Our monthly post to highlight the best writing and most useful tips written by Outdoor Parents over the past month.
You won't typically find gear reviews or travel guides here - on this site we focus on the skills and inspiration to help you get outside and stay outside with your kids. We also believe that everyone should feel welcome in the outdoors, so we share articles by parents and outdoors-people of color to make sure everyone is learning each other's perspectives.
Hopefully, this encourages you to plan your next outdoor adventures, reflect on what you were able to accomplish over the past month, or what you learned and would do differently. Enjoy!
Bouldering at Columbia State Historic Park in Columbia, CA
School & Kids Books:
On a final note, I want to link to this article:
I was specifically impressed by Rue Mapp's quote: "I love birds and wildlife. I love identifying them. But if I were to say we’re going birding today, I don’t know if anybody would show up unless you already were a birder. But if I say let’s go to Lake Merritt for a stroll and a potluck, people are going to show up. And guess what? I’m going to still bring out my binoculars, my spotting scope and my bird ID book."
Names and words have significant power, and we need to be careful with the words we use. They can be used deliberately or inadvertently to exclude people. They can be used to draw people in - like when we tell our kids we're going exploring when we actually mean we're going hiking.
Names specifically have power when settlers come to a country and give new names to the mountains, rivers, plants, and animals even though most of the natural world already had names given to them by the indigenous people. There is also power when climbing routes are named with offensive or sexist names that we wouldn't feel comfortable talking to our children about.
Let's all think about the words and names we use to go play in the outdoors, both to make everyone feel welcome but also to respect the long history of the land everywhere we go.
Our monthly post to highlight the best writing and most useful tips written by Outdoor Parents over the past month. We also a few other outdoor parenting related articles. Hopefully this inspires you to plan your next outdoor adventures, reflect on what you were able to accomplish over the past month, or what you learned and would do differently. Enjoy!
summer climbing with our 7 year old
Climbing:Hiking:School & Kids Books:
This is our monthly post to highlight the best writing and most useful tips written by outdoor parents over the past month and also a few other outdoor parenting related articles. Hopefully this inspires you to plan your next outdoor adventures, reflect on what you were able to accomplish over the past month, or what you learned and would do differently. Enjoy!
CragKid on the Sharp End!!! | Cragmama Trip report of her 10 year old son's first lead climb.
Solo Distance Hiking and Kids: Six Things I Learned | The Trek by Tracy (Scrappy) Buro. Sometimes outdoor parents need to do adventures without their kids, and it's important to explain why.
Between the Lines: It’s Time To Change Offensive Route Names | Rock and Ice by Andrew Bisharat. "a good test for whether a route name passes the 'offensive' test is if it’s something you’d be uncomfortable hearing your own kid talk about climbing"
Independence Day (Hiking, Biking, Fear and Freedom) | The Brave Ski Mom I have also been known to (slightly) "wonder why the non-skiing partner doesn’t just suck it up, sign up for lessons, and get on with falling in love with winter" but this article has a good perspective on what it's like to be the parent who doesn't enjoy an outdoor activity.
A Sneak Peak at the Coming Ski Season | The Brave Ski Mom Contingency plans in case resorts don't open, plus insight into what the southern hemisphere is doing.
Free Printable Kids Hiking Bingo Cards | Hike Like a Woman by Crystal
What Kids Can Learn from Ashima Shiraishi's Many Falls | Outside Online by Krista Langlois A children's book written by one of the best climbers in the world.
Risk Assessment is a Skill That Requires Time to Learn | 1000 Hours Outside by Ginny Yurich This is what I consider to be one of the great benefits of outdoor parenting - teaching our kids to take on risks (safely) and also giving us as parents the opportunity to get used to it gradually as they become adults.
I have also been spending the past month working to understand racism in the outdoor community, how to be a better ally, and learning about the diversity groups that exist to support People of Color and other minority groups. Here is some reading material that I as a white person have found helpful:
The Melanin Base Camp Guide To Outdoor Allyship | Melanin Base Camp by Danielle Williams
Open Letter on Diversity in Our Sport | US Ski and Snowboard Association by Charles A. Harris
Being black while in nature: 'You’re an endangered species' | The Guardian by Poppy Noor
Resources For Anti-Racism | NOLS Blog
Here are some groups to consider supporting that are doing work to support diversity in the outdoor community :
(Note: some of these exist as a safe space for the people they represent, but you can still support them financially if you don't belong to that group)
As a new month begins, we are beginning a new feature to highlight the best writing and most useful tips written by outdoor parents over the past month and also a few other outdoor parenting related articles. Hopefully this inspires you to plan your next outdoor adventures, reflect on what you were able to accomplish over the past month, or what you learned and would do differently. Enjoy!
Thru-Hiking the JMT with a Baby Is an Exercise in Patience—and Endurance | Backpacker by Marketa Daley
Nature Summer Camp for Kids | Mountain Mom and Tots by Mountain Mom. If your kids camps are closed and they’re home with you all summer, this could be a good option to check out. It’s an outdoor-focused, online summer camp designed for kids age 3-7.
Why It’s Important We Go Outside, From a Mom’s Perspective | Hike It Baby by Breanna Jeanneret. For days when you need reminding of why we do this.
Outdoor Moms Making a Difference That Everyone Should Know | Hike It Baby by Sara Wesche.
Quarantine Reads for the Whole Family | Cragmama. Reviews of climbing books for the whole family.
21 RV Apps That Are Super Helpful For Your RV Trip | Crazy Family Adventure by Chelsea Gonzales. For any of you planning a road trip this summer - it’s probably extra important to be prepared and have back-up plans this year.
A Gift to YOU from a Favorite Ski Instructor | The Brave Ski Mom. Get ready for next ski season (it’s never too early!) by reminding your kids of the Skier and Snowboarder Responsibility Code.
YETI Presents: My Mom Vala | Banff Mountain Film Festival - Adventure at Home. The story of a fishing guide mom, from the perspective of her 10 year old daughter. (Not writing written in the past month, but it was shared for free within the past month).
And here are a few other articles written this month that I thought might inspire your outdoor parenting:
Ideas for Getting Your Kids into Nature | Child Mind Institute by Danielle Cohen. If you can’t travel, here are some ideas of things to do at home or in your neighborhood.
The Flying Baby From A Famous 1995 Patagonia Catalog Photo Is All Grown Up | NPR by Scott Simon. Perspective of an outdoor kid as a grownup.
With most campuses closed, Forest School enjoys its moment in the woods | Washington Post by Hannah Natanson. An outdoor parent’s dream afterschool or preschool - worth checking if there’s one near you.
‘Lionhearted’ Girl Bikes Dad Across India, Inspiring a Nation | The New York Times by Jeffrey Gettleman and Suhasini Raj. Never underestimate what a determined kid can do if they want to.
Finally, one more link which is not specifically outdoor parenting related. However I think the perspective it gives could help us all when we’re on a long hike and everyone in the family is tired and can’t wait for it to end. Leo Babuta writes: ”with the boredom and tiredness we’re feeling from the lockdown and pandemic, we have the perfect practice ground”. So maybe consider embracing this time and learning from it?
A Guide to Dealing with the Growing Tiredness & Boredom of the New Normal | zen habits by Leo Babuta
Two Silicon Valley engineers who have had a love of the outdoors since childhood. Parents of two small kids, spending our free time exploring the outdoors with them.