Why Not Bring the Kids? Andrew and Jessica Averett

Back in March of this year I wrote an article for The Campsite in which I did a round-up of 5 Outdoor Blogs for Adventurous Parents. While I was scanning the internet for contenders for that list, I came across Andrew and Jessica Averett’s blog, Bring the Kids. What really hooked me on this site was something they wrote under a page titled Why Bring the Kids:

“Why bring the kids? Really, the question you should be asking is why not bring the kids!”

On the Gunnison River. Their first multi-day rafting trip with the kids. Photo courtesy Jessica Averett.

Their blog is about fighting the idea that outdoor adventures must come to an end when kids arrive on the scene. They remind me a bit of Mark and Brooke Stephens of AdventureParents.com (the writers behind the tongue-in-cheek comment, “Goodbye kayaks, so long Chamonix summer adventure, hello minivan.”) I think there is a common assumption that certain activities and lifestyle traits end with kids. I hear it all the time. Hopefully someday we’ll see a shift in mentality and people will be blogging about how perhaps they are having too much outdoor adventure with their kids. Imagine that.

Andrew and Jessica. Photo courtesy Jessica Averett.

For Andrew and Jessica, adventure is something that incorporates three aspects: challenge, exploration and fun. An adventurous activity does not need to be risky. Risk, to them, is dependent on how comfortable and experienced you are. So, while these two, living in Lakewood, Colorado, have an eagerness to hit the outdoors with their three young kids, they would never do anything with the wee ones that they consider to be really risky.

Jessica’s first day skiing alone with both kids (ages 2 and 4) and one of her favorite days ever. Oh, and she was 5 months pregnant, too. Photo courtesy Jessica Averett.

You’ll find this happy crew of five rafting, backpacking, biking, camping, hiking and skiing whenever they get the chance. It takes a lot of planning and preparation (just check out this post on Tips for Camping with an Infant), but one trip after another, they are proving that it just takes a bit of creativity and research to pursue adventurous activities with your kids.

Heading out for 3 days in Coyote Gulch in Southern Utah. Photo courtesy Jessica Averett.

For each of the parents, their outdoor excursions with their kids are essential to their own sanity. Jessica is home all day with the kids. It’s a job she loves but the pressures and demands of motherhood need no real explaining here. And Andrew works a 9-5 job as a CPA in wealth management. I loved what he had to say about what he benefits from the outdoors:

“It’s my release. It adds balance to life and allows me to live a full life. So many people just work and I can’t do that. That’s too boring. Always having something planned gets me motivated to get through whatever projects I’m doing and allows me to feel like I’m living life all along the way rather than delaying it until later when I’m retired….”

Can you relate?

So, thanks Andrew and Jessica for giving us a window into your busy world. I highly recommend you all spend some time checking out their informative blog posts if you’re looking for tips on bringing the kids outdoors with you.

To close up, I’ve got a question for you:

What do you benefit from being in the outdoors?

Please use the comment feature below to provide your input. Thanks!

Author: Meghan J. Ward

Meghan J. Ward is an outdoor, travel and adventure writer based in Banff, Canada, and a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Meghan has written several books, as well as produced content for films, anthologies, blogs and some of North America’s top outdoor, fitness and adventure publications. She has a forthcoming travel memoir (Fall 2022), to published by Rocky Mountain Books.

10 thoughts

  1. I just recently found my way to your blog and I love this entry! I’m a fairly new mom with a nine-month old baby and so far our baby hasn’t really slowed us down, as some people warned us she would… We have traveled since she was five weeks old and have been in the outdoors with her pretty much from the beginning. For us outdoors is a lifestyle, and even though I love trips to the big cities, coming back to nature feels like coming home. I think Andrew summed it up well, for me too it is release and a way to recharge my batteries after hard day or week at the office.

    1. Thanks for sharing your comments, Satu. One of the neat things about keeping up this website are the other parents who come out of the woodwork and share their stories, tips and other thoughts. I find it odd that people would even waste the energy telling others that a baby will slow them down. I love how Andrew and Jessica work hard to defeat those kinds of comments, and I’m glad you’ve found something to relate to in this post!

  2. Outdoor adventures provide the prospective that our lives are in need of; different people will obtain different experiences. Last weekend I hiked Coyote Gulch with an old friend and each of us had one of our sons with us. Our boys started and finished a great adventure. Our relationships grew our prospective of what is important in life increased. The boys learned more independence and acknowledged the help that we extended to them.

    1. This is wonderful, Rob. I think the point of the whole thing is to make an effort to include your kids in these experiences. They may be some of the most formative experiences of their lives.

  3. Love this project! Do you know what kind of backpack Jessica is wearing in the picture above? It appears that it’s a carrier with a backpack attached to the back. I’ve never seen this before.

      1. My pack is a Kelty Transit. We’ve really enjoyed it for all of our kids. It has an internal frame and a pretty decent sized backpack with an extra small zip off pack. It’s much shorter than most other packs which is fantastic for storage (but a little tricky because the kids legs just hang below it). It’s worked great for us on backpacking trips too because of all the storage!

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