Mother of two small children and wearer of many hats, including conservationist and environmental consultant, McKittrick is no stranger to the balance of parenthood, adventure, work and all the “other stuff” in life. And this woman takes on big adventures, such as long distance backpacking expeditions, including a few with not one, but two very small children in tow. Check out my review of her book, “Small Feet, Big Land: Adventure, Home and Family on the Edge of Alaska.”
If you’re travelling with a baby you’ll be surprised at the extra gear even such a small person requires. And while some items, such as diapers, are a no-brainer to bring along, others may not come to mind so easily.
Before we started a family, my husband and I shared a passion for adventure travel, and made a concerted effort to plan an annual trip. That didn’t change when we had our baby girl. We had the goal of travelling abroad with our daughter in her first year of life, and though we knew it would be challenging, in the Winter of 2014 we set off for 70 days in the South Pacific when Maya was just ten months old.
I just spent the week at the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival, the annual gathering of adventurers, adrenaline junkies, mountain artists and authors up at The Banff Centre. Being a new parent, I entered this year’s festival with a very different outlook on what it means to lead an adventurous lifestyle. As I listened to people’s stories of epic climbs and expeditions, I was curious to know how these “real deal” adventurers felt about parenthood. Did they want to have children? Had they chosen not to? If they did have children, how were they be able to balance life as a mother or father with their adventurous pursuits?
How does a life of adventure without kids compare to a life of adventure with kids?
Here’s the scenario I left you with in Part 2 of this series: Back in August my husband went on his first big trip since we had our daughter – an ascent of Mt. Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. Prior to leaving he told me, “This trip could very well be about more than just climbing Mt. Robson. I’ll see how I feel about being disconnected from my wee family up there.”
I left you wondering how things went, and asked: Would he be able to separate himself from his emotions during the climb? Decide it is just too much for him right now, and give up on climbing big peaks for awhile?
If you’re a new parent, the thought of taking your baby camping might seem pretty far-fetched. But if it’s something you love to do you may be tempted to give it a shot. Break them in early, right? I figured that the earlier we took our little one out, the better. If I didn’t try, I’d never know, and I might get too comfortable with the idea that it would be too hard. So, this past week my husband and I packed up our sleeping bags and ventured into the great unknown: sharing a tent with a 10-week-old baby.
Sometimes the easiest way to absorb information is to actually have it in your hands – not on a screen. That’s why I’ve created two new e-guides for adventurous parents, Adventure Travel with a Baby: 40+ Tips and Insights and Essential Gear for Travelling with a Baby (a handy checklist for packing!).
When my daughter became a fairly competent self-feeder, I struggled to find snacking containers and bottles that would serve us well on-the-go, whether we were out biking, hiking, travelling or just running errands in town. When Eco Vessel came knocking on my inbox, it was perfect timing and I thought I’d give their products a whirl!
One thing I’ve learned as an outdoorsy mother is that the way you carry or transport your baby is the key to being active outdoors with your baby.