Outdoor Parents Outdoor Kids: A Guide to Getting Your Kids Active in the Great Outdoors; by Eugene Buchanan. You can find them at Recreating with Kids.
A lot of times these kinds of books will have great information, good topics and helpful tips but they aren't the kinds of books you necessarily stay up too late reading because you just can't put it down. This book is a page turner. The writing is really good and the author is hilarious!
He nails it on the head constantly when he talks about what it is like to get active in the outdoors with kids, what the struggles are and how they can be overcome.
"Before, it was easy. You could do things spontaneously. "Hey, honey!" you'd cheerfully suggest over coffee. "Let's go for a hike today." And then you'd be merrily on your way, stopping for a leisurely latte beforehand. Little Johnny Burpalot has changed things. Now you'll need that latte, and the time to enjoy it, more than ever. Because here's the thing: while you're out feeding your own rat, your spouse is at home feeding the rugrat creamed peas. And that spouse is counting the minutes with rolling pin in hand, until you return. When you do, that warm kiss on the cheek you used to get, and genunine inquiry into your activity, evaporates like spilt milk. It's replaced as quickly as a pedal crank by your little bundle of joy, deposited into your arms." First chapter - Getting Out While You Can.
The author goes on to write how he is not trying to scare people away from having kids but is just making it very clear that things will change and emphasising the importance of enjoying the freedom of recreation while you still have it. This section made me very nastalgic for those days and wishing that Chris and I had taken better advantage of our years together before kids.
But moving on....one chapter that I was really intrigued about was the paddling with kids chapter. Since we are planning our first river trip with the girls this summer I knew I wanted to thoroughly read and take notes on this section. Again, I laughed, nodded in agreement and ah-hah! my way through this chapter. The tips about creating shade over the canoe for little ones, realizing that you may only have one paddler for the trip and planning distance accordingly and a whole page of tips for multi-day trips was all very helpful.
I am not going to giveaway all of the tips and advice from this book because I really do hope that a lot of you will check it out.
The outdoor activities covered in this book include bicycling, snowsports, camping, hiking, jogging, paddling, climbing, fishing, swimming and more. All throughout the book there are special sections that include advice on kid-friendly places to go, resources, websites and gear suggestions. I love finding gear suggestions from parents that have been there done that. Why should waste money on brands that will fail or fall apart, instead trust a parent that has been there and just buy what they bought!
Enough rambling, if you have any interest in adding your children to one of your favorite outdoor pasttimes I think you should pick up this book. If you are already taking the kids along on a lot of advetures I STILL think you should pick up this book. The stories are great, the advice is outstanding and the inspiration that you feel after reading it is priceless! I am SO pumped for spring and to start doing more camping, hiking, paddling and biking!
WIN IT - Passing along my copy to one lucky reader!
No mandatory entry, just do any of the following and leave me a comment letting me know you did it. Leave multiple comments for things worth multiple entries. And be sure to include an email, or at least have an updated profile!
Giveaway begins NOW and ends on March 10th at noon! Good luck.