Tag Archives: outside moms

Napping your kids outside. Everyday.

Have you heard of this?

When I say napping outside, I’m not talking about letting your child finish thier nap in the stroller after a walk or  letting them fall asleep in a pack while you hike – although those are both great ideas. I’m talking about people who put their children outdoors to take nap every single day, no matter what the weather. No matter where they are, which is often right outside their own home.

I first read about this idea on DesignMom, in a post about a trip she’d taken to Sweden. She described the country as “one big Waldorf school” where kids spend a lot of time outdoors. They play outdoors, spend school time outdoors, and yes, their kids take naps outdoors. It’s sounds like the OutsideMom’s version of a utopian society to me. (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…)

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…)

The Making of an Outdoor Sister

My journal:  August 4, 2000
Kayak Trip – British Columbia, Canada.

[Things you should know:  Lacey is my sister, and Ed is my uncle, and Shane is a friend]…

Last night we camped up the road from the Chilliwack (river in BC that tried to eat me alive). We found a nice little spot up on a ledge in a clear cut just past mile marker 96. We had a great view from up there, but the campsite itself was a mess. There’s a reason it quickly became known as “Camp Serote“. We got there near dark, and were totally worn out from the days river run. We chatted a bit, then decided to head off to bed.  Lacey and Shane set up camp on the ground, I took the back of the truck, while Ed crawled off to bed in his tent.

As we were drifting off to sleep we started hearing strange noises. It was like a flying frog/bear/bird thing. It was really creepy, and kinda freaked us out because we could NOT tell what it was. We figured it was some strange bird swooping around and went to sleep.

Awhile later Lacey woke up to the sound of rocks rolling down the mountain behind us. She freaked. She litterally jumped out of her sleeping bag, directly on top of Shane. She was screaming. Hysterically. (more…)

Unexpected Lessons from an REI Bike Clinic

The other day I attended a clinic at REI called “Basic Bike Maintenance for Women”. Did I learn about bike maintenance? Yes. Is that the point of this post? No.

To be honest, if something ever malfunctioned on my bike (tire, chain or otherwise) out on the trail, and Joe wasn’t with me, I’m not sure what I would do. Hike up a hill until I got cell service and call Joe? Look up tutorials on YouTube with my phone? Laugh my head off with my girlfriends while we fumbled our way through an hour long flat tire change? Judging by the amount of time it took us to figure out one of those fancy tire inflators the other day, I’d place my bets on the latter. I knew I needed to brush up on my maintenance skills.

So when five minutes into the workshop a woman raised her hand and said “So… how do you shift into a harder gear?”, I’m ashamed to say my initial thought hovered somewhere between annoyance and impatience. Had I stumbled into the How-to-Ride-Your-Bike workshop? Of course the instructor graciously took her question and walked her though the whole process, and while I grumbled to myself about this distraction, I noticed that several women in the room had the same question.

And suddenly I felt like a complete fool.  And a hypocrit. (more…)

Nancy: Adventure. Exhausting, but Worth it.

I grew up camping quite a bit with my five siblings and my parents.  I remember splashing in creeks, going on hikes and bike rides, rigging up rope swings, making huts, catching snakes and cramming into a tent when the sun went down.  I look back on these memories with great fondness, and I know this must be why I seek out the same opportunities for my own children.

HOWEVER, I realize now, with only two small boys, how challenging it must have been for my mother to keep six of us (three girls and three boys) semi-clean, fed, happy, and on the radar.  I was curious to see how she did it.  Never, in all the many times that we went camping, did it occur to me that she was looking forward to the drive home more than she was the next round of freeze-tag-in-the-cactus-patch.

Why did she do it?  Why did she take us again and again when it was so exhausting?  I found the answer inspiring, and I think it might appeal to my readers who don’t naturally take to the idea of sleeping on the hard ground and taking baby-wipe-showers.

I am thankful everyday that my Mother (and Father) created for us the opportunities to experience the outdoors, no matter how hard it was on her, and I appreciate her optimistic outlook, always willing to go along for the adventure. So, it is with great honor that I present to you, an interview with MY very own OutsideMom.



    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

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