raising little ones in the great outdoors

The Edge of Never

During a recent procrastination session, I stumbled upon the Edge of Never, a book and film by author Bill Kerig.  In 1996, free skiing pioneer Trevor Patterson died while attempting a line known as Glacier Ronde in Chamonix. He left behind a wife and two children. His son Kye has gone on to become a young ski talent. Edge of Never follows Kye’s journey to ski the line that took his father’s life....

Pinecone Bird Feeder

I love backyard birds.  What these small creatures can endure, how far they can travel, and their nearly constant motion amaze me.  After a rainstorm, I often go outside and listen to their fluttering movements as they frantically forage for food.  And I love the easy projects that you can do to entice them into your backyard. Birds use a lot of energy to maintain a constant body temperature. During the spring...

Friday Stoke

Griffin grabs the paddle and rows along the Willamette River.  Griffin’s first boat trip was when he was 2 months old. And though his dad, Josh, says he’s never been on rapids greater than class 1, Griffin will proudly tell you “I whitewater raft.” In addition to mom, Jessica,  and dad, Griffin’s 2 month old brother, Oliver, was along for the float, complete with an infant pfd...

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...

Friday Stoke

5-year olds and bikes~what a perfect combination.

Music Motivator?

We’ve been there.  Gauging your children’s endurance levels can be one of the most difficult tasks as a parent. Push them too hard and it can leave a permanent black mark on the outdoors. After all, nobody likes bonking. Yet, we all want to create outdoor experiences that create a sense of accomplishment.  Things can’t always be easy – many of these pursuits appeal to us because they involve effort,...

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...

Friday Stoke

I think folks are starting to feel the winter bug. And it’s no wonder when inches of snow are starting to fall. Inspired by last week’s photo, Joel Waltner sent us a photo taken last winter with his son Elias, then 20 months, “full of energy and enthusiasm.”  “We were out skiing with some friends of ours and their daughter was being pulled along in the sled, while Elias had been stashed...

Where the Other You Lives

Discover the Forest is a new website launched by the Ad Council and USDA Forest Service encouraging kids to get outdoors and enjoy their nearby parks and national forests. The site is designed so tweens (ages 8-12) can navigate it and find the nearest park, activities to do, and discover neat nature facts. The Book of Stuff to Do Outside is a downloadable book with activities like identifying animal tracks,...
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