Multi-Family Adventures

    This past weekend for the very first time we went hiking with a couple other families.  Funny that we have really never done that before (despite knowing it can be great fun)!  We have certainly hiked/skied with other people, but not families with kids.

    We had six kids between us (all under the age of 8), three dogs and a gloriously beautiful “spring” day  (quotations around spring because winter is far from being over here in the mountains.)

    We definitely had our share of falling, whining, laughing, whining, jumping, whining, exploring, whining, and lots of great peer pressure….oh and whining.  It really wasn’t that bad, but we have to be honest here: all kids are not going to be great troopers for a three hour hike (and that is ok!)

     But, the great thing was that the kids were all encouraging each other, whether by their words or just their actions.  No one wanted to be left behind, they were all pointing out different neat things and there were enough people (and therefore distractions) that they didn’t think about the “tough” stuff (like climbing through rocks and snow and up the hills.)  Like I mentioned before, they all did their share of complaining, but I honestly think it was kept to a minimum because they all did it at different times.

    As adults, it was great to have new people to talk to, new lessons learned (like how to spot Mountain Lion tracks) and someone to sympathize when it was your kid having the melt down (because they knew they were next!)

    As our kids get older, it will certainly become more and more important to pepper our regular (and lovely!) family outings with multi-family outings.  We want our kids to know that they are not the only ones with “weird” parents!

    Places to find family “Adventure Partners”:
    – Lots of places are popping up with outdoor play groups (which often translate into group hikes.)
    – Get out there yourself and start talking to people you meet on the trail!
    – Use connections on Facebook and different outdoor blogs (see the list on our home page)
    Outdoor Baby Network (“meet” other like-minded families and then really meet them…like in real life….)
    – Don’t be afraid to ask your current friends/co-workers – you may be surprised on what people are willing to try! (this hike was thrown together the night before and turned out great!)

    Do you hike/ski/camp with other families?  What works (and doesn’t work??)

    Along those same lines….
    This week Polarn O. Pyret is promoting a “Everyday is a Playday Week” on their Facebook page.  It’s a great movement to encourage people to get outside and play….no matter what the weather is (which is exactly what we stand for too!)  This Thursday (March 15th) at 1 pm mountain time they are having a chat on their Facebook page all about outdoor play groups.  We will be there helping add in our two-cents and we would love to have you join in the conversation!  Oh, and there will be prizes! 😉

    If you are curious, our hike took us to Crystal Cave.  Look closely at the pictures – the backdrop is full of crystals (though the ones on the outer part of the cave are pretty dirty!) So neat!


      1. Love multi-family adventures. Think it will be much easier though once our son is older and his friends are too. Right now it seems like somebody is always dirty and in need of a diaper change (and it’s never all at the same time), there’s always one kid crying at any given time because they want to walk when the others are riding or being carried, need to nap, or are just plain cranky, and then there’s the differences in pace. I know toddlers who can walk 5km and others who struggle to walk 1km. We tried xc skiing with multi-family groups this winter, pulling kids in Chariots and Pulks. That was especially challenging. Everybody’s tolerance for being in the sled was so different. And parents’ ski paces are so different. Excited for summer group camping trips. We have at least 5 or 6 family camping trips planned. One of them will have up to 20 families coming.

      2. Tanya,Totally agree it can be pretty crazy!!! But, that is the fun of it, right?!?! You are BRAVE to camp with TWENTY families! Wowee! Can we come?!? 😉

      3. wow, that does sound fun (camping with 20 families?!) We are excited to try camping this summer with our 3-year old twins. we tried one night last summer and forgot the diaper bag – doh! luckily we’re potty training now, and i’m sure the boys will be psyched to pee on trees for a day!

      Speak Your Mind