raising little ones in the great outdoors

The Outdoor Parent — What You Can Expect

fitz-port Today, in conjunction with the Dirtbag Diaries, The Outdoor Parent begins in earnest. Our goal: provide stoke. Stoke to get you out of bed before dawn for a long run through the woods or a solid surf session at a favorite break. Stoke to rally the kids out for a weekend of camping beneath dark, starry skies or just around the corner to edges of your local park. We celebrate skinned knees, hand me down jeans and big smiles. We believe in unchecked imagination and learning by doing. Already, we’ve got some posts up and running. Have a look around.

In the mean time, here is what you can expect from us.

  • Perspective from climbers, skiers, surfers and modern explorers who have embarked on the ultimate adventure — parenthood.
  • Interviews with athletes who prove that chasing the dream and instilling a love of the natural world in kids are one and then same.
  • Creative tips for turning the natural world into an outdoor classroom.
  • Thoughtful discussion on topics that concern you — balancing personal goals with raising a family, risk, the environment.


Fitz Cahall

Editor and Co-Creator

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15 Responses to “The Outdoor Parent — What You Can Expect”

  1. Sarah says:

    This is an awesome concept! I think its a worthwhile conversation for people who feel passionate about their pursuits.

  2. Yeah, that’s our thinking. We hope to inspire conversation with out having to resort articles designed to incite arguments. There’s plenty of that to go around on the Internet.

  3. Nate says:

    Finally! A place for us who come home after work, read a couple of bedtime stories, give a few kisses goodnight on the forehead and find ourselves going on a trail run at 10 p.m. with a headlamp on! I LOVE THIS CONCEPT!

    • Yep just for you…now if I could only just figure out how to get a picture in this darn little box.

      • Nathan(8), Ella(2), Shane & Annie(35) says:

        Is that what that little box is for? That would be great to have pics of the families out doin’ stuff. For me it is nice to share images to help gauge our activities and how far we can take the kids, and possibly find new activities that we haven’t already thought of…I don’t know why it should matter, But it seems too.

        On that note, anyone have any favorite outdoor activities that can captivate an almost 3 year old for more than 20 minutes (other than torturing older siblings)?

        • Steve says:

          Water, dirt, rocks, and sticks. We’ve tried toys, coloring books, and stuff like that. But it seems like Mother Nature’s toys keep their interest longer. That’s just a tough age, so it’s almost just more of a waiting game till they develop an attention span.

          • Nathan(8), Ella(2), Shane & Annie(35) says:

            Finally got Nathan to 6 years old. We were running, biking, taking long backpacking trips…then wow…Ella….Reset the clock. fortunately she is so small for a three year old I should be able to get one more year out of the kid backpack that has served me so very well. If any of you out there do not have one of these REI or Kelty kid packs go out and buy, steal, or borrow one…they are priceless…especially for your wife when you can take the 2 year old and wander off into the hills, leaving her alone, in the quiet…

        • Kevin says:

          With our almost 3 year old I have dug out my love of ‘map racing’ ahem … orienteering from the list of many sports.
          What 2 year old doesn’t love ‘machines that go bing’. Key thoughts are to go weather permitting, slow the pace and lower expectations, be ready for distractions (bugs!!!) be ready to bail and get them interactive in keeping it fun. My delusions even allow me to think he is understanding bits of the map reading. More important to me is that he thinks getting outside is normal and fun …
          check http://cascadeoc.org/ or a group near you.

  4. Shane says:

    Not a parent … yet. But seriously considering that adventure in the coming years. I’ll be tuning in from time to time to gain some insight from those who have been there are doing it.

    Looking forward to another great project, Fitz!

  5. Nathan(8), Ella(2), Shane & Annie(35) says:

    How many close friends have dropped off the face of the earth when they breed? We have very few friends that remain active after parenthood graces their lives…Nathan and Ella have shown us why…it is difficult (not to mention expensive) to take any down time that you may have and gear up instead.

    How does one stay fit enough to keep up with your kids when for the first 12 years you have to turn your 20 miles rides into 2, your mountain climbs into trail strolls? I love every minute of these activities, but find my beat up body suffering from the lack of physical and mental punishment!

    I look forward to new points of view, advice, and maybe even friendship here.

    Here’s to you non-breading sponsors of a very great idea….I have high hopes…


    • Steve says:

      No doubt about it, having kids does a number on your fitness. It doesn’t help that all the magazines and other coverage focus on faster, stronger, longer, etc. When I went to my first 100 mile trail race (as a pacer), I was surprised to see so many gray hairs. My runner told me that the average age was in the upper 40’s. That gave me a lot of hope. Now those people might not win, but who cares. My fitness “program” is to run or bike just enough so that I don’t totally crash when I do get an opportunity to get out. I’ll surely pay for fitness deficit, but that’s why ibuprofen was invented.
      And don’t underestimate the mental toughness you gain as a parent. Staying up all night with a sick kid makes hiking up a steep hill less mentally daunting.
      Glad you visited, I hope you keep tuning in and enjoy the site!

  6. Dirty Mos says:

    The perfect blend of two passions: family and the outdoors. I’m a big fan of the dirtbag diaries as well as sappy parenthood podcasts and magazines, so this website is the perfect marriage of both. Looking forward to see this thing develop.

    • Glad your digging it. Sappy parenting podcasts and the Diaries…does that mean the Diaries are sappy?! Careful. Steady. I like to call them tough yet refined. Glad you’re digging the the new site. Please spread the word.

  7. Dallas and Greta Hyland says:


    Find your stoke. Help them find theirs. We’re in.

  8. Barbie says:

    Wow what a great site! I’ve been looking for something like this for a long time!! We are military parents of two preschoolers (3 and 4 year olds) that are trying desperately to pass along a passion for the outdoors and natural adventures to our little ones. I’m so glad I stumbled across this. Thanks for this little corner of the internet, we’ll be checking back often.

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