Saturday, April 21, 2012

Redefining the defininition of Outdoorsy

 A week ago I came across a contest for Outdoorsy Blogging Moms through a social media site called Circle of Moms.  The contest is called "Top 25 Outdoorsy Moms, 2012."  I heard about the contest through my friend Amelia with Tales of a Mountain Mama.  She asked fellow outdoor writers to vote for her but also encouraged us to participate in the contest if we wanted with the promise that she would vote for us as well.  Several of us threw our hats in the ring because of the opportunity to have our blogs promoted to six million readers.  I never expected to win or even finish in the top five because though I am definitely outdoorsy, I know there are so many deserving moms out there.  Amelia and her blog above are pretty much household names in our house because of how much inspiration I draw from the blog.  In no way do I even think I should be in the same contest as her when it comes to being an outdoorsy mom.

When I think "Outdoorsy Mom" I think of another great girl named Tiffany who created a camping blog called "A little Campy."  I consider her to be a camping guru and if I ever needed advice on anything from camping on a budget to teaching a child how to fish - I'd go straight to her blog.  When I think "Outdoorsy" I also think of all the climbing moms that haven't given up their passion but still get out to the crags with their babies, toddlers, and kids in tow.  These hard core moms are simply inspiring and I have to say more than a little intimidating.  Check out Haley's blog, Climb, Run, Lift Mom if you don't believe me. If biking is more your thing, check out Jen's blog, Velo Mom.  Jen's style of riding isn't your average urban bike ride around the local park in your neighborhood.  We're talking single track trails through the Moab desert.  Oh and when she isn't riding, she can be found surfing or ice climbing.  Hard core chick!

Family Camping in Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington, USA

The term "Outdoorsy" has always involved nature in my mind - be it hiking, camping, fishing, walking through the forest, mountain biking, trail running through alpine valleys, or skiing.  Anything that gets you out of the city and off pavement.  If you're lucky, you live in a city like Calgary where you can actually forget the city exists due to the abundance of natural areas and parks within city limits.  It's easy for us to retreat to nature just by walking out our back door.

A peaceful hike with my son

Since becoming a mom, my definition of "outdoorsy" has also grown to include outdoor play - playing in the mud, sand, water, or looking for butterflies while out on a walk.  Today we went for a walk and the biggest excitement of the day wasn't the rocks we thought our son should climb but the flowers we saw since it's crocus season finally.  Pine cones were also a big thrill as were the sticks we found.  Before becoming a parent I barely stopped to look down when I was outside because I was too busy climbing to the top of something.  All I ever saw was scree, more scree, and then, even more scree.  Imagine my surprise upon having a child and slowing down to learn that there are flowers in those mountains!  Wow!

Exploring with children is magical

I've had a lot of good mentors in the area of Outdoor Play and I encourage you to check out the amazing blogs listed on my blog roll.  One mom that especially impresses me is Lindsey with Outside Mom.  Lindsey is an Environmental Educator and in her words, "The outdoors is infused into everything we do."  You don't get much more Outdoorsy than that. 

Finally,  you can "like" the outdoors and be an "Outdoorsy person"  but to truly be an "Outdoorsy Mom" it has to be bigger than you.  It has to be about your whole family.  When you add the word "Mom" - you are implying  that you are not alone in something but that your kids are somehow involved.  I admire families that get outside together, as a family.  I think it's our responsibility as outdoor parents to pass on the appreciation of nature to the next generation starting with our own family.  I'm sure it's hard if running is your thing and you have toddlers at home to raise who can't join you in your races yet.  And professional climbers can't exactly take their kids with them on all of their adventures.  However, if you are truly passionate about nature, you will find something outdoors that you can do as a family.  I am always surprised by how much I love toddler hiking for example.  We've given up downhill skiing for a couple years here but we've done a lot of cross country skiing because we can take our son with us in a sled.  We even still go backpacking with our three year old - we just choose easier shorter trails.  One mom that inspires me in this area is Alyssa with the Kid Project Blog.  When they go camping, they bring their climbing gear, their bikes, their friends, backpacking gear, hiking boots - and pretty much their entire collection of outdoor gear it sounds like.  Awesome!  They go as a large group and everybody gets to participate - be it on their Strider Balance bike or on the climbing walls.

Camping with friends is always more fun

I'm not going to ask you to vote for me because it's becoming apparent that the contest is just a large popularity contest between running groups.  If you want to vote for me that's awesome and I'd appreciate it but please consider voting for some of the amazing girls listed in this post.  And whether you vote for them or not, please visit their blogs when you get a chance and be inspired as I have been.  Check out the other blogs on my blog roll too and support your Outdoor Moms.


  1. Great post :) Being outdoorsy is a lifestyle that I think all the awesome mom's you mentioned live fully. Thanks for sharing.

  2. that's the way we roll - usually along the beach instead of the mountains though :)

  3. Nice post! It is great to see what amazing things all of these moms (and dads) are getting outside to do with their kids. My husband and I climbed (and blogged) for years, but when the baby came, we took a break... from blogging. :) We're still getting out to the crag with our kiddo, and this winter I've started having the energy to write more about our adventures. I've only discovered your blog and some of these listed above in the last few weeks, and I think it's awesome and inspiring to see! Thanks for the links, stories, and outdoorsy love. :)

  4. I like your blog. My kids are now grown, but family camping trips and hikes were part of their lives when they were young. Keep encourgaging families to enjoy the outdoors together!