I am spotlighting one adventurous family every month. I have sent the family a questionnaire that they have answered, sharing with us their adventure stories, their lessons learned and their tips and experiences on how they adventure as a family. I am hoping this will inspire, motivate and encourage all of us to get outside with our tykes.
Welcome the Adventure Family:
1. How many tykes in your family and how old?
Our tykes are no longer tykes, but rather young men. Our older son is 16 and our
younger son is 13.
2. Have you always been an outdoorsy family?
Yes! My boys are 6th generation Colorado natives and we’ve been taking them
camping and adventuring since they were infants. I was raised in a very outdoorsy
family, where fishing, camping, hiking and biking were the norm. My husband
is from the urban east coast, but as a teenager, he and his father camped in the
Adirondacks and he did a canoe trip in Canada. He came to Colorado for college, in
part, to be able to spend more time outdoors.
3. What’s your favorite outdoor activity to do as a family?
We are, first and foremost, skiers. I grew up ski racing, as did my sons. Noone
competes anymore, but we love alpine and Nordic skiing. We are also avid bikers,
and the boys absolutely love spending time at the family cabin and camping.
4. How old were your tykes when they went camping, climbing or hiking for the first
We live less than 2 miles from the entrance to the Colorado National Monument
which is a favorite place to hike. Thanks to the Baby Bjorn, both boys were hiking
within weeks of birth. It helped that they were born during months with good
weather! Our older son first went camping at age 8 months and our younger son
went camping at age 4 months. We took them everywhere and tag-teamed so that
one parent always had some downtime with the baby in camp. While I love hiking
and biking, I think I enjoyed the quiet downtime the best!
5. As new parents were you anxious, scared, apprehensive or excited to go on your
first outdoor adventure with your tyke?
I don’t think we were scared about taking a baby along, but we were quite
overwhelmed by the gear. What did we need to take? What was a necessity? Where
would we put diapers, how could we keep everything clean?
I remember packing for the first overnight expedition. I put all the possible gear on
the couch and then spent several hours, thinking of every possible scenario, and
winnowing down the pile. Finally, I packed. It took the entire day – especially as I
still had a fuzzy maternity brain! But we did it…and then created a master packing
6. Share a favorite story of hiking, climbing or camping as a family.
We always enjoy camping with my parents and all of us try to camp several times a
summer. Several years ago, we decided to camp at Hovenweep National Monument
over the long Easter weekend. It was chilly, but beautiful weather. We hiked, read
books, filled in Junior Ranger workbooks, played games and ate a lot. It was perfect!
Easter morning was beautiful. We adults hid plastic Easter eggs around the camp
before the boys awakened. This drove several crows crazy. They would fly above the
eggs and try to peck at them from the air. I’ve never seen anything like it.
When our boys got up, they were thrilled to hunt eggs in our camp. It was truly a
unique and memorable experience. They were having so much fun that our younger
son threw a big rock up in the air – simply for fun. Unfortunately, he forgot about
it and it landed squarely on his head. This was when having grandparents along on
the camping trip proved its worth. My mom and husband staunched his gushing
headwound and started off in one car to the hospital in Cortez. My dad and our older
son and I packed up the camp. Later, all was well and we rendezvoused for a hike
before heading home. Head wound and all, it was a wonderful weekend – and one
we’ll never forget.
7. What advice do you have for NEW parents who want to camp, climb or hike with
their tykes for the first time?
Seek the advice of friends who’ve been there and done that. Nothing’s better than
first-hand tips. And then you won’t waste an entire day packing (like I did).
8. Did you receive any advice or wisdom from other parents about adventuring
outdoors with tykes that have made things easier?
It’s funny, but amongst our friends, we were kind of the trailblazers. We were
willing to take our kids out at a younger age than many other parents. We had good,
warm weather on our side, which really helped. Plus, we just love being outdoors. So
we ended up being the parents other parents came to with questions.
9. Do you have a piece of MUST have gear that you never leave home without
besides the necessities (ie. Backpack, tent, sleeping bags, etc.)?
Books. We never go anywhere without books. When the boys were babies and
toddlers, we spent many peaceful afternoons in camp reading books. As they grew
older, books helped them stay quiet in the wee hours of the morning and kept them
in their sleeping bags. Now, we all love to read in camp. After a vigorous hike or
mountain bike ride, it’s pure luxury to have time to sit and read.
10. Any parting words for parents that will encourage them to get outdoors with
When I picture an idyllic childhood, it’s always outdoors exploring through the grass
of a meadow or throwing pebbles into a stream. What do you picture? If it’s outside,
make it real. The rewards are endless and the fun is just beginning!
I totally want to go camping during Easter now, how about you? It sounds like so much fun! Thanks for sharing your family with us and providing great tips and advice.
Kristen Lummis is the owner, writer and head ski tech at www.braveskimom.com. The mom of two boys in a busy outdoor family, Kristen writes about skiing all year round, tossing in some biking, hiking, parenting and even a bit of reflection during the off-season. While her recreational passion is for all things snow, her real passion is for her family.
Please share any questions or comments you have for the Lummis Family.
If you want to be featured in the Adventure Family Spotlight or know a family that should, email me: