Category Archives: Outside Moms

Lessons from the 2 greatest moms we know: Ours.

Moms. Let’s face it. They play a huge role in the people we become.

We’ve done interviews with lots of amazing moms over the last few years, but lately we’ve both been thinking about our own moms, and how important their lessons 30 years ago influence us now, so many years later.

For me (Lindsey), it was suddenly having a daughter.  That mother/daughter relationship was brought to the forefront of my mind. The thought of raising a daughter seemed daunting. I started to examine how I turned out so… well, cool (by my own standards of course). The answer: My Mom.

The three most important things I learned from her.

1. There is no substitute for hard work.
2. Letting your kids run outdoors unsupervised is a good thing.
3. Taking your kids out for adventures is exhausting. My Mom did it with 6 kids in tow.  Get over it, and get out there.

This is the interview with my Mom (6/14/2011) Nancy: Adventure. Exhausting, but worth it

For me (Olivia), my mom is constantly in my head.  The older I get the less I need to call her and ask for her advise (though I do…) because I can hear what she’d say without her having to say it (some people have bumper stickers on their car that say WWJD; What Would Jesus Do–my bumper sticker should say WWMMD; What Would My Mother Do.  And honestly I think Jesus and My Mother would do similar things, though I am unfamiliar with what Jesus took on camping trips).

From packing for camping trips to married life to (very soon) taking care of a little girl, I think back to my own childhood, and what my mom did, to figure out what I should do.

The sacrifices she made were completely lost on me as a child.  It is only decades later that I realize what an incredible mom she is.

This is the interview with my Mom (5/5/2011) Bonnie: Raising Outdoor Savvy Kids 

Happy Mothers Day to all the great Moms  (future, present and past) who read this blog.

Danielle: Stand Up Paddleboarding with kids.

I recently moved down the street from a lake. A bonafide honset-to-goodness lake. I’ve been toying with the idea of getting into stand up paddleboarding (SUP). Preferable with my kids. So I knew just just the person to go to for advise. Danielle and her husband own Sweetwater Paddle Sports in Southwest Florida and run a SupMommys group, a class where Moms AND their kids come to learn the ways of the paddleboard.

Thanks for sharing your wisdom Danielle. Can’t wait to try this out.

How did you get into Stand Up Paddleboarding?  

I grew up in Naples, Fl (on the beach), then lived in the Virgin Islands with my husband for a few years. Being on the water has always been a part of who I am.

Three years ago my husband and I got the urge to try stand up paddleboarding since surfing is rare on the southwest coast of Fl. After a few times out on a board my husband and I decided we wanted to open our own stand up paddleboard shop, Sweetwater Paddle Sports. We’ve been open for 2 years, have been crazy busy and are now expanding!

What made you decide to start your SupMommys group?  (more…)

Jamie Whitmore: Athlete. Cancer survivor. Mom.

I first learned about Jamie Whitmore when I had to call her to arrange some travel plans so that the company I was working for could create this video. At the time I had no idea what her story was, it wasn’t until I watched the final film that I thought, “wow, this Mom is amazing!”

Jamie was once the most decorated off-road triathlete of all time. But when she was diagnosed with cancer in 2008, her doctors told her that she would probably never be able to mountain bike again. Or have kids. She did both. And she’s racing again.

Such an inspiring Mom. I had to share this video.

Teaching kids stewardship… with a grabber?

Todays post is brought to you by my friend Amber. We got into a discussion one day about kids volunteering and learning to taking ownership of their favorite natural places. The result was this awesome essay about her experience taking her kids to volunteer in Yosemite. I love it.

Has anyone else incorporated outdoor volunteerism into their outdoor outings? We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences!

I grew up in a house where certain things were just, understood. Among such things was the understanding that if we didn’t take care of our things, we would eventually be out of things to take care of.  Although there was a certain resentment that accompanied this understanding, I knew when I had kids of my own that I wanted them to have the same sense of responsibility, or stewardship, over the things that were theirs.

I had the grand expectation that it would be fairly easy to help my child develop this sense of stewardship in every aspect of life, from toys, to friendships, to the natural world around them.

My child would not have the sense of entitlement that is so prevalent in so many kids today.

My child would always be noble, kind, and responsible. (more…)

Planning an overnight family bike trip

Today’s post is compliments of Stacy from A Simple Six. Her and her family (of 4 kids) recently took a different kind of weekend vacation, they did an overnight bike trip. I love the idea and have recently been thinking to do something similar with my family. While we’ve been eyeing a simple trail in Point Reyes National Seashore, I love that Stacy’s starting point was her own front yard.

Thanks Stacy for all your great advice on how to plan an overnight family bike trip. Fabulous ideas, can’t wait to put them to use! And as always readers, please feel free to leave a comment with your own advice, experiences or questions.

How do you save money on family vacation travel? Have you seen the price of gasoline!? What about hotels? The frugal solution could be in the form of a single overnight bicycle camping trip (S24O), one where you roll right out of the garage and pitch your tent several miles from home. Some tips for planning your trip: (more…)

Teresa: Staying active in the outdoors while pregnant

Because I couldn’t have an active pregnancy I wanted to interview someone who would know a thing or two about active pregnant women. I decided to ask Teresa Delfin. Not only is she my twitter friend, but she’s also the founder of Mountain Mama Maternity, a clothing company for women who want to maintain their outdoor lifestyle despite their growing bellies. I knew she was the perfect person to ask.

Thanks Teresa for sharing your ideas on staying active in the outdoors during pregnancy, for providing clothing that helps women do just that, and for making me wish I could be one of those active pregnant women…

1. What outdoor activities do you enjoy most when you’re not pregnant?

I’m the classic multi-sport outdoor athlete – the more fun things I can find to do outside the better! I joke with my husband about my “triathlon” days, which is just any that I can squeeze in three or more sports. Since I was in high school, I’ve had a passion for rock climbing, but a good mountain hike with my family is fun, too.

For summer, I’ve picked up SUP (stand-up paddleboard) which is just loads of fun and manages to combine my love for kayaking and surfing. I’m excited to teach my 3-year-old skiing and have hopes of getting him on the slopes yet this spring. For fun and transportation, I enjoy riding bicycles. I have a trusty city bike for getting to coffee dates and shopping, a great mountain bike my husband got me to celebrate finishing my Ph.D., and the road bike I did the AIDS Lifecycle (SF to LA) on a few years ago. (more…)

Patricia: Hiking big peaks with little girls

I first heard about Patricia and her daughters Alex and Sage from Adventure Parents.   This trio lives in New Hampshire, and is in the habit of hiking to the tallest peaks around–like, all of the tallest peaks.  When Adventure Parents posted this video on their site, I was instantly awestruck… completely blown away by both Patricia and her adventure-loving daughters..

I’ll also admit to a certain degree of peak-bagging-with-kids envy, because my oldest child (5), despite my best efforts, does not (yet) share my passion for putting peaks in bags (check out question #6 if you experience this same issue).

I had so many questions for her after I watched this video, so I immediately tracked her down and asked if she would be willing to be interviewed. These questions are only the tip of the iceberg, but I have a feeling the rest of my quesitons will be answered when I read her book Up: A Mother and Daughter’s Peakbagging Adventure (more about the book here).

Thanks for doing the interview Patricia. And thanks for inspiring your fellow outsidemoms.

1. What made you (and your girls) decide to start hiking peaks?

In the spring of 2008, I read information about the Four Thousand Footer Club at a scenic parking area off NH’s Route 112.  On a whim, I asked then-5-year-old Alex if she wanted to try hiking one of the “big” mountains.  She immediately responded with a yes.  At that time, Alex was a nonstop bundle of energy and I was curious about how far she’d want to hike.

2. Did you hike as a child?  A young lady? (more…)

Yes, I was ‘that mom’ at the mud hole

A few months back, a friend of mine posted this picture on her facebook account, it left me inspired.

I fell in love with it immediately.  To me the picture says don’t be too uptight. It says nice clothes are wasted on kids.  And it says it’s okay to be that mom. I think of this picture all the time, and it reminds me not to stand in the way of my kids’ bliss, simply because I don’t want to deal with the dirt.

Thanks for writing up your story, Kristal. This is one trip to the park your kids will never forget! (more…)

Debi – Getting outside every day

You may not think you know who Debi is, but if you click on the links found in many of our posts, you’re sure to have come across her blog at least once. It’s one of my favorites. Want to know why? Simple:

Debi’s blog reminds me that I don’t need to plan big grandiose adventures all the time in order to instill an appreciation for nature in my kids. It can come from the little things I choose to do every day. It can come just by making an effort to be outside, even if just for 15 minutes, every day.

Her blog is full of those simple little daily ideas (well, and a few grandiose ones…)

Thanks for doing the interview Debi, and for taking the time to create the amazing resource known as Go Explore Nature.

Quick note: Debi has two adorable sons, referred to here as the Big and Little Explorers.

1. Where did you gain your love for the outdoors? Was this something you grew up with (and if so, tell us about your upbringing), or something you stumbled on later in life (and if the latter, tell us the story!)?

I grew up in the city but was fortunate enough to have access to an enormous outdoor space in our backyard. I never thought twice about being outside. Most afternoons, I played in the dirt, climbed trees, picked boysenberries off our vines (or tried to sneak pomegranates!) and played Hide and Go Seek with my older brother. We also rode our bikes everywhere.

Beyond our backyard, there was our family cabin in Yosemite National Park, where we spent two weeks every summer. We hiked, swam in the river, rode horses, hung out doing nothing and always made tons of friends. Believe it or not, at the time I actually hated our summer trips to Yosemite; being away from my friends seemed like torture. But when I left home for college, it didn’t take long for me to miss the place, and the slower pace of life I had experienced as a kid.

Of course now I try to get to the cabin as many times a year as possible – and always at least two weeks every summer. It is here that I seek solace when life presents its biggest challenges and where I go to slow down and find reminders of what’s most important to me. I hope my kids come to love the place as much as I do. (more…)

Stephanie – Raising an 11-year-old competitive kayaker

You may not know Stephanie by her given name. But you may recognize her by her alter ego:  Sage Donnelly’s Mom.  Sage is a competitive kayaker, a diabetic, a philanthropist, was recently nominated for Sports Illustrated Kid’s SportKid of the Year and is rumored to have the most infectious grin ever seen floating down a body of swift moving water.

Did I mention that she’s eleven years old?  When I was eleven, I was still figuring out how to floss.

I figured that behind an amazing kid like that, there had to be equally amazing parents. I was right.

I’ll let Stephanie speak for herself–you’ll see what I mean.  But let me point out one thing so that you don’t miss it. In the corner, in the background, or somewhere in nearly every picture or video posted here, you’ll see a little lime green Jackson kayak.  Those are the parent’s boats–in each photo you can see either Stephanie or her husband watching or leading their daughter.  Would that we all had someone in a lime green kayak bearing witness as we challenged ourselves and attempted new and scary things!  Always there, ready to pull us out should something go wrong, and the first to hi-five us when it all goes right.  These guys know what family is all about.

Thank’s again Stephanie for doing this interview, and for being half of the equation that raised such an amazing kid.

Oh yeah, one other note.  Mouse over the pictures for explanatory captions.

First of all, just curious. We’re you involved in outdoor sports as a kid?

I was an avid runner as a kid, competing in my first 10k when I was 6 years old.  I also played soccer, softball, volleyball and ran track.  I loved to hike in the mountains and was very good at catching lizards and snakes in the fields around my house, a hobby my daughter is also involved in!

Of all the outdoor sports, why kayaking?  What is the appeal for you? (more…)


    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