Three northwest backpacking routes for families

Parents with young children: you absolutely can backpack with kids! Our family has found success by choosing backpacking routes that are short on distance but big on rewards, whether that be in the form of a fun lake or river to swim in, dramatic … [Read more...]

Travel Gear We Use: best hiking boots for the family

We're continuing our Travel Gear We Use series with a category I'm asked about a lot: hiking boots. Need guidance on buying the best hiking boots for the family? The following picks for kids hiking boots (as well as adults) come from brands we use … [Read more...]

Travel Gear We Use: Best first aid kits for family travel

Several years ago, I became certified as a wilderness EMT and decided to create my own first aid kit for family travel. I created the ultimate kit: I left nothing out, and when I was done, there was no medical emergency I was not prepared for. The … [Read more...]

DeLorme inReach or SPOT Gen3: Which GPS messenger to buy for outdoor adventure

Do your teens hike without you? Do you venture into the backcountry as a family? In winter, do you like to snowshoe, camp, or ski off-piste? If you answered 'yes' to any of the above, you've probably considered outfitting yourself or your kids with a … [Read more...]

What to do on Mt. Hood in summer: a three day itinerary

Mt. Hood Oregon is a winter playground, but it's an amazing outdoor destination in the summer months as well. Located just an hour from Portland, Mt. Hood National Forest offers stunning mountain vistas for hikers, backpackers, campers, and kayakers. … [Read more...]

Hiking off-trail in Joshua Tree National Park

I love a guiding company that doesn’t ‘dumb down’ experiences for guests. Joshua Tree Excursions definitely doesn’t take the easy route, literally or figuratively. Guide and owner Kelly Crawford challenged us during a five-hour hike through Joshua … [Read more...]

Exploring Garden of the Gods, Illinois

One of the prime attractions in the Shawnee National Forest, which covers 280,000 acres in Southern Illinois, is Garden of the Gods, a collection of fantastic rock formations that towers above a vast expanse of wilderness. The short hiking trail … [Read more...]

Fall pit stop: Upper Rogue River Trail

The Upper Rogue Trail outside of Prospect, Oregon offers several starting points for beautiful hiking in Southern Oregon. In the perfect location if you're traveling to or from Crater Lake National Park or Bend, Oregon, this 'off the beaten track' … [Read more...]

Grown-up Getaway: What to do in Breckenridge in fall

Why would you go to Breckenridge in fall? As one local resident, mountain bike pro, and chef put it, "Why wouldn't you?" Autumn is a special time in this Colorado mountain town. When I arrived in mid-September, I half-expected a ghost town: … [Read more...]

Weekend Guide to the CA Redwoods

We’re a family who loves spending our vacation days in the wilderness, and few places are as wild and beautiful as the Northern California and Southern Oregon Redwoods. However, we prefer hiking into isolated backcountry sites to campgrounds, and … [Read more...]