on the shady sides of boulders, Spanish Moss hanging in tree branches.  At night though, none is more important than the North Star, also known as Polaris. Sailors exploring the blank sections...

Baby Steps

We’re on a grassy bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The wind howls around us. Try as she might, my wife Laura just can’t seem to get her sweatshirt tied around the backpack carrier in a way that will comfort Levi. He screams and pants as if the wind makes it hard for his 7-month-old lungs to get their fill of air. He’s never experienced this kind of wind before and he does not like it....

Climbing with Kids Part 2

Were’s kicking off the week with Part Two of Steve’s Climbing with Kids series. First off, this post contains absolutely no technical information that would take the place of actual climbing instruction and experience. Now, here are a few ideas that have worked for us over the years: Crashpads. If you can handle the extra bulk, a crashpad is the climbing parent’s best friend. Many times a kid suddenly...

Friday Photo Stoke…sort of

Regular Contributor Danny Maynor found this photo on a surfing forum. Pretty sweet until you realize that the paddle-board is committing a serious offense. Thou shall not drop in on a board full of children! The next image in the sequence shows four little pirates boarding the offending vessel.

Climbing with Kids Part 1

“Now if I was teaching a beginner how to climb, I’d set up a toprope on this slab over here and let them get used to the rope. Blah, blah, blah,” explained the guide to his two clients practicing their cliff rescue techniques next to us at City of Rocks last summer. The guide was really talking to me, hoping I’d overhear his vast store of outdoor wisdom. I ignored him and kept belaying Nate’s 10-year-old...

Another perspective: The Outdoor Mother

Outdoor Mother = Bad Mother. It’s a common rationale. It’s difficult to leave the kids, so getting intense athletic time while being a mother seems impossible unless there’s a nanny. There are timing issues with breastfeeding, nap times, and children’s extracurricular activities. A lot of “outdoor mothers” are happy to stay at home with the kids while their husbands do serious weekend trips. It’s...

Trip report: Cascades

We’re hoping to run some trip reports from parents. If this sparks an idea feel free to contact us. I know most everyone has put away there skis for the summer, but up here in the Northwest there’s still plenty of snow up high and these photos were just too good to pass up. Enjoy. The Trip: A backcountry spring skiing over-nighter Where: The Eastern Cascades (no powder stashes were harmed in the...

The Road Less Traveled: Carrie Cooper

What could be better than spending four months in a camper van with a two year old? The word crazy never came to mind when my husband Kyle and I decided to adventure through New Zealand for four months with our daughter Ava. We took advantage of our time off and the youth of our only child to head off in search of surf and stone. We couldn’t have chosen a better destination for our two passions and have...

World Moms

At The Outdoor Parent, it’s our belief that adventure is a state of mind. If you know how to look, you can find it in your backyard or in the forests on the city’s edge just as easily as you can atop a peak or deep inside a canyon. If your passion is travel, foreign landscapes and different cultures, the standard logic seems to dictate that parenthood is incompatible with world travel. Or is it?...
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