It’s June. And June means Father’s Day (among other things, of course). Unfortunately, most kids are out of school, so no gifts are conveniently made during the school day so other parents (or caregivers) are off the hook. We’re pretty sure that’s why Mother’s Day is in May (just to make it easier for you dads….)
But, in all seriousness, I truthfully think that many outdoor dads just don’t get the pat on the back they deserve, Father’s Day or not. Media tends to portray dads as somewhat awkward, not entirely intelligent and lacking in nurturing behavior. I, for one, am quite certain that the dad in this family (Cheers to you, Mtn Papa!) isn’t the only one out there that their family just couldn’t do without.
And because outdoor dads aren’t just bear bait, we decided to put together a little list of instructions for “every” outdoor dad. We also enlisted a little help from our Facebook friends, and we love their tips too! Which of these apply to you??
- The first tip to being a good outdoor dad is taking your kids outdoors! Put down the remote/phone/computer and lace up the boots! ~Brian F. <– If you’re not doing this already, repeat, repeat, repeat!
- Fill your pockets with snacks. Lots and lots of snacks!
- Be patient with your kid’s abilities and give them time to explore even when you want to just get to the destination. ~ Ed D.
- You kids need to see you DO what you tell them to do. If you want a healthy family, be sure you are working on being healthy yourself. They’re watching you very, very carefully. Chelsea M says that includes risk taking and proper training techniques, particularly! We agree.
- Seeing you carry that baby (or toddler, etc.) around is the epitome of sexy for any mom simply because it’s a little assurance that we’re in this together. And yep, you may have to deal with the fact that you happen to be wearing pink carrier covered in flowers…. It’s good for your core AND good for bonding with your kiddo.
- It’s ok if hauling 100 pounds of gear and kids and stuff just to get the family out kicks your butt. We need you to do it anyway (and like it!) But, we’ll give you some chocolate once we all get there (and not make you deal with the mini one that’s screaming the loudest).
- Figure out how to make a fire with almost nothing. Matches are optional.
- Be sure the rest of us know that you are on bear/moose/elk/mouse/raccoon patrol and completely have it handled.
- Carry a pocketknife, axe or machete with you at all times (and be ready to carve sticks for hiking or s’mores at a moment’s notice)
- When you start taking your kids outdoors, it becomes less about you and so much about them, and about spending time together. It’s not going to be like it was before you had kids! So leave your expectations and itineraries, and just enjoy your kids. ~ Kay B.
- Bring along a little something something for your sanity. If it comes in the shape of a flask or small cups, we understand.
- Bonus points if you use those small “cups” (AKA shot glasses) for “shots” of something yummy to drink around the camp fire for the kids too.
- Be able to spot the perfect (curved, flexible, long) “fishing pole” stick from 50 feet away… ~Erica M.
- ENCOURAGE! Let them know you’re proud of their accomplishments; from facing fears, to exploring the world around them. It builds confidence that they’ll keep with them for a lifetime. ~ Ali H.
- Be ok with throwing rocks and sticks and checking out worms and animal tracks (and scat) instead of making it two yards down the trail.
- Smile. This stage of tantrums and trail revolts and break downs over having to wear a sun hat will too pass. What they do AFTER that depends on you loving them now.
Despite all that, the truth of the matter is that the kids need YOU, in all your imperfections and short comings. We moms (and family members) think you’re pretty awesome…and the kids do too.
Let’s get outside!
Stanley Brand for Dad
Need some ideas for Father’s Day gifts? TIME is number one priority, of course, but little tokens of “I appreciate you” are pretty fun too. You’ll notice a few Stanley Brand products in this post. Over the past few years we have become quite fond of the classic brand and highly recommend them. Here’s a few of their products we use and love. You can buy them all here.
- Adventure Stainless Steel Shot Glass Set <– as shown above, fun for so much more than JUST alcohol
- Adventure Stacking Pint Glass <– keeps drinks cold or hot and something we plan to get many more of
- Classic Vacuum Growler <– for beer OR hot chocolate (and something we use all the time!)
- Adventure Vacuum Crock <– A favorite for hauling homemade soup camping
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