Category Archives: Research and News

The coolest outdoor family bloggers I’ve ‘met’

I know it’s kind of taboo to say that you’ve ‘met someone online’. I never thought I’d say that. But the truth is I’ve met whole families online! Really inspiring families that deserve some recognition for all the work they put into their blogs. Here’s a list (in no particular order) of some of the coolest families I’ve had the privilege of ‘meeting’.

Do you know of more? Leave them in the comments!

Brave Ski Mom
Family skiing tips, unbiased resort and mountain reviews, off-season biking and hiking. We’re a western Colorado family that has seen it all and done a lot. I don’t just share our adventures. I provide information to help you fuel your own adventure — from skiing to parenting.

Tales of a Mountain Mama
Tales of a Mountain Mama (Family) aims to help inspire families to get outdoors and adventure, even with young children. We share our own stories and tips and feature weekly guest bloggers and experts to round out our own knowledge and experience. Watch for a diverse make-up of honest gear reviews and lots of giveaways!

The Kid Project
As a family, we want to live an adventure together. We want to play together. We want to live life and grow together. Our goal is to inspire families to get outdoors together, to provide gear reviews [for better or worse], family-friendly locations, posts/interviews from kindred spirits we’ve met along the way and encouragement on the road of parenting.

Velo Mom
Velo Mom is the place I share our family bike adventures, highlight inspirational families and kids on bikes, discuss exceptional products, great rides and the latest news.

Adventure Parents
Adventure Parents entertains and informs with stories about parents, families and kids who enjoy outdoor adventure in any of its forms. It has a mix of posts from personal narratives to news to product reviews that appeal to the outdoorsy parent.

Go Explore Nature
Go Explore Nature is all about connecting kids & families with nature, in your own backyard and beyond. You’ll find everything from tips on bird watching and backyard camping to ideas for backyard nature play. Happy exploring! (more…)

Wow, my first modeling gig! And other stuff…

I know I’m technically taking this week off and all, but I had to share two things real quick that are somewhat time sensitive in nature, and that should be documented for posterity’s sake.

1. I got the following email a few days ago from outdoor blogging friend Amelia. She said:

Hi Lindsey, Checking emails real quick and saw the Chaco email with you nice and big and happy!  Congrats…

My first thought was “what is she talking about”? My second thought was “what does she mean by nice and big, did they somehow get a picture of me pregnant”?

I wrote her back admitting I had no idea what she was talking about, so she forwarded me an email from Chaco with this Mothers Day ad (right). Kinda weird to see yourself staring back at you, didn’t see that coming at all. Quite an honor however!

2. I was recently nominated for the Circle of Moms Top Outdoorsy Mom Blogs of 2012. I’m not sure how I got on the list, so thanks to whomever nominated me. It’s an honor to be among some really great bloggers.

If you want to vote for, or any of the other cool mom blogs (you can vote for more than one) please do so here. There is no prize if you win, but the recognition for being near the top of the list would be nice (we’re currently #14). You can vote once every 24 hours until May 7th.

Welcome to the world little Viv

It’s been my intention for the last few months to take next week (April 30 – May 6) off from the blog in honor of Screen Free Week. Just so happens I now have another reason to take a brief hiatus.

Our little Viviann arrived about a week ago. The birth went quickly and beautifully. In fact I think choosing a name was almost harder than actually giving birth… almost. Everyone is doing really well. Her oldest brother paid her the highest compliment possible when he said “Mom, I think Viv’s even funer than R2” (his R2D2 robot). Little brother is still adjusting right along with the rest of us.

Happy Screen Free and I Had a Baby Week. See you all soon.

Random News Worth Checking Out

I often come across an interesting study, a fabulous article or some other random thing. I typically post such finds on facebook or twitter. But if you tweet and/or facebook like I do (which is not very faithfully) you tend to miss a lot of stuff. Here are 5 things I hope you didn’t miss.

If you have a random blog post or news item that struck you as particularly great, please share in the comments.

1. This post from Creative Star Learning Company has a ton of Earth Day activity ideas, many that correlate with books. This particular post highlights one of my favorite kids’ books called I’m In Charge of Celebrations by Byrd Baylor, but if you scroll down to the bottom of the post there’s about 56 different links to other Earth Day activities.

2. The very title of this article beckoned me to read it, and I was so glad I did! Einstein May Never Have Used Flashcards, but He Probably Built Forts. It’s one of the best articles on outdoor play, imagination and childhood that I’ve read in a long time.

3. Growing a Naturalist: Developing a child’s passion for nature. On of those articles that makes you say “aaaaah”. My favorite quote:

The way to grow a naturalist – someone with a voracious appetite to learn about the wonders of nature and an appreciation for what is found there – requires just two ingredients: unstructured time in natural places and an adult who models respect for nature and enjoys the outdoors.

4. I’ve been scheming a bikepacking trip. But with a new baby on the way, when exactly is that a good idea? I came across this article Babies First Bike Tour: At What Age? I thought it had some good insights, and at times made me sorta laugh.

5. You know what else made me sorta laugh. This video. Gotta get the gear…

Chaco: A love story that began in 2001…

Going for a new tan line. My first pair of chacos over my Teva tan. Circa May 2001.

I like to think the story of how I became a Chaco Ambassador dates back to just past the turn of the century. The year was 2001. Y2K had proved a fluke–my computer still worked as it should.  The stock market hadn’t crashed.  Aliens hadn’t landed.  And I was more than a little disappointed. It was also my last semester of College.  My future, empty, and vast as a future without Y2K catastrophes, awaited.

I was planning a move to a little desert town in south-central Utah by the name of Escalante. I had landed a job on a research crew studying the native bee population in Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. I knew the job involved a lot of hiking, backpacking, and observing in extremely hot weather, in a country replete with sand.  So I  purchased a brand new pair of Tevas (my sandal of choice since the late 80’s) to celebrate the occasion.

I packed up my ’85 Corolla with all my belongs.  My hope chest, a 20-gallon blue cooler, sat in the back, nestled between my trusty sleeping bag, a bag of clothes, and a water jug. I set my sparklingly clean new shoes on top of the car, under the kayak mounted on my homemade 2X4 roof rack. I ran into the house to bid adieu to my roommates. And I hit the road!

Somewhere around mile 14 something else hit the road. I saw a foreign object fly off the roof of my car and land smack dab in the middle of the highway. (more…)

Vacation in a SylvanSport GO? Yes please.

I’m not typically one to enter contests and giveaways, but when I heard about this I thought it sounded like it might be worth a try and figured others might be interested. I mean really, who wouldn’t want to live out of this (seriously, check out the pictures) for three months: – – – – – – – >

The SylvanSport GO looks like an amazing little contraption that can hold all your camping gear and up to 10 kayaks or 5 bikes, a few surf boards, rock climbing gear, rafting stuff, etc… AND provide a cozy place for you and your family to sleep.

To enter go to their homepage, and in 400 words or less  write about all the crazy adventures you would take in your GO expedition. They also want to know how you would promote your adventure. Blogging? Video? Bragging rights?

The three best essays win a gear package from sponsors like: Yakima, Kelty, Keen, Black Diamond, Wenger, Jackson Kayak, SPOT, Grand Trunk Goods, Orbea, and of course the GO itself for up to three months to live and document your adventure story. The most interesting and well documented story keeps the GO and a bunch of gear.

Contest ends May 31st 2012, but you may want to enter ASAP because each week contestants are automatically entered into weekly giveaways for chances to win prizes.

Our First Anniversary! Enter to win $50 at REI

**Giveaway has ended. Thanks for all those who participated!**

Yep. We made it. This blog has officially been alive for one year!  It all started with a post about minivans and a whole slew of people willing to share the site with their friends.

Do you know what the best part of this blog has been for me?  It’s provided a new way for me to ‘meet’ moms and dads who care as much about incorporating the outdoors into the lives of their children as I do.  I’ve learned so much from you folks, and enjoy every chance I get to interact with you.  We can’t thank you enough for being a part of this blog.

But before we get ahead of ourselves and talk about trivial things like $50 REI gift certificate giveaways, here are a few stats from our first year.

29,341 – # of individuals who visited our website

∞ # of thanks we owe all the aforementioned visitors

136 – # of posts we published

1,349 – # of comments left by all you lovely visitors

1 – # of blessed, blessed blog-saving contributers

211 – # of times our most popular post (make your own hammock) was shared on facebook and twitter

252 – # of days I’ve spent pregnant

22,290 – # of times the video How to Turn your Minivan into an RV has been viewed

50 – # of dollars you could win to spend however you wish at REI

Please note that ‘smooth’ segue into our one year anniversary giveaway… (more…)

Looking for outdoor family advice? Ask us!

We’re starting a new feature on the blog. We’re thinking of calling it… Ask Outsidemom. Think of it as a Dear Abby column for the outside-enthused parent… except that we promise not to discuss which way to put the toilet paper in the holder (over the top), or your mother-in-law.

The thing is, we get emails every once in awhile with questions from parents. Questions about naps, outdoor cooking, tents, packing for hikes, etc. We love knowing the kinds of things you’re wondering about, or how we can best aid in you getting your little ones outside more.  You guys can help us gear this blog to your specifications.  We want to encourage these questions, because (truth be told) they actually end up being some of our favorites!

If ever you have a question, please don’t hesitate to ask. No matter how odd (shoot–I’m probably asking for it with that statement). We may not personally know the answer, but we have ways of finding out, and will likely even solicit the help of our readers from time to time.

So bring ’em on!  We’re very much looking forward to more of your questions! Just email us via the envelope icon on the side bar or send your email directly to

Exciting happenings with the outsidemom crew!

Today’s post is a little different. There have been some exciting things afoot in the lives of the people who make outsidemom function. These new developments bring me such joy, I have to share. Please indulge me while I update you on happenings in our personal lives, so that if you’ve thought that perhaps we seemed distracted, reset assure we kind-of were.

Outsidemom blog designer, tech crew, social media instigator, strategic adviser

You don’t ever really hear about Travis, but he’s my brother (and world’s greatest Uncle). I’d been thinking about this blog for years before it existed.  I’m 100% sure I would still be thinking about it if it wasn’t for Travis.  He designed it, got it working, helped me set up my facebook and twitter accounts, and fielded ten thousand questions as I took my first steps into the blogging world.

If, over the next year, my blog begins to falter, it’s because my brother has moved on to bigger and better things, but I couldn’t be prouder. Besides, when he’s rich and famous he can hire someone to fix all the weird things I’ve done to my blog trying to maintain it myself. His first single hit iTunes and his music video (shot in my old stomping grounds, so the scenery is fabulous) came out today. I’m not usually a country music fan, but one might say I’m a fan of Travis Marshall.

Did I mention I was proud? Oh, did I also mention he’s single… (more…)

Gift ideas for the outdoor baby girl!

In honor of my own baby shower a few weeks ago I’m posting 12 gift ideas for outdoor families welcoming little girls. Most of these  products (or a variation of them) I now own, others are still on my wish list. Never has pink and purple looked so good!

1. Smartwool Booties 2. Patagonia Apron Dress (or let’s be honest, anything from Patagonia would have been a hit in my book) 3. Nova Natural baby hammock 4. Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots 5. Down Bunting 6. Klean Kanteen 7. Merril Sky Jumper Shoes 8. Nalgene Grip’n Gulp 9. North Face Beanie 10. Patagonia Baby Sun Hat 11. Ergo Baby Carrier with Infant Insert 12. Kid’s Mountain Goat Adjustable (I actually got ‘baby girl’ this for Christmas, both my boys have one, we’re big fans)


    I'm Lindsey. I'm an environmental educator, my husband's a biologist. The outdoors is infused into everything we do; which explains why I'm better at mud pies than home decorating. More About Me

    I don't blog alone! Meet outsidemom contributer Olivia