Happy New Year! I’d like to start 2017 with what I believe is an important subject: the value of getting our kids into the outdoors. Long-time readers of Pit Stops for Kids know that as often as possible, our pit stops, destinations, and adventures are of the outdoor variety. We ski, hike, snowshoe, mountain bike, camp, backpack, kayak, raft, and fish, and while we’d be crazy not to enjoy five-star hotels and luxury resorts, we’ve noticed something over the years:
Our kids remember their outdoor adventures most fondly, and the vacations they ask to repeat are ones spent in tents and hammocks, not luxury hotels.
The articles on Pit Stops for Kids that I am most proud of help parents explore nature with their kids: tips for backpacking, advice for road trips that explore national parks, reviews of river rafting expeditions, and the like. We know it can feel intimidating to get outside with kids. We know that for parents without experience in the outdoors themselves, there are real questions and concerns. So I’m excited to introduce a new website with core values that align with ours: the importance of getting our kids in to the outdoors, and the benefits families can find from communing with nature.
The Born Wild Project is a brand new site that serves as a hub for the adventure-ready and adventure-curious. It includes tips and tricks, how-to’s, gear reviews, and regular blogging by their growing collective of awesome parents. I hope to contribute there, as I believe wholeheartedly with their mission.
So why is it so important to get kids outdoors?
I believe in getting kids outside, in the dirt, in trees, on the sand, in the water, and on the snow because in the last generation or so, we’ve seen a barrier build between humans and nature. The more kids stay indoors, the less ‘real’ nature feels to them. It’s something scary, something ‘other’. And when that happens, a whole generation loses their love of, and desire to protect, planet Earth. Plus, kids love the outdoors!
I promise, you can spend a fraction of the cost of a Disney trip camping with your family, and your kids will remember it more fondly, if you give it a chance.
Parents who fear the outdoors can embrace it with the help of a community.
I love that the Born Wild Project offers a community of like-minded parents who either want to get outdoors with their kids or already do. We can learn so much from one another! Even those of us who spend a lot of time outdoors have questions and need advice. When we decided to sea kayak on the marine trail through the San Juan Islands, we didn’t have any experience with ocean kayaking. We relied on the help of guides and the packing lists provided to us from fellow parents. Likewise, after we allowed our 17-year-old to hike the Pacific Crest Trail for a month, many parents asked us specific questions so they could plan their own adventures.
So if you’re ready to go outdoors on your next trip or at home, get inspired from Born Wild’s documentary series, showcasing families who decided to make outdoor trips part of their lifestyle. And check out our Adventures for Kids section, of course!