6 Clues That I’m An Outdoorsy Parent-To-Be

I grew up in a community that wasn’t all that outdoorsy, but our house backed onto a protected wetland that offered great biking and walking when it dried up in summer, and superb cross-country skiing through the winter. My parents encouraged us to play outside as much as possible. It wasn’t until I moved out to Banff, however, that I really understood what the term ‘outdoorsy’ meant.

People out here need hiking, camping, skiing and the full gamut of outdoor activities to remain sane (some would argue alive). It’s like air. And I didn’t realize how different some parenting models are from what I grew up with back in Ontario until I saw the kinds of things people are inclined to do outdoors with their kids. I think I’m on my way to becoming one of these kind of parents, and here’s why.

6 Clues That I’m An Outdoorsy Parent-To-Be

1. I’ve been looking up ideas for children’s names in “Central Rockies Placenames,” a book that identifies the origins of significant mountains, lakes and other identifiable features in The Rockies. Is that normal?

2. The first place I looked for maternity wear (other than hand-me-downs) was from Mountain Mama, an apparel company based on the premise that “women who play outdoors should have stylish, functional clothing for all stages of life, including maternity.” Mountain Mama has since brought me on as a brand ambassador, which is pretty sweet.

3. I’m a big child at heart, who loves playing outdoors for the sheer joy of playing (just check out the snow-woman I made last week!). I can’t wait to revisit the outdoors and experience it through the eyes of a child.

4. I planned my pregnancy around being able to get back into shape and hike with my little kiddo next summer (thankfully, the plan has worked…so far).

C is for Carabiner.

5. I look at gear and wonder how small it comes. My friends ask me if they should buy pink or blue climbing shoes.

6. I’m tempted to get this C is for Carabiner organic onesie for my newborn (10% of the purchase price of each garment goes to the Children & Nature Network). It’s just too adorable to pass up, even if it’ll only fit for a little while.

Those are my clues so far. What would other outdoorsy parents add to the list (out of your own experience)?

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.

9 thoughts

    1. Those are fun middle names. I definitely don’t want my kid stuck with a really odd name that’ll haunt them for life…was just looking for inspiration in the beauty that surrounds me. We’ll have to see! 🙂

  1. My oldest son is Mackenzie. It means son of Ken, but Mackenzie was also the first European explorer to cross North America east to west. Sadly, we didn’t know that it’s becoming a girl’s name…My youngest son’s middle name is Palliser, after the guy who explored much of what is now Kananaskis, Banff, Kottenay and Yoho.

    1. I’m pretty well acquainted with the accomplishments of Mackenzie and Palliser and think you have chosen wisely. 🙂 These are wonderful choices for children’s names (even if Mackenzie has become so popular for girls!).

  2. I love it! I wanted to name our son ‘Everest’ but my husband wanted something a little bit more traditional…in hindsight I’m glad I lost that arm wrestling match! But I’m with Jessica, our second baby is on the way and a fun middle name might be the way to go.

  3. Both of my kids have Alaska place names (Katmai and Lituya). Unusual, but we like them, and so many kids have unusual names these days that no one seems to bat an eye.

  4. I loved this!!! My wife and I don’t have any children yet, but if we ever have a boy I love the name Bryce after Bryce Canyon, where we first visited when I moved here to be with her (we met online when I was 13, dated and got engaged and when I was 18, I moved to Utah from Chicago and we got married! Going on six years!)

    We’re both very outdoorsy, so I can imagine dreaming up a backpack full of little one treats, sunscreen, a disposable camera (for older kids), etc. I’d also love to buy them a field journal of their own, where they can press plants, etc. and document what they see, and find and learn about nature that way.

    On top of that, little one’s hiking gear and camping gear? So cute.

    We’re *also* Pagan, so what does that mean? We’re total nature girls!!! Our kids will be brought up with a very healthy love for Mother Nature and our great, big Earth and all of the trees, plants, flowers, animals and people on her.

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