Not all adventures need to be big ordeals. Too often, we hear people say, “Yeah, we should go hiking or take the kids outside somewhere, but none of us have good hiking boots.” Or, “If Lily misses her nap, she’ll be a bear later.” Or, “I can’t imagine a hike with little kids and no stroller.” Or, “I usually don’t go farther than I can haul a cooler.” Or, “I really need to get some buckets and shovels for the beach.”
Here’s the thing.
You don’t need an REI wardrobe, or even special boots. You don’t need to plan your trip, or (gasp!) plan it around nap time. You don’t need to postpone a trip until your child outgrows his stroller. You don’t need to break a sweat dragging special food and heavy drinks. You absolutely don’t need to bring toys to the beach. You will see.
You have enough clothes; tennis shoes are fine. Dress in layers; bring your coats. Find a last-minute, close-by adventure. You might be surprised to find quite a list of options within a 30-60 minute drive. Your napping kid can sleep in the car. At the trail, your (walking) kid can walk (and should!). Pack sandwiches, cut up some vegetables, grab a banana bunch, toss some trail mix into a container, fill up a few water bottles, throw in some napkins, and you have a picnic.
GO SOMEWHERE. Just pick up and GO. Leave the gadgets behind. The kids can look out the windows, look at clouds, daydream, listen to the car radio, draw in a notebook, play “I Spy.” Take the back roads for part of your journey. Talk about what you see.
GET THERE. Venture into the woods, look up, look out, climb a tree, hike to the water, clamber over rocks, build driftwood shelters, look under rocks, collect nature bits, decorate your hair with moss, run free, jump over puddles, BREATHE.
And then share your adventure with us!
Where did you go? What did you bring and not bring? How did you feel?
~ Angela and Chris
[This adventure: Kiket Island, La Conner, WA. Roundtrip hike: 2 miles. Rated: Easy and kid-friendly. No dogs allowed on preserve. Lots of unbroken shells, climbable driftwood, & plentiful tiny shore crabs to observe. Gorgeous view of Deception Pass Bridge. Great history lesson for older kids. And a random old apple tree, still bearing fruit in early winter.]