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 little guy, Bergen, is 13 months.
2. Have you always been an outdoorsy family?
Absolutely! As a couple, my husband and I took every chance we could get to be outside. Our travel and weekend plans often centered on outdoor activities, and now with Bergen in our lives we are probably enjoying nature even more!
3. What’s your favorite outdoor activity to do as a family?
Hiking is at the top of our outdoor activity list.
4. How old were your tykes when they went camping, climbing or hiking for the first time?
We started taking Bergen on “city hikes” around Seattle when he was 2 weeks old. I hiked and walked throughout my pregnancy, and I was determined to get back out there as soon as my body would allow.
When Bergen was 5 months, we went our first true hike while visiting Grandma in the Phoenix area. It was a nice introduction as we didn’t have to worry about the rain or the cold, but plenty of sunscreen was applied, and plenty of fluids were consumed!
At 8 months, we went on our first camping trip to Cape Disappointment on the Washington coast. Bergen unfortunately also came down with his first cold that weekend, but despite some lack of sleep and constant care of a runny nose, we had a blast exploring the beach, digging for clams, and getting to spend quality time with our friends by the campfire.
And just recently, thanks to a front child seat we’ve attached to my husband’s bike, we are enjoying cycling as a family as well.
5. As new parents were you anxious, scared, apprehensive or excited to go on your first outdoor adventure with your tyke?
I was excited, and my husband balanced us out by being apprehensive and anxious! We really didn’t know what to expect, but knowing we were prepared allowed us to relax a bit, and take things one step at a time. Being lovers of adventure doesn’t hurt either.
6. Share a favorite story of hiking, climbing or camping as a family.
My favorite story of hiking as a family has to be our very first “real hike”, not because it was a particularly spectacular or exotic location, but because it was just that: Our First Real Hike as a Family! We were so excited to learn that hiking on trails with Bergen was possible. He loved riding on my back in the Ergo, and when he got tired of checking out cacti, he was able to doze off and take a nap. We couldn’t wait for more outdoor fun.
7. What advice do you have for NEW parents who want to camp, climb or hike with their tykes for the first time?
Be brave, and just go for it! If you love camping, climbing, and hiking, you’ll love doing them with your little one as long as you are prepared. You don’t have to over think things, but step through your routines and child’s needs at home, and then plan for how you’ll meet those needs on your adventure.
8. Did you receive any advice or wisdom from other parents about adventuring outdoors with tykes that have made things easier?
We really didn’t receive any specific advice in regards to adventuring outdoors with our new tyke. Our success in getting out there seems to come from our determination not to let having a baby get in the way of enjoying our favorite pastimes. As a result, we see how happy and content he is in nature, and we’re thrilled that we can now enjoy our favorite pastimes as a family of three!
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.)?
We don’t leave home without our Ergobaby carrier. Currently, Bergen is a happy camper hanging out on my back in the carrier gazing at the trees, watching little animals scurry by, and waving “hello” to fellow hikers on the trail. It’s comfortable, doesn’t take up a lot of space, and after a full afternoon of traipsing around the woods, I’m still ready to tackle the world the next day!
10. Any parting words for parents that will encourage them to get outdoors with their tykes?
Get babies used to carriers from the beginning. Start early! I can’t emphasize this enough. From my experience with Bergen (starting at about 1 week old), and friends with little ones, the sooner you start, the more routine and “normal” being in a carrier will be for baby and parent. Start with just wearing baby around the house, and then try a short walk close to home. Once you are comfortable, you can work up to grander adventures.
LOVE The Spillers answer to #10. Start your tyke early!
Thank you, Spiller Family, for the wonderful inspiration and advice on how to become an Adventure Family!
Kate is an elementary school teacher, turned stay-at-home mom living in Seattle, Washington. As a mother and wife to a baby and husband who love adventure and are always on the move, she’s either on a trip or planning one up! She keeps track of all this activity on their blog: www.wildtalesof.com.
Do you have any questions or comments for the Spillers?
If you and your family want to be spotlighted or you know a family that should be email me, melissa(at)adventuretykes(dot)com.